Mollie's graduate story: economic consultancy stream

Entering through the economic consultancy stream, Mollie was determined to develop her business engagement skills and gain experience across different policy areas.

image of recent graduate Mollie

Pronouns: She/her/hers
Studied: Economics and science
Stream: Economic consultancy
Home department: Department of Treasury and Finance
How she describes herself: Sociable, adaptable, independent, genuine, respectful and perpetually confused

About me

I moved to Melbourne at the start of 2020 and enjoy exploring the city and catching up with friends. In my downtime, I paint and work with my hands. During the Coronavirus lockdown, I got creative by painting old shoes and clothes, and repairing furniture I found by the road. It was nice to have low stress and grounding activities to do.

Career wise, I want to explore more opportunities and roles within government. Long term, I plan to complete a master’s degree and investigate a career in the private sector or something else entirely. Maybe I’ll open a sandwich shop?

What I expected

Before applying, I was impressed by the inclusivity programs and work culture within the Victorian Public Service (VPS). I value inclusion and wanted to work for an employer that promoted equity and equality.

I was looking forward to the range of work offered by the program, and within the VPS. As a young professional, I wanted to gain experience in different policy areas. I thought I’d be doing administrative tasks and working long hours because I was a grad. Luckily, that was not the case.

What I experienced

I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly my team accepted me, actively inviting me to a wide range of meetings and pulling me into the working community. I was assigned relevant work early on, and my manager made time to support my learning and development.

I loved finishing a piece of work and sending it to my manager or director. They would always provide constructive feedback that helped me learn about government process and improve my work. I found that style of learning satisfying, and I appreciated their support, especially in the first few months. It made me feel motivated and positive about coming to work every day.

Who I worked with

In my first rotation I worked in the Department of Treasury and Finance in the Economic Division.

I worked with an experienced team on a research project looking into the effects of COVID-19 on the training market. It was great working on a topical research project and contributing to policy discussions.

By the end of my first rotation, I was being asked for advice on different policy areas. It felt great to be relied on for my knowledge and support.

For my second rotation I was with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions* in Jobs, Innovation and Business Engagement.

I’m proud of how I’ve grown as a professional and improved my business engagement skills and how I participated in group social activities that allowed me to meet people outside my team and learn more about policy.

Advice for future applicants

Make sure you read and think carefully about the criteria – it’s good to have some targeted answers and examples prepared.

A full workday can be unexpectedly tiring and sitting down all day is as bad for you as it sounds. Try to stand up regularly, go outside at lunchtime, and make time for semi-social activities.

Be flexible and ready to do any sort of work, but also keep an eye out for projects you really want to work on and ask for the support to do so. This program is meant to be a learning opportunity, don’t be afraid to take advantage of that.

*From 1 January 2023, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions was renamed the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions.