Where did you grow up? Tell us about some important stages of your life regarding school, experience abroad, jobs and so on.
Originally from South Africa, I grew up in a few different locations around Australia starting in Sydney, Brisbane and then finally the Gold Coast, where I currently reside. Following my graduation from Hillcrest Christian College, I began my study at the Gold Coast campus of Griffith University. IT had always been an interest of mine and an area that is constantly evolving, making my choice of degree relatively simple. Alongside my study, I worked a casual job, saving as much as possible. Upon graduating, I took the opportunity to travel over the course of six months during my gap year – an experience I would highly recommend.
How did you get to your current job position?
I have been in my current role at Fujitsu for just over one year as part of the Fujitsu Graduate Program, which I originally found advertised on one of many job search websites.
How did you choose your specialisation?
I jumped on the opportunity of working in the architecture space as soon as it was available. My original goal was to work my way up into an architecture position but this graduate role has allowed me to somewhat fast track that goal.
What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?
The interview process was straightforward, consisting of a ‘digital’ interview (record yourself answering questions) followed by an interview in person with two architects from Fujitsu. Some of the interview questions included problem-solving, basic networking, virtualisation and cloud computing.
What does your employer do?
Fujitsu provides IT managed services and equipment to large companies worldwide. Within Australia and New Zealand, we have clients in a wide variety of industries, which bears the opportunity to work on a range of new and exciting projects nationwide.
What are your areas of responsibility?
Over the past year, I have worked on multiple projects and have been given the opportunity to develop designs on some small projects as a technical architect. I also dedicated a large portion of my time to producing technology roadmaps for one of our large clients, which involves recommending steps that should be taken to optimise their IT environment as a whole. I am also responsible for continuously improving my own knowledge of both existing and emerging IT solutions, allowing me to develop a fresh perspective to apply in design work.
Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?
Each day can be completely different from the last (I find this enjoyable as it keeps you on your toes and exposes you to many different situations), which can involve anything from providing input on current business processes or attending project meetings/design workshops, to researching new technologies and solutions. I am currently working on designing a capacity management solution for a client, allowing the monitoring of file servers to ensure storage capacity is maintained at a stable level.
What are the career prospects with your job? Where could you or others in your position go from here?
Architecture spans across a variety of specialisations and can be applied across many different industries, giving you the opportunity to work on a range of different projects. You can specialise in a subset of technologies or focus more on business strategy at a higher level in the enterprise architecture space. I am hoping to work across a range of architecture roles to find the areas I enjoy most and where I can apply my skills most effectively.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
Quite the opposite of what I am doing now. Biology has always been a great interest of mine and was something I considered pursuing when I finished my schooling. If I hadn’t chosen IT, marine biology would have been another ideal career of mine.
What do you love most about your job? Which kind of tasks do you enjoy?
I love learning new things and there is no doubt that my last year in this role has allowed me to learn more than I did during my entire bachelor’s degree. I also enjoy problem-solving, which is why I have personally found solution designing to be the most satisfying part of my job.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Are stress levels high?
It is daunting to be in an architecture role as someone who has no prior experience in corporate IT. There is much to learn from the get-go and I have spent time outside of working hours trying to catch up on areas where I felt I was less knowledgeable. In saying that, although it can be stressful at times, I feel that it has benefited me greatly in my development as a professional. What better way is there to improve yourself at something than to practice it on a daily basis amongst experienced colleagues?
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?