Clinton Hadinata wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school – and that’s led to a rewarding and fascinating career.
Clinton says that if he had one piece of advice for his younger sister, who is in Year 11, it would be that it’s the journey that counts. “I think high school students worry that the decisions they make are the be-all and end-all, and that’s not true.”
Case in point: out of high school, Clinton signed up for an economics degree at the University of Sydney. He completed two years, including a lot of arts and humanities subjects, before he switched to software engineering because he loved programming and problem solving. “There are a lot of things I learnt in those two years that I wouldn’t have if I’d just done a straight software engineering degree,” he says.
Making the team
Clinton studied a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) at UNSW Sydney, during which he completed three internships – at a medical equipment company called ResMed, at electronics giant Toshiba, and finally at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).
His CBA internship turned into a part-time job, which turned into a graduate position and is where Clinton works today as a software engineer.
The CBA offers grads the opportunity to rotate into different teams and projects, which Clinton says was a big selling point of the grad program for him. But he ended up enjoying his first rotation so much he stuck with it. Clinton was – and still is – working in CBA’s Open Banking Engineering team, on a new government-mandated program that requires banks to enable customers to safely share their financial data with third-party apps.
“I was learning a lot and I wanted to see the project through,” says Clinton, who liked the fact that as a new grad, he felt he was contributing a lot as a valued team member.
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“The CBA grads are treated the same as anyone else and our opinions and our skills are valued. That’s one of the things I really appreciated,” he says.
Clinton’s study and career pathway
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.