Hospitality to finance; it’s never too late to try something new

Published: July 6, 2017

For many students, the hope is that at the end of their studies, there is a job that will open doors and lead them to their dream careers. Medibank does exactly that, offering a Graduate Program which provides a diverse range of experiences. Medibank Graduate, Kirsten Blair, has been enjoying rotating in different areas of the business and expanding her knowledge at every turn.

Currently sitting in the Financial Accounting area of Enterprise Services, Kirsten’s career journey was deeply rooted in hospitality and even rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.

“I managed a 5-star hotel restaurant in Glasgow. Madonna and the Harry Potter cast stayed there but the most memorable times were when P. Diddy was around. He would host these huge pool parties at the hotel and I’d be in a full black suit serving his guests and him the most expensive champagne on the menu. It was very entertaining!”

However, these events weren’t enough to keep Kirsten in the industry. It’s safe to say that hospitality has, in a way, helped bring her to where she is now.

“In this role, I became more involved in the financial analysis and strategy side of the business, which I loved. Perhaps, this planted a seed in me that encouraged me to pursue finance as my next career.”

Kirsten also worked as a chef for a company that was very health-focussed and this encouraged her to consider Medibank as a future employer.

“Working as a chef for a health company made me more passionate about living a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to know how we could integrate health into our everyday lives. Medibank seemed to sing to me from this perspective.”

The company’s focus on bettering the health and well-being of all Australians was something Kirsten connected with very strongly. As someone who focuses on her own well-being, Kirsten knew that a company like Medibank was one she wanted to be a part of.

“I wanted to be with an employer where I could be a cog that’s part of a larger machine, as opposed to being completely separated from what it is I’m analysing and managing. I believe that everything works better when people work together.”

Kirsten collaborating with her Finance dream team.

Being with Medibank has given Kirsten what she longs for in a company – collaboration. The team work she craved, the opportunity to bounce ideas off other people, and the chance to really make a difference are only a few things she has found at Medibank.

“Everything is collaborative. My team leader really encourages face to face meetings and it’s almost like a pub session where everyone is just throwing out ideas. To me, this really contributes to our learning and communication as a whole within the company.”

From team meetings to post-work drinks on a Friday at the pub.

Medibank’s Grad Program aims to give each graduate as much experience as possible, within the different business areas. Within each area, they are surrounded by colleagues who are there to guide them and offer support.

Medibank’s activity based working environment means Graduates, Kirsten and Jake, can have their meetings in a collaborative space. 

Aligned with Medibank’s ‘For Better Health’ purpose, Kirsten has taken it upon herself to include physical activity into her daily life, which also means taking some time-out during work hours.

“It’s very important to me that I commit some time to get some exercise in after work or even at lunch time. I go to the gym downstairs with some of my colleagues and I also just love walking down to the water near Medibank. It really refreshes me and prepares me for more challenges that may come my way.”

Kirsten makes sure she takes time out of the day to go for a walk around Docklands and enjoy the scenery.

Asked what advice she has for future grads, she says it’s all about being yourself.

“There’s this inclination to tell people what you think they want to hear but it’s really important to be yourself because that’s a major part of the culture here. Medibank really encourages us to bring our whole selves to work and that really does make a difference.”

Suffice to say, Kirsten has loved her journey so far with Medibank, expanding her knowledge and collaborating with colleagues to deliver great work.

“I’ve been given this wonderful chance to be in this situation and experience so many different areas of the company. Everyone is themselves and they’re accepting of everyone else in the team. I feel really at home here.”

Click here for more information about the Medibank Graduate Program.


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