2022 graduates: "I’m getting to work in areas I never knew existed"
Suncorp graduate Johann Muller-Fraser shares what it's like starting your career in 2022 and how the pandemic has prepared him for the unexpected.
Johann Muller-Fraser has gone from strength to strength in his time in Suncorp's New Zealand business, from an intern through New Zealand's TupuToa program for growing Māori & Pacific leaders, and now as a first year graduate working in marine insurance solutions.
I knew starting a full-time graduate job would be daunting, but COVID has made me less concerned about the unexpected.
I’d applied for quite a few graduate programs when the TupuToa internship opportunity came up and it’s funny how things start to fall into place…here I am sitting here in a full-time graduate position having started as an intern only a handful of months ago.
When I finished my Bachelor of Commerce, I really had my heart set on a graduate program, but I’m glad things worked out the way they did with the internship that then led to my role.
I was pretty ecstatic when I got the call that I would be joining the User Experience team at Suncorp as part of my internship and I was surprised the team trusted me to take the lead on some of my own work with the website and to let me have firsthand exposure to our stakeholders.
The team gave me a lot of responsibility and I think that said a lot about them – to have trust in a newbie like that. Every day was something new.
The pandemic has been an ongoing issue through my studies and there were times I thought it could worsen my job prospects, but I haven’t let it hold me back and I know what a privilege it is to be in a position to say that.
I was surprised the team trusted me to take the lead on some of my own work with the website and to let me have firsthand exposure to our stakeholders.
Suncorp Graduate Johann Muller-Fraser
I’m getting to work in areas I never knew existed.
I didn’t set out to work for an insurance company. I guess when you graduate university, you’re more focused on your craft rather than the actual industry you’ll end up working in. I’ve been really amazed though by the complexity of the organisation and the opportunities to learn.
I never thought I would have worked in such different parts of the business in such a short time and that’s what I’m really loving about this experience. I’ve had exposure to so many people with different skillsets.
The role I’ve taken on with the Marine Insurance team is already challenging me – I’m learning about how the brokers come into play and just getting to understand insurance solutions in general has been really eye opening.
I’m glad to have had the TupuToa internship opportunity before taking on the graduate role as I already had good exposure to a lot of our stakeholders. I even presented to our senior leadership team as part of my internship which was nerve-wracking but also a great feeling to see them nodding their heads in agreement at our recommendations.
There’s a big community of Suncorp graduates so you never feel alone.
So far, the graduate program is working out really well for me. We were working at home in the beginning because of COVID, but there’s a strong network of graduates between Australia and New Zealand so there’s always someone to talk to online that will have had a similar experience or challenge.
I’m also still keeping in touch with the graduate that I was buddied up with when I started my internship which has been really nice – it’s good to keep that connection going and to have that mentorship whenever I need it.
Being a graduate at Suncorp is giving me the opportunity to be creative and put my ideas out there. I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.