Candidate Story

Sean

“I think being able to show my skills in a less formal, more relaxed manner helps the hiring managers make better decisions as to who to hire. I for one have great difficulty in describing my talents, but I am quite adept at showing them. Standard recruitment processes have me telling my skills, Specialisterne has me demonstrating them.”

Sean McPherson

Data Analyst, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Sky is the limit for Sean

Meet Sean from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning where he has been working as a data analyst for over a year. Through his supportive workplace, and a love of his job, he now has the confidence and means to be independent. He dreams one day of getting into space science, and also having a family of his own.

When did you receive your diagnosis?

I was diagnosed in 2015 at the age of 25.

What impact did your diagnosis have on you?

My diagnosis had quite a profound impact upon me. Once I knew why I was the way I was, I could begin my years long self-improvement voyage. I could finally overcome internal barriers that prevented me from doing so much because I could recognise them.

What was your plan for your work and career when you were at school?

When I was in school so many years ago, my plans were to do something related to physics/mathematics. These were my favourite subjects. I found myself drawn to the wonders of space and thought studying space would be cool.

What did you do when you left school?

When I left school, I went to University to study science. I decided to specialise in space science. The subjects that I needed to do were fascinating and I ended up learning about quantum theory and relativity. Sadly, I was unable to complete these studies due to being undiagnosed and having the subjects for my specialisation cancelled before I could complete them.

“It is extremely important for employers to offer alternative recruitment pathways. Had I gone through the standard interview process I would likely not have the job I currently have.”

Did you work in any jobs that you weren’t suited to? How did this affect you?

I once had a short run working at a McDonalds. I was given little orientation and was put on the front counter dealing with customers. Soon (and without training) I was put on drive thru. I never really got to know any of the other staff working there and as such felt isolated. This eventually led up to me becoming more upset every time I went, resulting in me having to leave.

Why did you apply for the Specialisterne programs? (RISE @ Dept of Health and Human Services, and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning – Digital Cadastre Modernisation)
I applied for the original program after seeing that I would be given the chance to show my skills in a program that seemed dedicated in getting people like me meaningful employment. I went for the second program because it would get into a field of work that was much better suited to my skillset. Having had a good experience the first time around and seeing the second program was much shorter (which was a good thing as I had adjusted to working by then), is what convinced me to go for the second program.

How did you find the Specialisterne recruitment process?
I find the Specialisterne program to be a great way of getting hands on with the actual work. And getting to meet some of the people I’ll be working with and the supervisors/managers, really helps me know beforehand if I’ll be suitable for the job.

How is it different to other recruitment processes you’ve been through?
I think being able to show my skills in a less formal, more relaxed manner helps the hiring managers make better decisions as to who to hire. I for one have great difficulty in describing my talents, but I am quite adept at showing them. Standard recruitment processes have me telling my skills, Specialisterne has me demonstrating them.

What have you gained from this process?
One thing I have gained from going through this process is a greater awareness of how prohibitive the standard recruitment process is, and not just for autistic people.

How beneficial was the support from Specialisterne during the program?
The support I have received from Specialisterne has been quite beneficial. They were able to get me some workplace adjustments that catered to my sensory sensitivities. Namely to not put me too close to exterior windows. I have also benefitted from getting support in keeping personal issues from impacting my ability to work. The support there has kept me working during times of personal hardship, which I think has been invaluable in ensuring that I not only continue to work but grow.

How important is it for employers to offer alternative recruitment pathways?
It is extremely important for employers to offer alternative recruitment pathways. Had I gone through the standard interview process I would likely not have the job I currently have.

Was the involvement of the employer in the process helpful?
Having the employer involved in the process is helpful. Getting to know the people who are employing me lets me know if they are people who I can work with. I can better judge if they are willing to work with me to maximise the skills that I bring.

“I feel as though my employer really understands me and what I need to work. This makes me feel as though I can take on more/different tasks. It gives me the confidence to act more autonomously on tasks that I feel will provide good outcomes for the project I am working on. I also feel that because of the support and understanding that I can voice my opinions.”

What role are you working in now?
I am more or less working in the same role I was hired in for the second program I partook in. However, the exact tasks have expanded. I have taken on significantly more tasks and am now involved in higher level meetings as my knowledge of the job has elevated to the point of warranting me being involved in those meetings.

