Graduate stories – meet our 2020 Corporate Affairs grad

We asked our 2020 Corporate Affairs graduate, Georgia, to share a few insights from her graduate experience so far.

Georgia Saunders

At IAG, we encourage our graduates to explore their potential with rotations across multiple divisions, to help them develop a diverse set of skills and discover exciting new ways of working.

Our 18 month program has recently re-opened for applications, and in order to help give prospective graduates a better idea of what they should expect we asked our 2020 Corporate Affairs graduate, Georgia, to share a few insights from her experience so far.

Hi Georgia, to start off, can you tell us what you studied at University?

I have a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Media & Communications studies and French studies.

What is a normal day like as a graduate at IAG?

So far, I have spent two rotations working in Employee Communications, specifically the Content & Channels team, and I am just now rotating into External Communications.

My main role in the Content & Channels team was to manage the design aspects of our Intranet. This included updating our homepage each day with internal news stories, key dates, upcoming events and more. On a typical day I would start out by checking our Content Hub for all the information that needs to be published on the intranet that day, followed by checking my meeting schedule and going through my emails. I would also then check the emails that have been sent to the intranet inbox, which people contact when they have an intranet related question or request.

The rest of my day really depends on what the team is working on at the time. My usual tasks would vary from designing assets for internal campaigns to working through data and analytics for our internal communications. It is a huge role and can be very challenging at times, but it has allowed me to learn so much about the inner workings of IAG as well as gain invaluable communication, design and problem-solving skills.

What is the culture like at IAG?

The culture at IAG is incredibly friendly and supportive. Questions and curiosity are always encouraged, and I find that people will generally go out of their way to include you and help you out when needed.

How did IAG respond to COVID-19 and how were you supported by your teams while working from home?

IAG had a very proactive response to COVID-19. In the early days of March 2020, we were doing test runs of work from home with several teams at a time and by the end of March almost the entire company had moved to remote working. In the months that followed we were shown a huge amount of support by IAG, with online fitness and mindfulness classes, virtual catch ups and additional financial support to help us get set up at home and some ongoing costs for the initial emergency situation at the time.

The company also supported me to work from home in Perth, where I had recently moved from to Sydney, so that I could be with my family during lockdown.

Are the working conditions flexible at IAG? Is there an expectation that work hours are 9-5? Is there flexibility with working from home/office arrangements?

Work conditions are definitely very flexible at IAG. In my experience, it is expected that you be mostly available during the hours of 9-5, however there is no expectation that you will be glued to your desk all day every day and I know that plenty of people have flexible arrangements so that they can leave early or start late when necessary.

Most teams now have a dedicated ‘collaboration day’ where the entire team will go into the office, so that you can have at least one day of working together per week, but for the rest of the week you can generally choose to work from home or in the office as you please.

What has been your most memorable experience on the Grad Program so far?

My most memorable experience from the Grad Program was definitely learning to play the violin as one of our orientation activities! I can’t say I mastered it, but it was really fun to give something completely different a go at work.

From my role, my most memorable experience was flying to Melbourne (before the days of Coronavirus) to visit the Melbourne office and participate in our Digital Workplace Learning Expo. I had so much fun and it was great to meet some of our amazing Melbourne team.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student applying for the Grad Program, what would it be?

Ask lots of questions. It can be really daunting trying to pipe up in the middle of a meeting to ask what on earth everyone is talking about but just remember that everyone understands that you’re new and asking questions is the best way to quickly find your feet in your new team!

At IAG our purpose is to make your world a safer place, how do you feel you have contributed to this as part of the Graduate Program? 

Almost every decision we make at IAG is influenced by our purpose. I feel like I have contributed to this in many ways through my role. For example, I’ve been involved in building and maintaining sites such as our Coronavirus Hub, where we provide updates about our response to Coronavirus as well as information for how to stay COVID safe at work. I’ve also assisted with internal campaigns around equity at work, domestic violence, and International Women’s Day, all of which I believe are incredibly important when it comes to creating a safer workplace and safer community.

Can you describe your experience so far in three words?

Challenging, surprising and interesting.

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