Real work experience provides real benefits for cadets

The start of a successful career is in the pipeline for our current Group cadets, who have shared their experiences taking part in our flagship cadet program.

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 our business. Talent Development Partner Andre Gomez said the Group is committed to attracting student talent from diverse backgrounds.

“Our cadetship program offers university students 8 - 12 weeks of full-time work, combining classroom theory with hands-on learning. As part of ongoing focus on diversity and inclusion, we also partner with community organisations The Smith Family and Career Seekers to attract people from diverse backgrounds.

“In 2023 we took on 10 cadets and three of them have transitioned into our 2024 Graduate Program, so a cadetship with us can be a pathway to a first job after completing university studies. We’ll be accepting applications for our next cadetship program in July 2024,” he said.

Undergraduate Engineer Finley Mertens said that his cadetship provides opportunity to potentially join the Zinfra business in a graduate role.

“Within just a few weeks here, I was lucky enough to visit multiple sites and get involved in some small solution design problems while there, which opened my eyes up to the day-to-day work of a project engineer more than any university course could do.

“While I learned plenty of technical knowledge, more important to me was learning all the processes around procedures that went along with running a large company – commercial, contract, legal, HSE, various levels of management – appreciating the scale of the operations that happen here, and how they all came together to deliver a project from start to finish,” he said.

Finley, who is currently studying electrical engineering at the University of Sydney, said he came across the cadetship program as project engineering undergraduate roles in Sydney were rare to find.

“I have enjoyed my time with the business greatly. I try to get involved as much as possible with the work and I am thankful to many people at Zinfra – especially my boss Di Wu - that have taken the time to get me involved and mentor me,” he said.

Senara Tennekoon, an Undergraduate Engineer who is studying civil engineering at Monash University, said that participating in the cadetship program has been an enlightening experience.

“I’ve been able to engage in various stages of project development, from pre-contracts to product delivery, and visit a terminal station and develop a project engineering manual. I’ve gained really valuable insights into Group operations, and I feel that the whole experience has offered a glimpse into the exciting career prospects awaiting me in the future.

Senara urges anyone studying at university to sign up for a cadetship program such as ours.

“The opportunity at the Group appealed to me as energy is a vital aspect of everyone's daily life. This has truly been a chance to contribute meaningfully to the community and immerse myself in engineering practice,” she concluded.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which we operate and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

Pictured: Artwork by Aboriginal artist Chern’ee Sutton from Mount Isa for our Group’s Reconciliation Action Plan.