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CSL

4.2
  • #2 in Pharmaceuticals
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

CSL Graduate Programs & Internships

  • Pharmaceuticals

What it does: Develops biotherapies
Staff stats: 32,000 globally
The good bits: Doing interesting and important work
The not so good bits: Only has offices in one (Australian) city

The CSL story

Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) was established by the Australian Government in 1916, in the middle of World War One as a direct result of being unable to secure medical supplies during the war. CSL was initially housed in laboratories at the Melbourne Hospital but soon moved into purpose-built premises in Parkville, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

During the eight decades it was in government hands, CSL developed snake antivenoms, helped to develop or produce vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio and human papillomavirus, and pioneered heat treatments to prevent blood and blood products becoming infected with HIV. CSL also produced insulin, penicillin and influenza virus vaccine as well as holding the deed for pandemic preparedness and response. CSL has long been an industry leader in plasma products and is the official plasma manufacturer of Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.  
The Keating Government privatised CSL in 1994. In 2000 it doubled in size as a result of its purchase of ZLB from the Swiss Red Cross. Four years later, it went through another growth spurt after acquiring the French -German medical company Aventis Behring. In 2014, CSL bought Novartis’s influenza-vaccine business, combining it with bioCSL to create Seqirus. (CSL Behring and Seqirus are the subsidiaries of CSL Limited which is the corporate entity listed on the ASX).

CSL is Australia’s biggest biotech success story and one of this nation’s largest public companies. It’s still headquartered in Parkville and remains committed to researching, developing and manufacturing medicines in Australia. That noted, its various acquisitions mean it now has facilities in the US, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, China and Japan. CSL supplies medicines to more than 30 countries. It describes itself as “a global biotechnology leader which develops and delivers innovative medicines that save lives, protect public health and help people with life-threatening medical conditions live full lives”.
In 2020, CSL had revenue of just over US$9 billion (A$12.1 billion).

The culture

CSL is “committed to creating a workplace environment where employees can fulfil their individual career aspirations and potential and are inspired by a purpose-driven organisation with a values-based culture”. 

CSL’s workforce skews female but males are overrepresented in management roles and on the board which has three female non-executive Directors. CSL aims to create an “inclusive work environment where people have equitable access to career opportunities, training and benefits” regardless of their “gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, generation/age, socio-economic status [or] religious beliefs”. 

Social contribution

The medicines CSL has created have saved or improved countless lives over the last century. CSL contributes to “humanitarian programs and relief efforts around the world”. It provides “monetary or product donations, sponsorships, research and education grants and scholarships as well as in-kind support to worthy and credible non-profit organisations”. It also matches and supports “charity contributions made by our employees to NFPs”.

The company seeks to minimise its environmental impact. It chiefly does this by “protecting and conserving the energy, water and other natural resources that are essential inputs to the production of our therapies”.

The vibe of the place

Want to work for a Melbourne-based, world-leading biotech company with a values-based (those values being “collaboration, innovation, integrity, patient focus and superior performance”) culture? Excited by the idea of being able to “pursue meaningful work, realise your potential and grow your career”? If so, CSL might be the right place for you.  

From the employer:

"The CSL (Australia) Graduate Program is a two-year program focused on providing you with career opportunities within our global businesses.

Our program is a chance for you to work alongside and learn from a diverse group of professionals who are leaders in their field. As a CSL Graduate you will be given:

  • Tailored rotations (across functions options for those in Engineering, Quality, Manufacturing)
  • Practical experience
  • Real projects with real responsibilities
  • On-the-job technical training
  • Exposure to various teams and functions across the business -locally and globally
  • Structured coaching and regular performance feedback
  • Focused career development
  • Specialist development activities

At CSL, we recognise the importance of having highly skilled and committed employees, our structured two-year development program is focused on growing your personal and professional skills from the moment you join our program including:

