Graduate Rotation Experience
For my home agency graduate year final rotation, I had the opportunity to complete it with an external agency, and I jumped at the chance to experience life as a data professional in a different agency. I have just completed a four month secondment with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), moving into a team suitable for me to apply my skills in a different context, as well as learn new ones that will assist me upon returning to my home agency.
An external rotation appealed to me, as internal experience is something I have the rest of my career to achieve with my agency. I think that your graduate year is a great time to try new things; the APS is very supportive of graduate development and I have found that people are more than willing to help you learn and have the best experience possible.
I’ve discovered that the ABS is highly involved in the international community, and have been exposed to some of many International Machine Learning groups. I even had the opportunity to attend a Big Data conference (virtually, of course)! It was interesting to learn about the work of international partners, and I was able to see parallels between their work, and ours. Unfortunately, the conference was on European time, so there were sessions running until 2am our time, which wasn’t so fun!
It has been an interesting experience to see how a team, similar in skills and focus to my own, works in different ways. I’ve learnt a lot more about project management and planning; taking a much more methodological approach, and the importance of having a clear idea of your project, what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to do it. I’ve also managed to develop my Agile skills, through the use of JIRA, which I think will be quite useful when returning to my home team.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the ABS, and have had the chance to develop some good relationships and connections, which would not have been possible without taking the opportunity for an external rotation. If you are a graduate or even a well established data professional and an external rotation opportunity comes up I would definitely recommend it!