Meet three graduates who all chose engineering pathways – and never looked back
Spoilt for choice much? With so many cool next-gen STEM degrees out there, we spoke to three graduates about what made them choose engineering – and how it helped them score great gigs at Commonwealth Bank.
#1 The business-savvy engineer
Shivang Nagar and a double degree were a natural fit. After graduating from high school, the maths whiz was keen to choose a pathway that’d teach him both engineering and entrepreneurial skills.
“I wanted to learn software engineering, but also how a business works,” he explains.
Eventually settling on a Bachelor of Software Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce at Monash University, Shivang majored in business analytics, which gave him a glimpse into three awesome aspects of STEM – maths, engineering and data. With his business-savvy mind, Shivang started hunting down graduate gigs while studying.
“I wanted to work for a larger organisation because of the possibility of collaborating with people from around the world,” he says.
Shivang secured a graduate engineering role at the Commonwealth Bank – which led to a permanent gig as a data engineer.
These days, Shivang works in a team of tech-fluent engineers enabling the bank and its partners to share data so they can better serve their customers.
Then there was the project he recently wrapped up that became its own company – CommBank iQ. “During the project, I got the chance to work on both coding tasks and running workshops,” he says.
Shivang is securing the coolest future for himself. And his ultimate goal is a role as a thought leader (someone in charge of a company’s bigger-picture goals).
Shivang’s study and career path
- Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) / Bachelor of Commerce (Business Analytics), Monash University
- Graduate engineer, Commonwealth Bank
- Data engineer, Commonwealth Bank
#2 The arty engineer
For Aizel Redulla, studying something creative was just as important as diving into a straight-up STEM degree – so she sought out a course that flexed both her analytical and creative smarts.
“I have always been passionate about tech, but also about how we interact with it,” she says. “We need creative skills in STEM – for problems that seem impossible to solve!”
A Bachelor of IT (UX Design), and Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics) at the University of Queensland satisfied the best of both Aizel’s worlds. Even after graduation, she was torn over which field to head into. Aizel’s unique DIY degree led her to a graduate position at Commonwealth Bank.
The art of engineering
Aizel’s gig as a graduate Android developer has her working on the bank’s Business Banking Technology team. She introduces tailored tech features into the Android CommBank app specifically to help small- business owners beyond their banking needs.
“We look at things like how they can grow their business success and handle risks,” she says of her first big role. “It’s an initiative close to my heart, because I know our small businesses were heavily impacted through the pandemic.”
Seeking out a software engineering role that requires equal parts tech skills and creative thinking has been an awesome way for Aizel to engineer her career to suit both her interests.
“I really do feel like I’m living my dream job,” she says. And the fact that work flexibility means she can work from home in her pyjamas sometimes? Living. The. Dream.
Aizel’s study and career path
- Bachelor of IT (UX Design) / Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics), The University of Queensland
- Head teacher, Code Camp
- Graduate Android Developer, Commonwealth Bank
#3 The aspiring CEO
At school, Maral Nalbandian was among only a handful of girls who took STEM classes – a fact that always stumped her, considering how important and enjoyable she found them.
“Maths, physics and IT taught me so many practical and logical thinking skills,” she says. “I actually remember being the only girl in physics class!”
Aspiring to one day be able to design her own app, Maral knew that software engineering would be her best bet at getting there. She enrolled in a Bachelor of Software Engineering and a Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) – and ended up graduating with Honours.
Banking on it
Growing up surrounded by fast-paced technology, Maral saw limitless opportunities in digital innovation – eventually landing her dream role as a software engineer at Commonwealth Bank.
“It’s crazy to think just a laptop and an idea can allow me to build an interactive application that anyone can use all over the world,” she says of her cool gig. “Software engineering really has opened up endless opportunities for me!”
Maral spends 9ish to 5ish working with an awesome team of tech-savvy engineers, building new features and improving existing ones on the CommBank mobile app.
She’s a huge advocate for diversity in STEM and dreams of one day being CEO of her own multibillion-dollar software company and chilling in a luxe beachside penthouse.
And her advice to STEM grads keen to get started in software engineering?
“Don’t give up! It’s important not to let failures stop us (they should encourage us).”
Yep, future CEO right there.
Maral’s study and career path
- Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Software Engineering) / Bachelor of Business (Accounting), UTS
- Software developer, Deloitte
- Graduate software engineer, Commonwealth Bank
Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.