  • Graduate specific orientation plan
  • Ongoing exposure to senior leaders
  • Graduate Alumni Program
  • Buddy Program
  • Mentoring Program with a senior leader
  • Building Competencies & Individual profiling learning
  • Business Innovation Challenge
  • Career Transition

What we are looking for:

  • Your ability to drive results and exceed expectations
  • Your ability to demonstrate self-awareness
  • Your capability to adapt to change
  • Effective communication and the capacity to work collaboratively
  • Your ability to clearly express your technical knowledge"

Recruitment Process

The recruitment process

CSL recruits grads with a background in:

  • Accounting/Business/Commerce/Economics/Finance
  • Engineering (including biomedical, chemical, mechanical, process)
  • Supply Chain, Logistics
  • Science (particularly biotechnology, chemistry, immunology, microbiology or pharmaceutical science)

CSL seeks grads with at least a credit average who:

  • Demonstrate self-awareness
  • Adapt to change
  • Express technical knowledge clearly
  • Communicate effectively and work collaboratively
  • Drive results and exceed expectations

On top of all that, you’ll need demonstrated work experience throughout university (non-professional) and to pass a medical assessment and National Police Check. You’ll also have to be willing to be based in Melbourne and be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand.

The CSL selection process involves the following five stages: online application > online cognitive ability testing > online video and behavioural assessment > assessment-centre visit > face-to-face interviews.

If you jump all those hurdles, you’ll be offered a place in CSL’s two-year grad program. All grads are paired with a buddy and mentor. Grads receive “focused career development, incorporating on-the-job technical training and specialist development activities [such as] job rotations that provide exposure to various teams and functions across the business, providing a strong technical foundation and learning”.

Remuneration & Career Growth

Remuneration

CSL is essentially a manufacturing company. The company doesn’t provide any details about grad salaries but appear to be high enough to prevent many online complaints. CSL staff have access to flexible work arrangements, study assistance and an employee share plan. 

Career prospects

CSL has recently rolled out a comprehensive career-development program to allow staff “to develop skills and capabilities at every stage of their career”. Grads do tailored rotations where they take part in “real projects” and are given “real responsibilities”. They also receive structured coaching and regular feedback. If you’re interested in working overseas, CSL has a ‘Global Mobility Program’ that matches interested staff with international assignments.

      Graduate Reviews

      Overall Score
      4.2
      Overall score based on 14 reviews
      They Score Best in…
      8.3
      Management
      8.4
      Office Work Environment
      9.1
      Salary
      8.4
      Work Hours
      8.3
      Management
      8.4
      Office Work Environment
      9.1
      Salary
      8.4
      Work Hours
      What Graduates Say About Them
      • Working on products that make a difference to peoples lives. Support network. Grad network. The new CSL Melbourne building and labs. Opportunities to grow. Personal development. 8 month (longer) rotations allow you to delve deeper
      • Hand on experiences, the company/industry as a whole is something I've been passionate about my whole life, meeting lots of different people, being challenged intellectually daily and contributing to higher level issues
      • Flexibility and support from other employees. The salary is also a plus and tends to increase every year.
      • Large graduate cohort allows for strong support network. Global growth company allows for many opportunities for career progression. Working on projects that have a direct positive social influence.
      • The people at the company are amazing. They are super friendly and always open to helping out when they can. I like that they allow graduates to have responsibility and learn through experience and mistakes.
      • Due to the nature of the business, there can be a lot going on at certain times and a lot of urgent tasks that can put people under pressure.
      • Everyone has lots of conflicting priorities, so it can be challenging to try and get all the relevant stakeholders engaged in some projects.
      • Lots of procedural hurdles to get tasks over the line.
      • Too much paperwork
      • It can be disorganised at times and difficult to get information from people in a timely manner.

