JavaScript is required

Mark's graduate story: generalist stream

Mark was unsure where he wanted to go after finishing his studies in criminology. He was drawn to the variety the rotations offered as well as the insight they could provide to how government works.

Image of male graduate in front of blue background

Pronouns: He/him/his
Studied: Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Criminology
Stream: Generalist
Home department: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)

About me

My background is pretty conventional. I went straight to uni from high school, I finished my Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Criminology) and did an Honours year in Criminology. I’m keen to go back one day and get my PhD in Criminology. I think research has a big role to play in rigorous policymaking, and I’d love to keep working at that intersection. 

Outside of work, I love everything to do with music. I learned piano growing up and I’m a big Mariah Carey fan. I’m also a bit of a foodie – I have a huge list of places I’ve been meaning to visit and drag friends out to. 

What ‘Working with purpose’ means to me 

I think there’s 2 layers. The first is choosing a job or profession that makes the most of who you are as a person, tapping into your values, skills and expertise. The second is being able to contribute to your community through your work. 

Why I applied

The grad program seemed like a great first step after graduating, particularly to gain a range of experiences across the public service. I feel like building that broad base of experience is important for an Arts graduate because it can help frame your thinking about a future career.  

Where I worked

My 3 rotations were: 

  • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) 
  • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) 
  • Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) 

In my rotations I got to see different stages of government processes, for example, starting in a project team at a line agency, then a central team in a line agency, then a shadow branch in a central agency.  

My second rotation wasn’t one I’d have chosen for myself, but it helped me learn a lot about government processes. I got to see a lot of products move from individual teams all the way up to the Secretary’s office. I’m really proud of the work I did on a big refresh of budget reporting processes across Fairer Victoria. This was all character-building to say the least!  

Tell us about hybrid working 

I think it’s great that each team I worked in thought critically about when they needed us to be in person and what being in person should ideally achieve – so when you do come in, it’s worthwhile. I’d say it pays off to approach your work planning in a similar way, choose your days in the office thoughtfully. 

Overall experience

The grad year was challenging in ways I expected. It can be intimidating to be the most junior person in a team, and it took me a while to get confident enough to express myself. But I learned a lot over the course of the program about how to navigate these challenges. I learned how to say yes to things and no to things. I also discovered that work isn’t everything – most people in the public service are surprisingly chill, despite the serious nature of our work.  

Advice for future applicants

Go for it, you’ve got nothing to lose. And seeing how government works from the inside is valuable no matter what you want to do with your life.