Vince Cogliandro on Launching His Career with the Australia Post Graduate Program

February 21, 2019
By Kim Fernandes

Building a better way to help companies find and recruit talent is one of our missions at Paddl. We believe in helping to create a community of talent, of any age, where individuals are able to be assessed on the demonstration of acquired experience rather than what is read on their resume. This is exactly why we partnered with Australia Post in October, 2018 to help them recruit exceptional talent for their Graduate Program class of 2019 through a Paddl Games-style Assessment Day.

Graduate programs are structured, multi-year opportunities offered by many companies, that allow graduates to rotate throughout different teams within the company, ultimately helping them develop the skills and experience required to launch a successful career in the company’s organisation or the graduate’s field of choice.

Vince Cogliandro was not only successful in a highly competitive shortlisting process of being invited to participate in the Assessment Day. He was also successful in securing a position in the ‘Finance and Commercial Services’ stream of the Australia Post Graduate Program 2019 due to his outstanding performance during the Assessment Challenge!

We recently spoke to Vince about this experience, and how he’s kick-starting his career journey.

So Vince, can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

I completed a Bachelor of Business in 2017 at Swinburne University, majoring in Finance & International Business and loved every moment of my university studies.

During that time, I was fortunate enough to be a part of an industry consulting project with the not-for-profit organisation ALGWA (Australian Local Government Women’s Association), which promoted women in local city politics. This was by far my most memorable and enjoyable experience and developed my passion for being heavily involved with community groups to explore and the wider challenges we face in our communities.

I come from a family rich in Italian heritage, with both of my grandparents migrating to Australia in the 1950-1960’s. This has further encouraged me to learn Italian with the hope of communicating with them on a stronger level, and the dream of becoming bilingual.

How would you describe your first Paddl experience at the Australia Post Graduate Program Assessment Day?

The day was structured around innovation and strategic design thinking. I was placed into a team with some truly terrific individuals who were great to work with; each member was able to contribute what they had learnt from their experiences and university studies. This was accompanied with two senior business members of Australia Post who were excellent in their ability to direct and guide the group with their specific insight from their time at Australia Post.

Paddl allowed all participants to explore these concepts over several hour long design sprints. This gave everyone the ability to put together strong business cases while exploring different theoretical approaches.

The group I was a part of collaborated and connected as a collective team, incorporating different stakeholders, discussing short term and long-term planning approaches and embedding commercial knowledge into our business case. The most important aspect for our group’s success was that everyone contributed, bringing together unique ideas!

What separated my Paddl experience from those with other organisations is that we had the opportunity to network with some great individuals from Australia Post throughout the day. They were able to provide experience from their different roles and business units, which clarified that Australia Post this is the organisation that I want to start my career with. It also reaffirmed for me that Australia Post cares so much about the wider environment in which it operates.

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That’s fantastic! What made you want to apply for the Australia Post Graduate Program in the first place?

Australia Post represents something special within the Australian marketplace, with their environmental and community-based initiatives at the heart of what they do. This promotes their strong customer-centric approach which drives innovation and growth.

The graduate program offers an opportunity to be a part of an experience focussing on the development of young graduates and their exposure to industry leaders through rotations within the organisation. This was what enticed me the most - being a part of an organisation that is ever-changing, with the underlying themes of strategy and transformation.

Now that you’ve landed this role with Australia Post, what do you think your journey will involve?

I believe that everyone’s journey is different. The next several years will be filled with challenging but beneficial work with Australia Post, giving me the opportunity to grow and develop a diverse work environment. This will hopefully lead to me becoming a dependable and respected member of the team, working on the combination of both my technical and interpersonal skills to become a colleague who is described as energetic, strategic and dedicated.

Most importantly though, I look forward to gaining valuable exposure to and knowledge from senior staff members at Australia Post through my rotations.

Having gone through the hiring process, what’s your view on the job market for your peers who have recently graduated?

I think most millennials understand it’s a very competitive graduate job market. A degree simply is not enough to secure a position in your chosen field. The challenging aspect of traditional application processes is understanding how to grow and learn from previous failures to improve your performance (and finally secure your dream role). Graduates should not stop working on their applications, ranging from written responses to assessment day practice. It’s also important to learn from previous ones. Preparation and planning are imperative for success. You also need to demonstrate key skills and an energetic personality.

From a commerce-based view, students will need to use their university experiences as a foundational basis, and build upon this experience through other activities including internships, casual employment, community projects and sporting activities.

What advice would you give people looking to get started with their first Paddl experience?

Having the practical experience to work in a professional group setting with senior business managers is invaluable! Being a part of any Paddl Games is a terrific opportunity to harness and grow your professional skills set and explore areas for improvement.

The networking opportunities are also endless with Paddl and their partnering organisations, giving all participants the ability to have an in-depth understanding of the organisations culture, values and structure.

Now it’s your turn!

We have a bunch more awesome opportunities coming up later this year and want YOU to be the first to know. All you have to do is create your Paddl Profile, then add Activity Cards to showcase your experience, and you’ll be ready to go!

You can also join our ‘Student & Graduate Opportunities’ Facebook Group, where a community of like-minded Challengers come together to keep up to date on awesome opportunities, organisations and job sectors, and to support each other as they kick off their career journeys!