      Jobs & Opportunities

      Locations With Jobs & Opportunities
      • Broadmeadows, Parkville, Tullamarine, Melbourne - CBD
      Hiring candidates with qualifications in
      B
      Business & Management
      E
      Engineering & Mathematics
      M
      Medical & Health Sciences
      S
      Sciences
      I
      IT & Computer Science
      Current Jobs & Opportunities

      Internship, Clerkship or Placement

      Melbourne
      Do work that matters! Help us deliver on our promise to save lives and protect the health of people around the world!
      Applications Close
      7 Jul 2024
      Start Date
      25 Nov 2024
      Salary
      AUD 50,000 - 55,000 / Year

      $12,500 - $14,500 (pro-rated for the internship period of 10 weeks)

      Graduate Job

      Melbourne
      Do work that matters! Help us deliver on our promise to save lives and protect the health of people around the world!
      Applications Close
      4 Aug 2024
      Start Date
      12 Feb 2025
      Salary
      AUD 85,000 - 88,000 / Year

      Graduate Success Stories


      • Graduate stories
      Mitch Winzer studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics & International Commerce) at Monash University and is now a Risk & Vulnerability Sourcing Specialist at CSL.

      Mitch Winzer

      • Graduate stories
      Mitch Winzer studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics & International Commerce) at Monash University and is now a Risk & Vulnerability Sourcing Specialist at CSL.

      Mitch Winzer

      • Graduate stories
      Ivy Weng studied B.Sci – Bioengineering Systems, M.E – Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and is now a Process Engineer at CSL.

      Ivy Weng

      • Graduate stories
      Ivy Weng studied B.Sci – Bioengineering Systems, M.E – Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and is now a Process Engineer at CSL.

      Ivy Weng

      • Graduate stories
      Mitch Winzer studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics & International Commerce) at Monash University and is now a Risk & Vulnerability Sourcing Specialist at CSL.

      Mitch Winzer

      • Graduate stories
      Mitch Winzer studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics & International Commerce) at Monash University and is now a Risk & Vulnerability Sourcing Specialist at CSL.

      Mitch Winzer

      • Graduate stories
      Ivy Weng studied B.Sci – Bioengineering Systems, M.E – Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and is now a Process Engineer at CSL.

      Ivy Weng

      • Graduate stories
      Ivy Weng studied B.Sci – Bioengineering Systems, M.E – Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and is now a Process Engineer at CSL.

      Ivy Weng


      A Day In The Life Of


      • Day in the life

      Ariel Mukherjee

      Ariel Mukherjee studied Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle and is now a Quality Associate at CSL.
      • Day in the life

      Ariel Mukherjee

      Ariel Mukherjee studied Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle and is now a Quality Associate at CSL.
      • Day in the life

      Joseline Anthonisamy

      Joseline Anthonisamy studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) at Monash University and is now a Sourcing & Procurement Graduate at CSL.
      • Day in the life

      Joseline Anthonisamy

      Joseline Anthonisamy studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) at Monash University and is now a Sourcing & Procurement Graduate at CSL.
      • Day in the life

      Ariel Mukherjee

      Ariel Mukherjee studied Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle and is now a Quality Associate at CSL.
      • Day in the life

      Ariel Mukherjee

      Ariel Mukherjee studied Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) at the University of Newcastle and is now a Quality Associate at CSL.
      • Day in the life

      Joseline Anthonisamy

      Joseline Anthonisamy studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) at Monash University and is now a Sourcing & Procurement Graduate at CSL.
      • Day in the life

      Joseline Anthonisamy

      Joseline Anthonisamy studied a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting & Finance) at Monash University and is now a Sourcing & Procurement Graduate at CSL.

      Videos


      CSL Internship Program

      Hear it straight from our interns about what it's like to be part of our award-winning Internship Program!

      CSL Graduate Program

      Hear from our graduates about what it's like to be part of our award-winning Graduate Program!

      CSL Internship Program

      Hear it straight from our interns about what it's like to be part of our award-winning Internship Program!

      CSL Graduate Program

      Hear from our graduates about what it's like to be part of our award-winning Graduate Program!