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A passion for tech that’s inspiring girls worldwide

Telstra Careers Inspiration

Posted on September 13, 2019

3 min read

I chose to study engineering because of my brother. He was in the middle of a degree and suggested that I give it a try.

Until then, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I dreamt of being a chef, an accountant and for a while, an actress. But the first time I thought seriously about my career was when I enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University.

That was five years ago. Since then I’ve gone through Telstra’s Graduate Program and now work in the Customer Co-Creation and Innovation Space in Product Engineering.

My role includes bringing together deep network experts, customers and partners to unlock new technology opportunities for Telstra.

I’m very happy to be working here. The company’s focus on flexibility and professional development has allowed me to seamlessly manage my day-to-day responsibilities. 

The thing that gets me really excited about engineering and technology, and why I love doing what I’m doing, is that it is so versatile and full of real-life applications. It’s about the impact that you are having through the technology solution being developed, as opposed to just playing around with some cool tech.

It’s this passion that I want to foster through Robogals.

Robogals aims to inspire, engage and empower young women to pursue engineering and related fields, and I think that’s what it all comes down to. I had no idea what engineering was about. I was lucky that my brother recommended it, but a lot of people, especially young girls, don’t have that opportunity. That’s why I’m so passionate about what organisation is trying to achieve.

As the CEO, I’m spearheading a global initiative to encourage young women into STEM. So far, Robogals has run more than 3500 workshops and has reached over 75,000 girls, and over 115,000 students. 

Being part of something that introduces young girls to robotics, coding and other areas of engineering is deeply gratifying. We recently ran a workshop in Melbourne which was to do with binary numbers, something I didn’t learn until my first year of university. But we are able to get girls as young as five years old thinking about this stuff. And they love it. They get so engaged and involved, the little kids especially.

While I recognise that true equality is still a little way off when it comes to women in STEM, I believe that more and more employers are making lasting commitments to gender diversity in the workplace.

Telstra is one of many companies that has endorsed a gender diversity policy in their efforts to foster a more inclusive work environment. Their ongoing support has also enabled me to devote time and energy to Robogals and to see the organisation reach new heights.

Want to learn more about what diversity and inclusion means to us here at Telstra? You can find out more here.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Explore jobs now. 

What does the future hold for voice-based communication?

Telstra Careers Inspiration

Posted on August 22, 2019

4 min read

As the Voice and Video Group Owner and Executive at Telstra, our team is responsible for the millions of voice and video calls that go through Telstra’s products, platforms and networks every day, whether it’s for consumers, enterprises or contact centres. Put simply, our job is to keep Australians connected.

But the nature of these connections has changed over time. We have reached ‘peak telephony’ in the developed world – people are using less traditional voice and SMS and more data-driven messaging applications, a trend that began in 2015.

At Telstra, we find ourselves at the forefront of these communication changes. In order to create a technology strategy that will allow our customers to do business and keep in touch with loved ones, we must be able to accurately predict their future needs.

What does this future look like? Let’s take a look at a few key insights that currently colour Telstra’s voice-based thinking.

Voice-based consumer trends

The switch to mobile is the overarching trend in communications tech that ties almost all others together. Consumers will soon be almost wholly mobile or smart device-based. Small to medium-sized businesses will still see the fixed line as ‘the face of the business’, but most calling will be on mobiles. Large or enterprise businesses meanwhile will shift to unified communications – for every fixed number there will be an associated mobile, and URL calling will become more popular.

These shifts will be enabled by the following technologies:

