Vodafone Australia is one of the leading telecommunications company and provides mobile voice and data services to customers. To manage that, the network is divided into several engineering streams, one of them being Transmission. As a transmission engineer, in the network performance team, I am responsible for ensuring and troubleshooting any issues in the transmission network that could potentially be a bottleneck and making sure these are resolved before they impact customer experience. We not only manage existing performance issues but also plan for the future and how we can improve the performance further whether by deploying a new technology or perhaps by improving certain business processes.
I grew up in India where I studied and completed year 10. After that, I migrated to Sydney with my family and continued my education Year11-12 in Sydney. A key thing was that I always wanted to study engineering as it’s quite a popular choice in India, however I was finding myself constantly questioning my choice during University and assignments. During my third year, I completed my internship with ResMed, a medical devices company which gave me quite an insight into a life of an engineer. Although it was a highly beneficial learning experience for me and the perfect short stint for an electrical engineer, I realised I would prefer a role where I get to interact with other teams/departments more. Later, I joined Vodafone through their Technology Graduate Program and henceforth, joined as a graduate in the Transmission Engineering. I have been in this role for almost 2 years now and I am glad to say, it all turned out well in the end!
Yes, although I had studied Electrical Engineering, one of the preferred courses to be eligible for the grad program, I do believe most of everything I do I have learnt on the job. I almost never directly applied my university studies in my role although indirect skills like researching, preparing presentations, etc. are important skills that we pick up in University along the way. It is however important to be passionate about the network and related technology, however that may be something you discover later on. I only found my interest for this industry after I started the role and my interest grew more and more as I was enjoying the work I was doing.
I am directly accessing parts of the network that impact the customer, results of the changes I make can be immediately seen and felt. I also like interacting with other teams as well as our vendor companies that we work with quite closely. We get to learn about the newest technologies that could potentially change the world in the next few years! Think 5G, IOT!
Managing performance related changes can be quite scary as one mistake can potentially affect a large part of the network which we definitely want to avoid. Although there are processes in place to avoid and mitigate that, it can still be quite daunting to have that as a potential impact of your work as a newcomer. Furthermore, as we also plan for long term network architecture, we make decisions about technologies that may not have as much information around currently but will impact the network for years to come.