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Graduate story: Evelyn's experience as a Victoria Government graduate

Evelyn hadn’t considered a career as a public servant and had no idea what to expect. She quickly realised it was a supportive environment where she could thrive.

Stream: Project delivery
Home department: Department of Transport
Studied: Civil Engineering
How she describes herself: Sincere, Organised, Friendly, Reliable, Optimistic and Energetic
Pronouns: She/her/hers

About Evelyn

I’m a sister, a daughter, a barista and a foodie. Places with great coffee and food excite me and my weekends are spent trying different places to eat.

I’m passionate about improving the transport network and infrastructure services, so I’m extremely interested in pursuing a career in this area. And here I am, making my dream come true! In the future, I’d like to be an expert in my field and continue to serve the community.

What I expected

I never considered being a public servant when I was studying, but I was excited to learn about the Victorian Government graduate program. I realised this was where I could make a difference to local communities.

I had zero experience with the public service before I started so I couldn’t picture what it would be like. I knew it would be different to what I’d done in the past, but I was excited because my dream job is working on infrastructure projects.

What I experienced

After my first day, I knew it was going to be a challenging year and the learning curve would be steep.

In my first week, I felt genuinely welcomed by the whole team and I continue to feel my contributions are valued. Over time I saw a culture of respect and a willingness to help each other which makes everyone feel included. Working in a diverse and supportive environment helped me approach my work with purpose and confidence.

In the office, I valued the coffee catch ups with my colleagues. They helped me relax and prepare for the day. It was a great opportunity to learn from my peers and ask questions in a casual and relaxed way, along with plenty of laughs.

Who I worked with

My home department was the Department of Transport (DOT). I was in the Rolling Stock Development Division, responsible for transport services such as metropolitan trains, trams and regional carriages.

My second rotation was with the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS). I worked in the Emergency Service Infrastructure Authority (ESIA) under the Community Safety Building Authority (CSBA). They’re responsible for managing and delivering critical emergency services infrastructure projects.

I was surprised by the breadth of support networks; colleagues, the grads cohort, the Victorian Public Service Commission (VPSC) team, the executives, etc. It was great knowing I could get the support I needed at any time. And I appreciated all the encouragement I was given. It’s one of the reasons I continue to feel safe and comfortable in my role. Everyone cares about your personal growth and wellbeing.

How I worked in 2020

I wish I’d known my home would be my primary workplace - I would have bought less work clothes! 

My department was very supportive during lockdown, providing home office equipment, step-by-step guides on setting up my home office and making sure I was comfortable.

We had virtual events to help us adjust including random coffee catch ups and a work from home photo competition (the prize was 2 rolls of toilet paper, how exciting). It helped us feel connected and get to know each other better.

Working from home has helped me better manage my time and balance my work and personal life.

Advice for anyone thinking of applying

I highly recommend the graduate program, it’s interesting and a great career development opportunity. It provides a clear structured career pathway and opens possibilities. If you have a passion for helping people and believe in improving people’s lives, this is the graduate program for you.

Reviewed 30 March 2021

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