What's your job about?
I knew I wanted to work for Nova Systems before graduating university. Nova is a professional service provider, specialising in engineering and management services for industry, defence and government. Nova works across an array of industry domains, such as Fixed Wing and Rotary, Maritime, Energy and Resources, and Transport and Infrastructure, just to name a few. Then there are domains in which Nova is creating new market avenues such as Health, and my personal favourite, Space. I have gained insight on the business development process by directly working with project managers and decision makers, contributing in order to continually add value to the team, inspiring me to be a future leader myself. Coupled with space industry work is my commitment to help bring about digital transformation within Nova. I work with the Digital Engineering team using a suite of customised software tools and processes to enable more effective solutions to client problems. The work overall can have a start-up feel, yet as I am sometimes working with well-established companies and reputations, there is a lot of responsibility to carry out the actions assigned in a manner that will progress that overall vision into a reality.
What's your background?
I am a proud ‘Adelaidian’ – Adelaide born and bred! Over the course of my life I have always sought to diversify my experience: my global journey began through two international school exchanges to Japan and Italy after studying those languages, which tapped open the ‘curiosity well’ and led to more travelling and recently, South America and hiking the Inca Trail. My parents came from modest backgrounds, and they were the first generation to attend university. I saw the fields of engineering and science as the most dynamic, with many branches of relating work streams and opportunities all over the world. Upon meeting some Nova employees in my time as a student, I quickly realised the level of expertise and diversity of experience held within the company. This immediately triggered my interest, as I wanted to work for a company that embodied my values of work ethic and quality to solve big-picture problems. Since applying, I have enjoyed a year’s work with Nova thus far. I have always been inquisitive by nature, but emotionally as well as analytically; my childhood was shaped by years in musical theatre which was then overhauled when I joined Air Force Cadets – I have always wanted to be doing something that involves both the mental and physical, because those are the times at which I feel most alive and satisfied. These days I compliment my work, which relies heavily on diligent, focussed detail, with bouldering and rope climbing to achieve a sense of exhilaration and distraction.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Certainly, someone with a different STEM-background, shaped by differing yet relevant life experiences, could do my job. However, having the qualification is only one piece of the puzzle. The other half is having the passion, dedication and delicacy to work on projects with multiple stakeholders, across organisations. Inner drive and having the appropriate type and level of experience to fall back on is also important. Completing training courses and applying for multi-disciplinary opportunities is a great way to build your portfolio and practice adjusting the lens on your unique perspective!
What's the coolest thing about your job?
My job enables me to engage with different types of industry professionals and gives me an overarching perspective on the kinds of challenges that are facing the world today. From this, I can conduct engineering work using novel, and sometimes pioneering methods, with the understanding of how it will progress digital transformation initiatives to manage complexity. Being among the first to be trained in these techniques, I still get to test my analytics and programming skills whilst being included to help shape the structural approach to work in this area for future employees.
What are the limitations of your job?
As a consultant and industry professional, there is always a lot of responsibility. You must uphold the integrity and match the work ethic of your company, which for me has sometimes meant working on weekends. From someone who needs time to be creative, the lack of alone time or fatigue associated with work travel has a tendency to encroach on work-life balance. Luckily Nova has a strong company culture which encourages a healthy work-life balance to limit the number of times a ‘surge’ in workload occurs.
My three pieces of advice would be: