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Meet our graduates

Qantas

Check out what our grads have to say about the inside goss of grad life at Qantas and find out more about their exciting experiences. Also meet a couple of our previous grad alumni and look at where the Qantas Grad program can take you: 

Steve Clinch

Steve John Clinch

Name: Steve John Clinch
Degree: Master of Professional Accounting – University of Technology, Sydney
Rotations: Group Reporting, Insight and Finance & Domestic Customer & Commercial
Current Finance Rotation: Centre of Finance Excellence, Associated Airlines – Decision Support

Why did you choose the Qantas Graduate Program?

I was a current employee of Qantas prior to applying for the finance graduate program, working for the last 15 years in an operational role. I decided to make a career change and went back to University to study Accounting. The Qantas Graduate Program enabled me to combine my passion for working in the airline industry and apply the skills I had developed throughout my degree. Being able to continue to work for an Australian iconic company has always appealed to me.

The ability to rotate through 4 different areas within the Finance department is a huge bonus, gaining a detailed understanding of the business from various aspects, giving me greater insight and direction to shape my career path within Qantas.

What was your biggest misconception about working for an airline?

 The depth of the airline industry is immense and with that comes the need for a greatly diverse workforce. Since commencing the graduate program I have had the opportunity to network and learn vital skills from people with vastly different career backgrounds. I am gaining greater insight each week into the many niche departments and special project teams that you would only discover upon working in the airline industry, that contribute to the overall success of the business.

What do you get up to in your rotations?

I actively get involved in preparing monthly performance reports for the CFO, as well as half year and annual reports published publically. I also have the opportunity to be part of the contract review process for Qantas, analysing from an accounting perspective.

What support do you get?

As a grad there is great deal of support available to you to ensure your entry into the corporate world is a smooth transition from university/previous work life. A graduate program manager is your point of contact for the two year program. Each rotation you are allocated a rotation manager that is able to offer you the guidance and experience to realise your objectives for the rotation. There is also a buddy system in place, whereby on orientation you are paired with a buddy. 

Any surprises?

The level of opportunity within the Finance department is vast and the opportunity to work on exciting projects that I would never even have considered before commencing the program. The Graduate program at Qantas is held with high regard within the Qantas workforce and it has been great to meet so many former grads who have pathed out exciting careers for themselves within Qantas. Fellow colleagues are keen to share their knowledge with grads. 

Tips for those applying for the Qantas Graduate Program?

Study hard and apply yourself at University. The Qantas Grad program is highly competitive so prepare yourself for the interview selection process. Research the current Qantas business plan and strategy and apply the knowledge gained to how you can have a positive impact on the business. Great interpersonal and communication skills are highly important as all rotations involve working in a team environment.

Bronte Courtney

Bronte Courtney

Name: Bronte Courtney
Rotations: Group Organisational Development; Small Medium Enterprise Sales
Degree: Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
Current Rotation: Base Operations

Why did you choose the Qantas Graduate Program?

Above all, it was my passion for travel and the aviation industry that motivated me to pursue the Qantas Graduate Program. I was really excited by the opportunity to work in a dynamic and energetic industry, and I knew the Qantas brand was something I'd be proud to be a part of.

The Graduate Program provides a unique opportunity to explore different career paths, and as someone who wasn't sure of exactly what they wanted to do when they finished university, this really appealed to me. 

What was your biggest misconception about working for an airline?

There is so much more to an airline than just planes. The Qantas Group encompasses almost every profession, from Sales experts, to Doctors, engineers, lawyers, data analysts, HR professionals, IT specialists and more.  The diversity of people, backgrounds, experiences and expertise at Qantas makes it a truly remarkable company to work for. 

What was the coolest part of being a Qantas Graduate?

I love being part of my Graduate cohort. Not only have I been able to share my ideas and experiences with others, but I've also created life-long friendships.

You're also given real responsibility from Day 1 and exposed to exciting, high-profile projects as a grad. In my first rotation I helped to organise a three-day offsite development program for our executive leaders, and in my second rotation I worked on the launch of 'Qantas Business Rewards' - our new loyalty program for Small to Medium businesses.

How has being part of the Graduate Program supported your career path through Qantas?

Working in different areas of the business has allowed me to build a well-rounded skillset and a holistic understanding of the Qantas group, both of which will prepare me to transition into a permanent role at the end of the program.

Exposure to different teams, as well as being supported by a Graduate buddy and mentor, has also helped me to build a strong professional network.

What tips do you have for those applying for the Qantas Graduate Program?

Be confident but humble. Demonstrate a positive attitude and a learning mindset. Be yourself and showcase what you will bring to the program!

Katrina Arkell

Katrina Arkell

Name: Katrina Arkell
Graduate Cohort: 2009
Rotations: Generalist HR experience in Commercial Planning & in our New Zealand business; HR Shared Services; Industrial Relations
Degree: Bachelor of Business (HR Major)
Current Role: HR Manager (Flight Operations)

Why did you choose the Qantas Graduate Program?

It’s cliché but true – I knew from the start that I wanted a grad role in an organisation that I believed in and would be proud to say I worked for.  Plus, I was banking on the fact that I would get to work across a whole range of areas, in both operational and corporate teams, which is exactly what happened.

What was your biggest misconception about working for an airline?

I definitely underestimated the size and complexity – i.e. the number of people across so many departments in over 30 ports around the world that come together every day to deliver for our customers.  In one day, we move over 160,000 people on over 1,000 passenger flights; we serve over 133,000 meals; and we move over 73,000 pieces of luggage and over 4,000 shipments of freight.

What was the coolest part of being a Qantas Graduate?

As a graduate there’s a lot of focus on getting to know as many parts of the business as possible, not just through your rotations but also through regular ‘excursions’ where I flew an A380 under the harbour bridge (don’t worry, it was in a simulator…), got trained in evacuating an aircraft (again, exercise only) and helped prepare meals in our Catering Centre.

How has being part of the Graduate Program supported your career path through Qantas?

As you would probably expect, as a grad you will feel very well supported through your Managers and colleagues, and through the additional experiences and development opportunities that you get by being part of a formal program.  But in a more informal way, one of the best things that continues to help me with career decisions post the grad program have been the relationships I’ve made with previous Managers but also just as importantly, with my fellow grads and peers.

What tips do you have for those applying for the Qantas Graduate Program?

  • Be yourself – authenticity is important
  • Be unique – think about what sets you apart from others and make sure you highlight that
  • Be confident, but not over-confident (there’s a big difference!)

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