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Shake up your pathway at CBA


Every stage of your career involves making choices. We talked to two graduates in the CBA’s Enterprise Services team about the choices that led them there

In year 12, Jess Huang wanted to be a medical scientist. She’s now a software engineer at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

Jess studied chemistry and biology, but realised she didn’t like them as much as she thought she would. She started thinking about engineering – “you get to make stuff and change the world” – but there was just one problem. She hadn’t studied physics.

Jess finds her gig at CBA seriously exciting. really exciting. “I love it here!” Image: Lauren Trompp

“That’s what pivoted me towards software engineering,” she says. “It was a risk, but it paid off!”

Jess is now part of the CBA’s grad program where she works with the mobile team on the CommBank app. “It’s really exciting, and I love it here!”

Working on the app gives Jess the chance to combine her passions for development and design – she does graphic design in her spare time.

As part of the grad program, Jess has also learned about career management and presentation skills, “which is really valuable,” she says.

Jess’s study and career pathway

Sam Barker originally wanted to study the stars, but discovered that many astronomers start out in software engineering

Sam is a Software Engineer at CBA.” I thought, that sounds like a great idea – I’ll do that!” Image: Lauren Trompp

During his degree at Curtin University in Perth, Sam did an internship at ID verification company Veritas. He enjoyed it so much he stayed on for a year after graduating – but working at a small company had some limitations.

“I wanted to learn how it’s all done at scale,” Sam says. His interview for the CBA grad program was his first visit to Sydney. “By the time I moved to Sydney, I’d spent a grand total of seven days there.”

Sam’s first rotation in the grad program was in DevOps, where he worked on tools that help other developers build product features. He then moved over to the NetBank team after conducting a number of ‘reverse interviews’. “We went to teams and asked, why should we join you?” he says. “It was a bit weird at first, but we got to dig into what each team did.”

Seeing his work out in the world is a highlight for Sam, and he plans to stay with the NetBank team for now.

“My career goal right now is to learn as much as I can.”

Sam’s study and career pathway

This article is brought to you in partnership with CBA and originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2021.


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