With companies investing a lot of time and effort to deliver high reaching intern and graduate programmes, gone are the days of interns feeling like an after thought or treated like a low cost employee option. More than ever, placements are seen as invaluable networking opportunities and high quality hands-on learning experiences in a field of interest.
We caught up with two of ANZ’s current graduates Chris Corbett and Grace Taikato to find out about their experience with the bank’s Technology team. Both joined the team last November as part of the Summer of Tech intern programme before successfully securing a place on the Bank’s Graduate Programme which kicked off in February and runs for 18 months.
Chris Corbett, 26, from Nelson, Bachelor of Science, majoring in Computer Science & Information Systems from Victoria University. Hugely interested in innovative technologies and sustainable practices, Chris enjoys finding solutions that meet these aspects through automation, machine learning and statistics
Grace Taikato, 21, from Stratford, Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Information Systems and Human Resource from Victoria University. Interested in all things The Cloud.
You both started with ANZ as participants in the Summer of Tech intern programme last November. What made you apply for with ANZ?
Chris: I’d heard great things about ANZ - particularly the friendly, flexible and respectful work environment. It’s the biggest tech shop in NZ, so I knew there’d be many different avenues to explore and the chance to pursue a wide range of interests.
Grace: Having both of my older siblings go through the ANZ Graduate Programme gave me a lot of insight into the work-life at ANZ. Hearing about the great culture and endless opportunities to try out a diverse range of roles in new situations put ANZ on the top of my list.
What were your first impressions?
Chris: I’ll be honest, I was nervous heading into the two-day group induction but, knowing the other 25 interns were in the same boat helped me relax; everyone was incredibly welcoming, helpful and kind.
After getting to know the ropes, I quickly felt involved and supported in delivering value to myteam – from talking to stakeholders and researching exciting topics, to coding actual solutions.
Grace: I had a similar warm start as Chris – it’s just how ANZ’s Tech team does it. There was a lot of support from the get-go making the transition from university to work-life significantly smoother than expected. It was exciting getting to know the other 25 interns especially as I thought there wouldn’t be so many!
What have you worked on to date?
Chris: Initially I worked with the Operational Tools & Services team (OTS), using monitoring systems and development tools to deliver value and analysis to teams working with different applications, systems and insights across the bank. One of my major projects was automating ANZ’s customer feedback channels – social media, app store reviews, surveys, emails, etc., shifting the data collection process from a manual to an automated one in order to feed the data directly into an analytics and visualisation tool in real time. This allows the stakeholder to redistribute the time saved to where it matters most – helping our customers.
I’ve since moved to the Data Integration team working with an external platform provider to transform our ability to access, update and analyse customer information. I feel more than just a grad – I’ve been using skills gained from the OTS team to create an error-log dashboard, and have been trusted to pick up technical stories in each sprint. While I still get the guidance and support offered to a grad, this trust makes me feel like a valued member of the team.
Grace: Over the summer I worked in the Transformation team where I was a business analyst for the Cloud Ready Programme. I was excited to be given this role as I had little experience and knowledge about the Cloud and was eager to learn more. Working closely with the team’s business analyst (BA), I’ve been helping work through analysing controls and putting together a step-by-step process for people to follow. It’s given me a great insight into what a BA’s job entails and I’ve learnt a lot about how ANZ is going to leverage cloud computing.
I have now started my first graduate rotation in the Operational Tools and Services Team (OTS) where I've picked up Jira requests relating to the our pipeline toolsets. It has been interesting for me to see both how the internal systems are managed and learn more about tooling at ANZ - a stark contrast from the role I had with the Transformation team.
How have you developed personally and professionally throughout your time with ANZ do you think?
Chris: It’s been such a great way to get the gist of life outside tertiary walls, and has given me awesome opportunities moving forward. Transitioning to ANZ’s 18-month graduate programme was very exciting – the opportunity to explore and diversify my skill set by working in different areas across the bank is fantastic.
Grace: ANZ has been the perfect environment to grow and test myself following tertiary studies. I knew my technical skills were something I wanted to work on and having the opportunity to attend hands on workshops has helped me develop these. It’s also given me the opportunity to develop a good work ethic, build my confidence and diversify my skills.
What surprised you the most about your work experience at ANZ?
Chris: I cannot describe how much the culture at ANZ was not what I expected. It’s flexible, fun, and has made me want to stay … it’s definitely not all work work work. There are so many opportunities to learn new skills, listen to very smart people, dive into technologies you’ve never heard of or broaden your experience with those you have. Not only that, but intern activities are abundant such as the chance to take part in the AWS Deepracer Machine Learning hackathon in February (pictured) - not only did we win but our car got round the track in a record time of 9.3 seconds … the fastest time ever recorded in NZ.
Grace: I had already heard about ANZ’s great approach to graduate programmes, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. Everyone is extremely supportive and wants to help you succeed by guiding you towards the path you want to take – the amount of support and mentoring to help me achieve my goals has been amazing and I’ve developed a lot of meaningful relationships with the other interns and grads.
Final thoughts for any future graduates?
Chris: It’s amazing how much you can learn when you just ask.Be opportunistic. Don’t be afraid to move sideways. Make good use of the intern/grad card.
Grace: Take every opportunity and make the most of it. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable and try new things. Have fun and enjoy all of the experiences