Software engineer

    Emillie Thiselton

    Even in her new work-from-home world, Emillie's team at CBA hosts fun virtual meetings. Image: Lauren Trompp

    Software engineer Emillie Thiselton is only at the start of her career, but it’s already taking off.

    Emillie Thiselton’s experience at university wasn’t exactly run-of-the-mill. She studied a Bachelor of Computer Science (Advanced) at the University of Adelaide, which included a research element. The project Emillie worked on in her third and final year – an enhanced error messaging plug-in for a Python code-editing platform called Sublime Text – captured the attention of her supervisor, so she continued working on it separately to her degree.

    The year after Emillie graduated, the Adelaide born-and-bred student presented her paper at a software engineering conference in Brazil, which she says, was one of the best moments of her life.

    “It was the most amazing experience. Presenting at an international conference on the other side of the world was something I’d never imagined doing,” she says. “I was so nervous to present. It was my first conference and most of the other people attending and presenting were really experienced in research and either completing, or had completed, their PhD.”

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    All the way to the bank

    With a graduate CV like that, it’s easy to see why Emillie could be picky with her choice of post-uni gigs. At a uni Careers Fair, Emillie says the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) stand stood out. She also knew they were often ranked among the top graduate employers in Australia and had heard good things about CBA’s culture.

    Emillie successfully applied for a graduate position at CBA and packed her bags, moving away from Adelaide for the first time, to a shared apartment in the middle of Sydney’s CBD. “It was pretty exciting, and a big change from home. Sydney is very different, there’s always stuff going on, which is good – but I also think there are too many people!” she jokes.

    At the time of writing, Emillie was working from home back in Adelaide during the COVID-19 pandemic, but she says she was able to make some great friendships through the graduate program and loved the social aspect. Even in the new work-from-home world, her team hosts fun virtual meetings.

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    Emillie has completed the graduate program and is now a full-time software engineer at CBA. Her role is focused on home-buying projects in NetBank, CBA’s online banking platform. Emillie says a big factor in choosing her current role following the graduate program was the team she knew she’d be working with. “I’m surrounded by such a friendly and smart team, with a great culture,” she says.

    While Emillie’s burgeoning software engineering career might already sound pretty impressive, she stresses that anyone who is keen should give computer science a go and not be intimidated by it.

    “Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t know anything, everybody starts off at that point. If it’s what you want to do, then you should give it a go!”

    Emillie’s pathway

    This article is brought to you in partnership with CBA. This article originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2020.

    Gemma Chilton

    Author: Gemma Chilton

    Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.

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