One of the biggest things I learned in the Graduate Program during COVID-19 was also the biggest challenge: communication and networking skills. We worked from home for the majority of the year and had to learn to communicate with senior managers, clients and consultants without being face-to-face.
The support and responsibility varied in each rotation. In some there was a lot, and in others it was more about stepping up and taking the lead, being your own cheerleader. A lot of managers took different approaches. Some would help you as much as they could and others would help you to motivate yourself. It was a constant learning environment.
The variety of work I was exposed to was really interesting. Seeing how the different areas of the business interact with each other, what kind of work they do separately and what they do together and how the different pieces move around depending on the projects.
One of the most helpful things for me were the weekly briefings with one of the directors in Urban. Even though we were all working from home and I was in a new environment, the regular catchups helped us connect with each other as a team and appreciate the breadth of work the team is exposed to.
What I didn’t expect was how important mental health was to the company. The emphasis on taking time to check-in with yourself and managing overtime and workloads. Compared to some of the other places I’ve worked with, it was a refreshing take on work-life balance.
I was heavily involved with APP4Me and lead a few of the initiatives: Dressed for Success; the mental health seminar; World’s Greatest Shave; and Lunchtime Legends up until it was cancelled due to COVID. I loved being a part of the APP initiatives and will continue to be involved.
At the end of the program, I was excited to be offered a position within the Urban Development & Environment team where I’m currently working on several parks and public spaces projects as well as a Master Plan.
I’m very open to the new challenges I am faced with every day and learning as much as I can whilst expanding my networks.