Panagiotis Ntrallos: Developing Experience and Confidence Key for Professional Success
We met Panagiotis Ntrallos in 2017 when he was selected to participate in the Paddl Games Metro Trains Challenge - a series of innovation challenges that solve real commercial issues while helping Metro Trains discover talent.
Six months later, Panagiotis is now working part time with the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) while he completes his Master of Commerce at RMIT. He recently shared his Paddl Games experience and how it helped him transition to professional work.
We first met you during our Paddl Games Challenge with Metro Trains. How would you describe these experiences?
I was part of two Paddl Games Challenges with Metro Trains which consisted of an initial one-day Ideation Challenge with 10 teams competing in the challenge. This was followed by an intensive four week business case development for the top three concepts that emerged from the Ideation Challenge. Our team made the top three and were selected to progress to the business case phase. Both were absolutely amazing! We worked in teams to develop solutions to commercial challenges faced by Metro, and the energy and the outcomes were outstanding for both Metro and us as participants. They helped me develop skills in design thinking, problem solving and collaborating with a multicultural and multidisciplinary team. This gave me the necessary confidence and experience for my next professional steps.
Speaking of your next professional steps, you’ve now been with the FCA for a few months. How have you found it? What's a typical day like for you?
The opportunity with the FCA also came through Paddl and it's been a great experience. I've always wanted to work in a not-for-profit organisation. I knew non-profits were not about competing with other companies, but instead striving to build relationships and experiences for the people you serve. Working at FCA I've begun to better understand the value of these relationships, learning how a member based organisation runs and developing skills in stakeholder management and problem solving.
My day usually starts with a meeting with my manager where I write down my daily tasks. I then prioritise them by urgency. My duties include contacting candidates, potential participants and graduates of the Certified Franchise Executives program, promoting FCA events and Certified Franchise Executive education workshops, as well as general administrative activities.
You speak a lot about the importance of gaining experience. Do you feel more job-ready now after participating in unique experiences on Paddl?
I think young people often lack confidence because they lack exposure and experience to new opportunities. Many young people maybe stuck in a job they don't like just because it was so hard to get, not because they necessarily like it. As a result, they can't expand their skill set or build self confidence.
My advice is to build confidence by exposing yourself to different roles, understanding your strengths, and never turning down unique experiences like Paddl Games. It had a great impact on my life, and I believe will change other people's lives as well.
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