Sydney Access

Coca-Cola Amatil
(Aust) Pty Ltd

Bubbling over with opportunities

‘One placement – many opportunities’ is the Sydney Access strap line, but at Coca-Cola Amatil it became ‘three placements and plenty of opportunities’ for some lucky Year 12 boys. Meina William, Isaac Byers and Dave Bernardo had to compete with other Sydney Access applicants for three high-end IT placements at Coca-Cola Amatil. The boys, who are high flyers themselves, were interviewed by Ciara McCullagh, Recruitment Consultant for Corporate Information Systems at CC Amatil. ‘We wanted to interview applicants for these placements to give them every chance of success.’ Places were offered in three different IT departments at the 4000 strong Australian based company; Solutions Delivery, Systems and Governance, and IS Services. Around 120 people work in the Corporate Systems area, based on the East side of Circular Quay.

In good hands

Matching three IT graduates as mentors to Meina, Isaac and Dave was a great idea put forward by the HR department. ‘If this works well,’ says Ciara, ‘we may be able to develop this into the future.’ Tim Faulkner one of the graduates commented, ‘It’s a good experience both ways.’ Tim, mentor to Meina, is following a two year graduate program at the company, ‘This gave me an opportunity to pass on my knowledge and skills and I felt it was great development for me too.’ He observed that the students asked really good questions ‘which really make you think about why you do things’, he says.

As part of the unique nature of Sydney Access and its commitment to high quality, CCAmatil agreed to support students with individual mentors. Tom, Nick and Tim worked alongside the students from the first induction day, right through the week, managing projects, offering shadowing opportunities, teaching and coaching and even attending an off-site visit with the boys. Tom Cutasar, Dave’s mentor, says, ‘It was fun for me to teach someone and a challenge too. Dave’s level of knowledge was far better than I expected.’ With a few free non-alcoholic drinks shared in the breaks and a lunch together, the mentor student relationship really worked well.

Inclusive and welcoming

‘I felt really welcome here’ says Isaac. ‘It has a really friendly and relaxed atmosphere and people say hello.’ He also learned that a smile and saying hello is important for him to do too. ‘I usually introduce myself and ask the person what they are working on.’

The boys were able to say how important it was to ask questions no matter how ridiculous you might think they are. ‘It’s about not being afraid to ask’ says Meina, who was praised by Tim for the questions he asked. ‘It’s better to ask than to do something wrong when you are not quite sure.’ It appears that CCAmatil has a culture where it is ok to ask questions and where creativity and initiative is encouraged. The boys didn’t hold back and as a consequence learned many new and exciting things during the week.

Corporate Careers Ahead

Meina, Isaac and Dave are convinced that Coca-Cola has changed their outlook and aspirations. ‘Working with Nick on coding and seeing all the opportunities available in Corporate IT at CC Amatil, has really made me think,’ says Isaac. ‘I wanted to do hands on tech but not anymore.’ He is not the only one. Meina and Dave have shifted their thinking too, from hands on and software development to working in systems. Whatever the future holds, the boys and their mentors had a week of work, meeting people, learning and most of all, fun. Dave adds, ‘Don’t forget the free drinks – they were great!’ We all know where Dave would like to work in the future!