Software engineer Preetpal Dhillon’s study and career path has taken twists and turns as he’s followed his passions.
When Preetpal Dhillon finished high school, he wanted to study something medical, so he signed up for a science degree. However, after a year he realised it wasn’t for him. Going back to the drawing board, Preetpal had always loved maths in high school and decided to switch to a degree in commerce and actuarial studies.
However, this new choice still didn’t quite tick all the right boxes. So, Preetpal reflected more on his passions and considered his interest in technology, and generally, in how things work, before switching to the degree he would go on to graduate with – a Bachelor of Commerce and Information Systems, at the University of NSW.
“I’m grateful I went through all of those changes because I landed on something I really enjoy. Don’t be afraid to try things out,” Preetpal says.
Even after finally completing a degree that matched his interests and passions, Preetpal hasn’t shied away from trying and testing his career options. Having joined the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) graduate program, Preetpal chose cybersecurity for his first rotation. However, he found he enjoyed software engineering more – recalling his love of the programming courses at uni.
“I found it fascinating that you could build these apps just out of writing text,” he says.
Now, Preetpal is a full-time software engineer at CBA. His team works on the bank’s online platform, NetBank – specifically improving the end-to-end digital experiences for business banking customers.
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Preetpal loves working in a tight-knit team – his “work family” – and the opportunities, like volunteering, he gets to do outside of his day job.
His career tip if you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new things to learn – at school, uni or a new job? Break the problem down into smaller pieces. And when he’s not building a career as a software engineer, Preetpal loves Marvel and DC superheroes, volleyball and has a passion for Lego!
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma is the Managing Editor of Careers with STEM magazine. She has previously worked as Digital Managing Editor at Australian Geographic and a staff writer at Cosmos science magazine.