  • The transformation of all voice and messaging to IP: Eventually all services and network traffic and carriers will be migrated to IP (NBN, VoLTE, IP Interconnect). This enables the provision of enterprise-grade features for business and consumers with fixed and mobile convergence, and a ‘one number, one voice’ experience.
  • Integration to any IP-based endpoint: The number of internet-connected devices is exploding and there are now more IP-based calling devices than mobiles SIM-based devices in the home. Hypothetically each of these could function as an additional communication device in the home or on the road. Smart cars, smartwatches and smart speakers are the first examples of devices with calling and messaging capabilities, but you can expect the likes of smart TVs and others to follow.
  • Scam calling: The communications industry is offering many solutions to the issue of scam calling. SHAKEN/STIR is a certificate-based authentication for IP voice calls equivalent to the HTTPS certificate system on the internet. Combined with real-time call analytics and call blocking capabilities (as well as law enforcement activities), the industry is confident that impact of this scourge can be diminished and eliminated over time.
  • Rich Communication Services (RCS): SMS is still incredibly valuable, as it remains the only ubiquitous messaging service. RCS utilises its unique proposition by providing instant messaging features to SMS (presence, groups, interactions and file transfers). It is native on Samsung and has the potential to integrate to Apple iMessage for seamless operation across all device platforms.
  • Virtual agents (AI): Artificial intelligence (AI) will be better utilised by contact centres, with interactive voice response (IVR) set to improve call deflection. Other promising contact centre technologies include voice biometrics for identification, agent co-browsing, interactive visual responses, click to connect with agents, and automated quality management that can generate reports on customer interactions.

At Telstra, we are perfectly placed to meet the upcoming challenges that will be posed by this transitional period in voice-based communication. We are confident that we’ll continue to provide a higher quality, more reliable and more functional service that offers the customer a far better overall experience.

Keeping Australians connected. It’s what we’ve always done, and it’s what we’ll continue to do.

Are you fascinated by all things communication? Great news – we’re looking for talented people to join our team. You can search and apply for jobs on the Telstra Careers website.  

My career growth: fondue, chocolate and human rights

Community

Posted on July 10, 2019

3 min read

Throughout my career I have sought out roles where social justice and equality are at the heart of what I do.

I have been privileged to work as Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Telstra for the last 6 years, where I manage projects that are all about building an inclusive and respectful workplace to ensure everyone has equal access to a great career here.

I’ve always been someone who is curious about what is happening across the globe, so when the opportunity came up to intern at the United Nations and work on global issues, I grabbed it.

When I approached my leader with the proposal to take a career break for 3 months (unpaid leave) to take on this internship, I was not sure what to expect.

However, my leader and team were so supportive of me growing my skills by working in a globally matrixed environment with governments, trade unions and not for profit organisations. They could also see the benefits this opportunity would give me in my current role.

So at the start of this year, I joined the International Labour Organisation in the Gender, Equality and Diversity team at the United Nations. Leaving my husband and toy poodle dog behind, I packed my warmest winter clothes and relocated to Geneva, Switzerland.

My projects focussed on how to improve disability and accessibility in workplaces through collaboration with governments, private sector and employee organisations.

My highlight was working with the Global Business and Disability Network to produce a webinar about affirmative recruitment practices for people with disability, with speakers joining from Italy, Australia and France.

I would call this experience an opportunity for career growth, not a career break, as I grew personally and professionally during the three months I was there. It also gave me the chance to eat Swiss chocolate every day for three months!

I have returned to work with a greater knowledge of the global context of workplace inclusion and full of ideas to deliver strategies and programs for a global audience. From my experience in Geneva, I saw that private sector, government and NGOs are all tackling similar diversity and inclusion workplace challenges. Although we still have more work to do, it was great to see that Telstra’s diversity programs, like All Roles Flex, Family and Domestic Violence support and diversity recruitment support is in line with best practice globally.

I don’t think I would have been able to achieve so much without the support of my team and Telstra’s All Roles Flex and career break policy.  

Want to learn more about our All Roles Flex policy and search for your next role? Visit the Telstra Careers website.

From intern to Pen Testing lead – meet Ben

People

Posted on June 24, 2019

3 min read

Ben Tudor has been part of the Telstra team for nearly seven years. He started in our Summer Vacation Program, before landing a place in our Telstra Graduate Program. He’s now our Penetration Testing – Senior Lead, which sits in our Cyber Security team, and he looks after a team of highly skilled Penetration Testers.

I caught up with Ben to find out about his career, the innovative projects he’s currently working on and the opportunities available to Pen Testers here at Telstra.

Can you tell us about your role and what your team does?

