First steps into their future careers
Raytheon Australia welcomes inaugural group of GradX participants
As one of the nation’s leading defence technology companies, Raytheon Australia is committed to maintaining its competitive edge through investing in the next generation of Australian defence industry talent. This commitment led to the creation of the innovative and unique GradX program.
Unlike traditional graduate programs, Raytheon Australia’s GradX sees undergraduates supported through their last year of university, with a guaranteed position upon graduation. Once on-board in a full time capacity, GradX participants have the opportunity to work in various programs or functions within the organisation.
With 2020 marking the inaugural year of the program, the first group of GradX participants have now commenced their Raytheon Australia journey. Their first year began with an orientation program at the Raytheon Australia headquarters in Canberra, where they were welcomed into the organisation and partnered with a senior Raytheon Australia mentor.
The mentor partnerships are a key part of the GradX program - allowing the undergraduates to seek advice, receive professional guidance and identify career and development goals throughout their final year of study – an opportunity that not all students get to experience.
Stephanie Goyak, Raytheon Australia’s financial planning and analysis manager, was one of the senior team members who put their hand up to act as a GradX mentor.
“The orientation program was a great first step for the GradX participants and allowed them to be officially welcomed into the Raytheon Australia team,” said Goyak.
“The undergraduates took part in workshops and received presentations from key Raytheon Australia leaders,” she said. “They were also provided a chance to network with their fellow GradX participants and have their first face-to-face sessions with their mentors. You could really sense their excitement and enthusiasm.”
While the first year of the GradX program is only a few months in, the undergraduates are already seeing the benefits of their mentoring partnerships. Mentors have been connecting with the undergraduates through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, emails and video chats.
Kelly Heck, a mechatronic engineering student, has found that working with his mentor is already providing an advantage over his classmates.
"Although the GradX program is in its early stages, I have already received beneficial advice from my mentor regarding my studies, including tips on delivering technical presentations, which led to a successful thesis seminar. In addition to this, I have been provided strategies in maintaining disciplined progress in the recent COVID-19 environment,” said Heck.
“Having an industry experienced mentor gives a GradX participant like myself a tangible edge over other undergraduates,” he said.
Raytheon Australia’s technology domain lead and mentor, Dr Mick Edwards says the GradX participants’ commitment to the program has exceeded his expectations.
“I am impressed with the commitment the undergraduates have shown during the first stages of the program,” Edwards said. “My mentee Sam Drown is an aerospace engineering student, and we often discuss his honours project and any challenges throughout his final year of study. Due to interest Sam has shown in sensor technologies, I have connected him with fellow team members to learn more about what Raytheon Australia is doing in this field.”
“This year is vital to the development of the undergraduates – with our mentoring partnerships providing them the opportunity to connect with industry professionals and seek advice during their most important year of study," he said. “I believe this will be highly beneficial to the participants when advancing to full-time work in 2021.”
The undergraduates are excited to take the next steps into their future careers. Liam Parker, a mechatronics engineering and Japanese studies student, believes the transition from university to a full-time career feels more manageable after discussions with his mentor.
“Having access to advice from a mentor with years of experience in my field of interest has been incredibly valuable as I plan the transition to full-time work,” Parker said.
“My mentoring sessions have helped me decide what I want from my future career and have assisted in planning the steps to get there,” he said. “I couldn't be more excited to wrap up my time at university and get started with an exciting career at Raytheon Australia.”
Details on the 2021 intake of the GradX program are coming soon, with further information on the program available here.