Cadetship program opens up career possibilities

Zinfra and Jemena’s annual cadetship program has grown, with the largest-ever number of students taking part and gaining practical, on-the-job experience via the program this summer.

The cadetship program places university students completing their last or second last year of study as cadets (also known as interns or undergraduates) in areas across the business, explains Talent Management Specialist Andre Gomez.

“In addition to advertising externally through traditional channels, as part of the focus of the business on diversity and inclusion we also partner with community organisations The Smith Family and Career Seekers to attract people from diverse backgrounds.

“Cadets join our organisation for eight to 12 weeks of full-time work over the summer months. For some, it is their first foray into a professional working environment and is particularly meaningful because it combines the theory of their university studies with the practicality of on-the-job learning.

“This year, we welcomed nine cadets in roles across Finance, Digital, People, Safety & Resilience, Gas Markets and Projects and Infrastructure teams. During their time with us, the cadets had the opportunity to meet with business leaders and teams to understand the work we do to create sustainable energy solutions with communities,” he said.

Khatimah Jafari who took part in the program this year as a cadet in the Finance team said the experience had given her the opportunity to work across different teams and build her interpersonal skills.

“I am heading towards my final semester of a Bachelor of Banking and Finance at Monash University and I wanted to further explore the field of finance, having undertaken prior work experience as a banking consultant. The cadetship has been eye-opening and made me realise the critical role that the finance team plays in an organisation.

“Given that I am on a rotation across different teams in Finance, this means that each day is very different. Because by nature my role is less structured, this entails a good degree of flexibility which is my favourite part about the role. This enables me to work across different teams and manage a variety of tasks and responsibilities throughout the week,” she said.

Elijah Skeggs, who is entering his final year of study of a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and minor of Sustainable Engineering at Monash University, said he was initially worried about the transition from university study to working full-time before starting the cadetship.

“Everyone at the company has been so welcoming that it’s been a very smooth transition for me. During my time here so far, regardless of how small the question or issue I had, everyone is ready to help whether by email, teams or a call, so that I feel well supported.

“I’ve been working on a real project, the Coolaroo Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) Project, which is a bushfire compliance program aimed at reducing the risk of powerline-related bushfires. A typical day may take me to site at the Broadmeadows depot for meetings with the project managers to discuss how work has progressed. It’s very interesting to learn what is required for works to proceed and what could potentially delay things.

“Going back to university in March, I’m very interested in continuing to work for the Group as I complete my final year. My aim is to be able to effectively balance work and study,” he said.

Andre said the cadetship program was a great way to engage emerging workforce talent early and ideally have them go on to join the Group graduate program when they finish their studies.

“The feedback we get is that our cadetship program is rewarding for both the students and for our business. The program, alongside our graduate program and scholarship program builds on our long-term approach to developing talented individuals who can make a real difference to Australia’s energy transition,” he said.