I lead a team of highly skilled Penetration Testers – effectively, ethical hackers. Ultimately, we are responsible for assessing applications and products that are both sold and developed by Telstra, ensuring that they meet both our security requirements and protect our customer data.

How has your career evolved at Telstra?

I started at Telstra as a Summer Vacation student in our Mobiles space. Following that, I worked as a Graduate within our Mobiles Engineering teams, before moving into the Cyber Security team. Since then, I’ve been involved in Penetration Testing, both performing assessments, and more recently leading the team.

Are you able to give us an insight into any innovative projects you’re currently working on?

The sheer volume of work that we perform across the business means that we always have the opportunity to investigate and assess new and innovative products.

A key focus area at the moment is the movement towards Internet of Things (IoT) – and the development of new assessment methodologies to meet this growing area. Other developing areas include 5G, software defined networks and big data products.

What does a career path in Pen Testing look like at Telstra? 

Due to the size and scope of our team there are endless opportunities to develop yourself. From new graduates starting their journey, to our senior Penetration Testers with over 20 years’ experience, every day brings a new challenge, allowing our team to build up skills across multiple domains.

Additionally, because of the size and scope of our wider Cyber Security team, there are opportunities to develop into other areas of cyber security, giving you the ability to look at other domains that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to elsewhere.

Why do you enjoy working at Telstra? (And why should someone join our team?)

Telstra is incredibly flexible – in our team, we are lucky enough to have people across multiple states and locations, including a number of people who work in remote locations. The sheer size of Telstra also means that the opportunities are endless and that the opportunity to build your career across multiple domains and areas of the business is incredibly valuable.

Applications for this year’s Summer Vacation Program are opening soon. Find out more.


Starting a career in UX

Advice

Posted on June 11, 2019

3 min read

I’ve long been attracted to creative pursuits. But at the same time, I’ve always loved technology. For the longest time, we were taught these two fields were opposites – it was numbers and logic on one end, and creativity and expression on the other.

I thought the closest way for me to bring these two fields together was through a Bachelor of Game Design. So that’s what I studied first, and from that, I began working as a concept artist and environment designer for a game studio.

During this time, I found I wanted to do more with technology. I wanted to use technology not just for technology’s sake, but to improve the lives of other people. I wanted to solve real-world problems and create engaging experiences. So, I enrolled in a Master of Interaction Design at Monash University, and that was the start.

While doing my Masters, I got the opportunity to fine-tune my focus when I discoveredUX design. That, to me, felt truly like the best of both worlds. Through my studies, I created interactive prototypes and user experiences for use in the health, education, communications and lifestyle industries, which was incredibly rewarding because it was about making a real, tangible difference. I knew that I was going to pursue user experience and interaction design as a career.

The thing about user experience is that it isn’t limited to any specific sphere. When people think of user experience design, they immediately jump to interfaces and excellent customer service. But it’s far more diverse than that: we live in a world with many different technologies that allow for many different kinds of user experiences. UX designers can’t be stagnant. Nowadays there are so many modes of interaction, such as virtual reality and voice-based interaction as seen in products like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google home. With the rate technology is being developed and adopted, one of the greatest challenges I’ve found is that you need to not only be knowledgeable in UX practices, but also in the latest technologies and their limitations.

If I had to give a piece of advice to budding UX designers, it would be to remember that User Experience is not purely visual.

There’s a difference between UX and UI, and we must remember there’s such a huge variety of people in the world, and they are all going to interact with technology in different ways.

It’s important to not only keep up to date with the rapidly changing world of technology but also ensure that the experiences you are creating are inclusive, intuitive and a delight to use.

If you’re interested in this rewarding and challenging field, I definitely recommend attending a workshop or meet-up to find out first-hand what it’s like to work as a UX specialist. There are also many fantastic online resources to up-skill in UX design if you’re looking to bring user-centric practices into your existing work.

Being a UX designer is about meeting user’s needs and expectations. For making people’s lives just that bit smoother, there’s nothing better.

Interested in a tech career at Telstra? Explore opportunities now.