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When he undertook a CEED Project with Australian Aerospace in 2010, James Wenham knew it wouldn’t be easy. Nonetheless, he was aware of the tremendous benefit it would provide for his career and a great way to challenge himself.

Knowing that his project was important to the company and their long-term profitability, James was eager to get on board. He first heard about the CEED Program through a friend who had previously completed a project through CEED.

The purpose of James’ project was to analyse and streamline the invoicing processes at Australian Aerospace utilising SAP (a corporate Information System), and recommend how the company could solve the issues he found. The actual implementation of the recommendations was not required as a part of James’ project.

Past student - James Wenham

James’ favourite part of the project was being able to communicate and interact with the different stakeholders. As there were several people involved in the invoice approvals process, James enjoyed interacting with these different people. The processes at Australian Aerospace at the time of James’ project were very manual and went through many channels for approval. He also mentioned that the people at Australian Aerospace were great to work with, and very flexible with the hours he worked to fit in with his university studies and other commitments.

James describes his experience with the CEED Program as a significant step in starting off his career and long-term professional goals. Whilst studying Corporate Systems Management at QUT, he had a strong interest in networks and data centres. However, James found he did not want to be ”stuck to a desk” and really liked talking and problem solving with people. James says that “the project at Australian Aerospace really pushed me in the direction of being a Business Analyst”.

James’ current role is a Business Analyst at Thiess. He saw the graduate position advertised when he finished his degree and was successful with his application. Although Thiess and Australian Aerospace are in completely different industries, he says the work is quite similar to what he was doing at Australian Aerospace, but with more technical aspects. James says “my career progression so far has been pretty good and I’ve had a lot of exposure to different elements of the profession”.

James is looking forward to his current role as a Business Analyst becoming second nature to him over time, so he can also enjoy his hobbies of outside of work, that of being in a band and travelling. Having his role as second nature to him will enable him to strike a good work / life balance.

For students who are looking to get involved in a CEED project, James advises “Do not do the project just because you get a scholarship – do it because it will be the best thing you will do for your career. The projects that are offered through CEED are really involved and a great way to use the skills you’ve learned throughout your studies”.

James further suggests that “companies who are looking to engage students in projects should give as much background / information as possible regarding their projects”. As James says “students have trouble knowing what they want to do and the more information you can give them, the better the students can match themselves with the project”. This will result in the best suited student for your company’s project”. Great advice James! We couldn’t have said it better.

Written by Heylee Menzies (CEED Marketing Assistant - January to August 2013)

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