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The Graduate Experience - video and transcript

The Graduate Experience video script

[Pictures: photo montage]: Music

[Picture: exterior of DFAT building]

LAUREN O’NEIL, 2009 GRADUATE: Each year we take in a graduate intake and it’s one of the main ways the department recruits and it is a very competitive, selective process but one that’s definitely worth going through

[Pictures: 2011 Graduates at computers]

JACK YUAN, 2010 GRADUATE: It’s formally a two year graduate program and during those two years we do four different rotations which we can put in preferences for. There’s quite a comprehensive training program throughout the two years, including a dedicated two month training block where we get taught all the basics that we need to do our job both here and overseas- so things like international law, human rights, trade and economics.

EMILY HILL, 2011 GRADUATE: I’m very much looking forward to getting across the entire issues of the department from trade to multilateral, looking at UN issues and our voting record there would be really interesting.

ARJUN BISEN, 2011 GRADUATE: I’m certainly more interested in some of the multilateral work that DFAT does but that could easily change because almost everything that I’ve been exposed to has been absolutely incredible and very very interesting.

[Pictures: Graduates socialising]

CHRIS HALFORD, 2009 GRADUATE: The graduate program is great. It’s a really easy way to make friends. It’s a ready-made group, just add water. We socialise together a lot, we’re a support network that’ll always there throughout your time in the department. You’ll always be able to pick up the phone and ask your graduate colleagues for help or questions so it’s a really important network and one of the big advantages of joining DFAT as a graduate.

EMILY HILL: I’m really glad that I came in this way, it means that we’ve got 50 new friends automatically, everyone’s in the same position when they move down to Canberra, we’re all able to share experiences about work and about social things and about housing and things like that so it’s been a really really good way to join the department and I’m really happy that I got in.

[Pictures: Naomi Viccars on language training]

NAOMI VICCARS, 2002 GRADUATE: At the moment, I’m off-line, learning Arabic fulltime in preparation for a posting to Jordan where I’ll be Deputy Head of Mission.  Language training at DFAT is full-time. You have a one-on-one tutor; you do three hours of face to face class time and the rest of the time is private study, revision, learning grammar, learning vocab, all the rest of the things that language involves.

JEFFIE KAINE, 2005 GRADUATE: In Jakarta I originally went overseas to work on a counter-terrorism position but when I got there things changed, as they often do at DFAT, it’s one of the most exciting parts of the job, and I ended up working on legal issues which fit really well with my academic background and I covered things like legal processes in Indonesia, the legal system, the progress of key consular cases through the legal system.  You also get real support though from mentors at Post, very senior officers in some cases who are posted with you who provide supervisory and mentoring support and you just learn so much.

JACK YUAN: A lot of the graduates in my year have already had a chance to go overseas on short term missions and in a few years will get the chance to have international postings overseas.

[Picutres: Canberra landscape]

CHRIS HALFORD: I really like Canberra and that is a surprise to me and a surprise to a lot of other people I speak to. I came from a big city in Australia, I don’t miss the traffic. I don’t miss commuting an hour to get to university or to a work place.

LAUREN O’NEIL: We were told when we first started, DFAT is a lifestyle, it’s not just a job and you do really come to appreciate that and how much of one big family DFAT is and how much people look after each other.

[Pictures: photos of front of DFAT building]

[Pictures: Jack with colleagues]

JACK YUAN: When it comes down to it DFAT is supposed to represent all of Australia, so because of that DFAT really values people from all walks of life and from all different backgrounds from around Australia. I mean we have graduates who were musicians in the past, or were engineers so definitely, there’s no stereotypical mould of what a graduate should be.

[Picture: DFAT logo]: Music