Sky’s the limit for the City’s entry-level talent

Our training and development program sets up young people for a successful career.

The City of Sydney’s entry-level talent and development program gives participants first-hand workplace experience, boosts their confidence and makes for an agile, diverse workforce.

We spoke to 3 successful participants about the program, how they became involved and what the future holds.

Seela Lotam, business support officer

Tell us about your working or studying history before you started at the City

After completing high school in 2017, I started my career working in retail, followed by pick-packing in a warehouse, well aware that I had an unclear career mindset and goal.

I commenced my ArtsReady traineeship in 2018 at the City of Sydney, with a mindset to only gain as much skills, knowledge and experience as I could. I was successful enough to land a position at the City as a business support officer.

How did you find out about the City’s entry-level talent and development program?

I actually had no idea about the program.

Originally, I was seeking a career with an administrative focus. I came across a job advertisement for a business traineeship through the AFL SportsReady training organisation.

I applied successfully and was assigned to complete my traineeship with the City. Keep in mind I had close to no knowledge about the City at the time.

What’s the best thing about working at the City?

In my opinion, I feel like you’re learning literally every day!

Whether or not you’re an expert in your field, you’re always given the opportunity to better your expertise and increase your skills and knowledge. The City offers free short courses to allow you to grow and learn. The City genuinely cares for your educational growth, whether at entry level or as an expert.

Also, the City is intellectually fulfilling and you’re always working in a friendly and collaborative team environment.

Innovation, recognition of work, and diversity are 3 key words that come into mind when thinking about the City.

What will you take away from the experience?

Although I faced a few challenges during the entry level program, the outcome was definitely great and 100% beneficial.

I would definitely be able to take away the new processes that I learnt, including all the once in a lifetime experiences that I was provided with.

It’s only thanks to my role as a trainee that I can say I have almost aced some of the processes that I am responsible for.

I will definitely take away a piece of the City and know that I made a difference.

What would you say to others considering entering the program?

I have consistently learnt throughout my traineeship and even now as an employee at the City.

The training provided is unlike any other. It includes a vast amount of support from your training organisers and the City.

The program allows you to work in a multi-disciplinary, professional and diverse team environment, delegating real responsibilities to you, treating you like an expert, with so much respect, and also recognising your efforts.

The City lets you tell your story, and the program lets you have a story to tell.

Allan Olan, graduate - diversity and inclusion project officer

Tell us about your working history before you joined the City of Sydney

I graduated with an events management degree at UTS. I’ve always had a passion for business, particularly in planning a project from start to finish. I guess I have a knack for controlling things as well as time managing my day-to-day routines.

Throughout university, I worked in retail and hospitality, sometimes working 2 jobs in 1 day. I like to think my customer service experience has equipped me to work with others efficiently.

How did you find out about the program?

I found this role on LinkedIn and instantly applied.

What’s the best thing about working at the City?

The team I work with has been nothing but supportive and helpful. The City has a pool of staff who may not even be in your team but is very nice and friendly. I also want to note that the learning opportunities here are great! Classes to learn Excel are a bonus!

What will you take away from the experience?

However minor but important is the day to day office etiquette that no one teaches you. Things as simple as cleaning up the dishwasher when it’s done, starting it when it’s full or saying, ‘hey, how are you?’ to people on your floor you don’t even know.

What would you say to others considering entering the program?

Have a switched-on mind and don’t procrastinate. If there’s no work to do, find work and keep looking. Eventually you’ll fall into a space where you’re learning. Keep building momentum in what you do and don’t ever be complacent.

What are your career goals? Where do see yourself in 5 years?

To be in a profession I’m happy with and extremely good at. In 5 years time I hope I’m happy with my life, I’ve moved out, living in my own apartment and sharing it with my future dog, Rossco.

Lillian Xue, graduate project manager

Tell us about your studying history before you started at the City.

After completing the HSC in 2013, I graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies at the University of NSW in 2017.

While working full time at the City, I started my Masters in Construction Project Management at the University of NSW, estimated to be completed in semester 1, 2020.

How did you find out about the program?

An online job search platform.

What’s the best thing about working at the City?

I love that the City and all its staff value the importance of maintaining a good work-life balance! My colleagues and managers have been very supportive during my stressful journey undertaking a masters while working full time and I could not be more thankful.

What will you take away from the experience?

I have gained great deal of knowledge about the construction industry and processes involved with working with the City as the client. I have also learned the value of working for an organisation that prioritises and sets a positive example in all aspects relating to social equity and protecting our environment.

What would you say to others considering entering the program?

Do it! You won’t regret it! This graduate program has been an invaluable experience and has allowed me the flexibility to balance study and work which is a great step into the next leg of my career.

What are your career goals? Where do see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to progress into a project manager role within the next 5 years with some experience in the commercial industry. The day that I leave the City will be a bittersweet feeling as I’ve really grown to love working here.

Entries for 2020 close on Friday 27 December 2019.

Find out more about the City’s entry-level talent and development program.

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