JavaScript is required

Stephanie's graduate story: generalist stream

After finishing her studies, Stephanie wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Getting to rotate into 3 different roles over the year gave her a true sense of the opportunities available in the public service.

Image of graduate with purple background behind

Pronouns: She/her/hers
Studied: Bachelor of Arts and Master of International Relations
Stream: Generalist
Home department: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)

About me

I was born and raised in Naarm (Melbourne). After graduating from high school, I initially enrolled in a Bachelor of Public Relations and lasted 2 weeks before deciding it wasn’t for me! I took a year off from study and saved up to go traveling. After coming home, I enrolled in an Arts degree – perfect for someone as indecisive about big life choices as I am! 

Outside of work, I’m often café-hopping, reading outside and cooking for friends and family. We’re so lucky to live in a city where there’s always something on, I’m always on the lookout for new shows, exhibitions or events. 

I’ve truly enjoyed my graduate year and intend to continue working in government. I’m excited to return to DEECA and continue building my knowledge of forest policy.  

What 'Working with purpose' means to me

'Work with purpose’ is participating in meaningful work that you find rewarding and fills your cup. I think everyone’s idea of that is unique to them, so it’s important to reflect on what motivates you to engage in the work you do. For me, working with purpose is intertwined with supporting our community and giving space to those who may not have a platform where their voices can be heard. 

Why I applied

I’d heard about the grad program at uni and it piqued my interest. I liked the idea of rotations across different departments to get a sense of the Victorian Public Service (VPS). 

I was a little nervous before beginning the grad program. I knew the learning curve would be steep and was bracing myself for brain fatigue. But once I started, all my nervousness subsided.  

Where I worked

My 3 rotations were: 

  • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) 
  • Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) 
  • Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR) 

My rotations offered me such different experiences. As an Arts graduate, I was nervous to be a part of DTF, but it was great and I didn’t feel at all like a fish out of water! 

I’ve worked on policy briefs, parliamentary questions, ministerial correspondence and drafting content. A highlight was taking part in the Emergency Services mixed netball round robin during my rotation at DEECA.  

I’m proud of how much I’ve learned, from all the acronyms to public speaking, to improving my Excel skills. And I’ve loved making new connections with fellow graduates and new colleagues across my rotations. It’s great having so many occasions to get to know other graduates in the program, to speak about our lives outside of work and get to know each other. 

Tell us about hybrid working

Hybrid is great! I really like going into the office to see my team. When you’re working from home, you miss out on those fleeting conversations you’d have in the office kitchen or speaking with the person at the desk next to you.  

Overall experience

I thought everyone would be so busy and wouldn’t have the time or capacity to work with a graduate, but I had the opposite experience. People have been so open about including me in their work so I can gain a broader and deeper understanding of the public sector.  

Advice for future applicants

If you’re feeling a little unsure of the direction of your career, I highly recommend applying for the program. I was extremely doubtful about applying – imposter syndrome is a very real thing! But if you don’t give it a shot, you’ll never know.  

My graduate year has been an invaluable experience. I’d encourage anyone, from any background, to apply. There’s something in the VPS for everyone.