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  • #7 in Technology
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Hansika Vats

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – the world is not going to end if something goes wrong, it may just take a little bit more time to bounce back. Having the courage to ask for help will keep you calmer than trying to figure things out on your own.

What's your job about?

Optus aims for a better and more connected future for Australia via telecommunications. As an IT Graduate, I rotate through various teams in the IT department to develop my skills and explore what my future career could be.

Projects I work on are business-facing, but from the IT space. I am currently leading a project within the Communications and Change team, which has seen me create and own the comms plan, draft the materials, seek the required approvals, and ensure our plan stays on schedule. Part of my role also has me liaising with the project teams to ensure all changes implemented are clearly communicated to the business. After projects are launched, I assist the team in any support the business may need, whether that is providing with further updates, or answering questions my colleagues may have. Working on different projects has allowed me to work with various members of the executive team and learn about different leadership styles and skills.

What's your background?

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia but I am of Indian descent. I attended Macquarie University, starting out in Psychology because I have always been curious about what makes people tick. After one semester I transferred to IT (majoring in Information Systems and Business Analysis), which was another passion of mine and I realised that was where my heart truly was. When Macquarie University introduced the Cyber Security major, a lightbulb went off, I could combine my love of IT and trying to figure out why people do what they do.

Being the only female in the majority of my classes was always daunting and made me feel afraid of what my career might throw at me… and if I could handle it. My first job was a cadetship in the State Government during the last two years of my degree. That cadetship prepared me for the corporate world, not just with technical skills, but in developing soft skills.

When applying for Graduate positions, Optus was at the top of my list. I remember going to the Assessment Centre, and for the first time ever I thought to myself, “I can really see myself working here”. Coming into Optus, I threw my ‘work persona’ out the window because we are encouraged to be ourselves, and I truly feel I have continuously been supported and encouraged to reach for my goals. I have been at Optus for a short time now, and I have learnt so much already.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes. It would help to have some knowledge in your area, but Optus provides so much support and learning opportunities that you are able to readjust your knowledge to deliver what is required. And people are very helpful and willing to support your growth. Soft skills are a must to succeed at Optus; having a team player attitude, being adaptable, open to feedback, and possessing good time management are all extremely useful.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

One of my favourite things about being at Optus is the abundance of training on offer. Each year Optus holds a ‘Learning Fiesta’, a carnival of free soft skills training! There are also other resources available to us anytime with materials to develop our technical skills and even to prepare you for different types of certification. In IT, we also have weekly ‘lunch and learn’ sessions on different topics or projects we are exploring. It has been great to see that the leadership team have not only introduced these resources, but they strongly encourage to learn whenever possible!

What are the limitations of your job?

It does get difficult at times. In a fast-paced environment and changes are often made quickly, meaning you might need to stay online a little longer to update something from time to time. I also think that as a grad, it can be a little daunting to lead a project – it’s quite a lot of responsibility! But even with so much responsibility, it is comforting to know that I have a great support system in my team, ready to provide guidance at any time.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Talk to people – ice breaker activities are actually a blessing.
  • Be assertive – you’ll regularly have to make difficult decisions. If you are leading something and believe in it, stand your ground… even if someone senior tries to change your agenda.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – the world is not going to end if something goes wrong, it may just take a little bit more time to bounce back. Having the courage to ask for help will keep you calmer than trying to figure things out on your own.