Learning the ropes as a female grad at Telstra in Singapore

I was always interested in the technology and networks domain, so getting the chance to join a world leader in this area when I finished studying was very exciting!
Sneha Shrikumar · 11 December 2020 · 4 minute read

I really liked the way the Telstra Graduate Program in Asia was structured as well.

Aside from the work itself (which is as interesting as I’d hoped), I’ve been pleased to discover such an inclusive environment here.

Here’s more on that, and why I’ve loved my experience in the grad program so far.

What led to me to joining the Telstra Graduate Program in Asia

I graduated with a Master’s degree in Communications Engineering. As a grad, I’m very enthusiastic about learning about all of the different aspects of business, so the program here is exactly what I was looking for. I knew it would be perfect for me as I’d get to explore all of my interests within network engineering and develop my career the way I’ve always wanted. I really love the focus on all-round development because I’m someone who likes to be a jack of all trades.


My actual role is Network Specialist, which is in the network engineering pathway in the program. I'm in the first rotation right now, where I'm working in the Transmission Network Operation Centre. This team deals with managing all the sub-sea cable networks that Telstra owns, which accounts for 30 per cent of all the data traffic in Asia. So, I feel very responsible and beyond excited to be a part of something so integral to Telstra right at the start of my career.

It’s been a challenging year to onboard as a grad, but we’ve made it work

Like many grads around the world in 2020, I was onboarded virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was a bit worried about this initially because in a program like this, it’s better to meet everyone you’re going to be working with and get to know them a bit before you start. It’s also nicer to have more of a personal relationship as you go along and need to approach your colleagues and discuss things.


I told my program lead that I was concerned about the situation, and they were so nice and understanding about it. They arranged for me to come to the office to meet everyone in the team on my first day. They also figured out a very comfortable arrangement for me, in line with the Covid-19 regulations. I come to the office three days a week, and work at home for the other two.

What it’s like working at Telstra

Singapore is a very multicultural place and Telstra reflects this. There are people from all different nationalities, cultures and walks of life.

Everyone works beautifully together because we all respect each other’s opinions and perspectives and know that this actually makes teams stronger. It is a very welcoming workplace.

No matter who you talk to, they’ll always make you feel comfortable and help you with whatever you need.

I was initially unsure if I was truly capable of taking on this kind of role. When I first saw the job description, I wasn’t certain I had all of the qualities they had listed and was hesitant about applying.

But for female graduates like myself, being a part of the program gives you a lot of confidence because there is just no gender bias at all. Everyone who works here has been brought in purely due to our qualifications and skills, and as a new starter that makes you feel very sure of yourself.

So if I could go back and tell myself anything, it would be to take risks and just go ahead and apply for the programs you really want to get into. You never know what can happen – and here I am now, working at Telstra on their network connections!

By Sneha Shrikumar

Network Engineering Technology Specialist

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