Heather's story

Heather Wallace

Your Name: Heather Wallace

Your Job Title: BT Graduate

Degree qualification: Bachelor of IT (Major - Computer Science)

Year of graduation: 2016

What is your job? What do you do day-to-day?

As part of Cloud Hosting my job is to support the team by helping to streamline and automate our daily business processes. Our team provides cloud solutions and technology to the company, that includes support for our internal customers across a wide range of departments. The more we can refine our procedures the more efficiently we can provide new services.

What's your story/background? Your journey in Suncorp?

My career began in hairdressing which is a good grounding for customer service, communication and emotional intelligence – after all, you’re dealing with people’s self-esteem. Moving into retail really awakened my business side though and I found analysing how to manage and grow the businesses really interesting. That lead me towards taking things online and learning how to script websites. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know which eventually led me to Uni studying computer science online.

The opportunity to join Suncorp initially on the Vacation Program was invaluable, learning from expert software engineers helped to make sense of all the information from Uni and put it in context. Now that journey continues on the Grad Program, for which I’m really grateful.

What’s it like working at Suncorp?

The culture of Suncorp is completely different to anywhere I have ever worked because people actually do care about your well-being and everything is structured around giving employees the best environment to grow and achieve with added flexibility. Everyone is willing to help and share information.

What's the best thing about your job?

I love learning, so being surrounded by amazing people with such diverse skill-sets is ‘nirvana’. Watching and listening to the way people deal with daily business here is inspiring; always looking for solutions in a measured, logical and respectful way.

What has given you the biggest sense of achievement? 

It would have to be graduating from Uni. I understand that for most young people, it’s just a given that you’ll go to Uni and get a degree. Deciding later in life to take on the challenge of study, where it is an unknown quantity, then being successful does give you the confidence to believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Why do you think you’ve had success with your career progression?

A good work ethic was ingrained by my parents, so I always knew that if I wanted something I’d have to work hard for it. I’d visualise what or where I wanted to be and start down a path towards it – when I wanted a motor-bike at 18 years old, I sold beauty products to all the neighbours, cut hair and worked extra jobs until I could have that shiny new bike!

Achievement is definitely the motivator; when you take something on, it’s a great feeling to do that job really well and have a successful outcome. It’s a bit addictive.

What advice would you give new grads who are about to start their careers? 

Choose a path that genuinely interests you, that way you’ll know instinctively which questions to ask to learn more.

Get involved in areas that relate to where you’d like to be eventually, so that you are surrounded by people who can help you grow.

Learn to value feedback – this is an important one; it’s not always easy to receive feedback and see the value in it but often other people see things in us that we don’t even know are there! Taking that on board supports development and might lead to achievements you didn’t even know you were capable of.

How do you feel about the graduate program? 

The Grad Program is an amazing opportunity to join such a huge corporation like Suncorp and do it in a supported and guided way. When you begin a new career or position in a company, it’s easy to feel like an outsider until you’ve proven yourself and been accepted. The Grad Program allows everyone to feel included, accepted and valued right from the start – so all your energy just goes into learning your job and being able to achieve and contribute which feels great.

What’s your favourite quote or motto that inspires you? 

My absolute favourite is: “You create your own environment”.

What I love about this is that it makes you take responsibility for the things you surround yourself with, ie; people, workplace, energy.

It is also a reminder that how you react or deal with what comes your way is a choice; your choice.

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