Do you feel supported & understood by your employer? How does this make you feel?
I feel as though my employer really understands me and what I need to work. This makes me feel as though I can take on more/different tasks. It gives me the confidence to act more autonomously on tasks that I feel will provide good outcomes for the project I am working on. I also feel that because of the support and understanding that I can voice my opinions.

How has having this role impacted other areas of your life?
Having my current role has also greatly improved other areas of my life. Because of the people I have met and the stability of my work, I have become more independent. I have purchased my own home and have become far more confident going out to socialise (before the pandemic).

What are you able to do now that you couldn’t do before?
One thing I am able to do now that I couldn’t do before is be comfortable in moderate to large social gatherings. I can attend social events with strangers and not be worn down or have the anxiety I used to have. I am now also able to ask for different/more work without running through an anxiety cycle beforehand.

Do you have further career aspirations?
I would like to at some stage finish my undergrad science degree and my dream would be to work as a space scientist. As for right now though I think finding some more permanent work in something like what I currently do would be fine. I would like to get a permanent role to have the stability to go for my dream of shifting over to studying the wonders of space.

What are your dreams for the future?
Other than the whole space science dream, one dream I do have that is not related to work aspirations, is to meet someone and have a family.

Sean McPherson

Data Analyst

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Check out some of our other candidate stories below

 

Annaliese

"When I found out about Specialisterne, I was so relieved because I knew their program would give me a chance at employment without worrying how or when I would disclose my autism to my employer, and whether they would provide support for my sensory needs and...

Ashley

“Before doing this program, I was reeling from a job that left me feeling broken and self-critical, feeling like I wasn't deserving or good enough to find work, especially work which was stable and accommodating.”Specialisterne's NSW PSC Tailored Talent program not...

Sean

“I think being able to show my skills in a less formal, more relaxed manner helps the hiring managers make better decisions as to who to hire. I for one have great difficulty in describing my talents, but I am quite adept at showing them. Standard recruitment...

Cameron

"I’ve struggled with a bit of imposter syndrome in the past, but after the thorough training and assessment program, I really felt I could demonstrate who I am and what I could do. I don’t feel as though I have to try and prove myself, I’m ready to just get in and...

Michael

"I found it was a very interesting experience getting to meet others who were in similar positions to me, struggling looking for work, many of whom also went to the same university as me, and interestingly some of whom I even recognised from my own degree courses."I...

Check out some of our current opportunities below 

Systems Engineer – Entry Level (Grade 7): Macquarie Park, NSW

We are excited to partner with Transport for NSW in their search for a Systems Engineer – Entry Level from our community of autistic candidates.

The primary purpose of the role is to support projects in the tailoring and implementation of Systems Engineering methodologies to ensure business needs are articulated clearly and that solutions developed meet functional, engineering and safety standards.

The Systems Engineer – Entry Level will develop a sound understanding of the breadth and complexities of the project activities across Technical Services and the operating environment. They will work cooperatively and proactively with organisations interfacing with the project and build solid working relationships and partnerships.

Data and Analytics Interns (5x roles): Melbourne, Sydney, WFH, or client office

We are excited to partner with EY Australia (EY) in their search for Data and Analytics Interns from our community of talented autistic candidates.

EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

These roles are internships offered on a full-time, fixed-term, 12-month contract from the commencement date. Part-time hours may be negotiated.

You will work in a team that supports our clients in defining and implementing a data solution to solve real business challenges.

Governance and Assurance Officer: Sydney, NSW

We are excited to partner with Transport for NSW in their search for a Governance and Assurance Officer from our community of autistic candidates.

The role is responsible for providing information and support, to enable decision making and to ensure that governance frameworks, policies and procedures are consistently applied. The role will support the branch in developing and implementing governance and assurance processes and systems.

The function of the team is to primarily to lead strategy and implementation of the CDM, however it is also responsible for the leadership of business planning activities for the division, delivery of strategic projects, and management and oversight of the governance functions across the division.

Transport for NSW Tailored Talent Program 2022

Specialisterne Australia is delighted to be partnering again with Transport for NSW to deliver the Transport for NSW Tailored Talent Program 2022!

Through this program we are looking to recruit individuals interested in the areas of data analysis, systems engineering, project management and administration from our community of autistic candidates.

Analyst/Consultants (x5 roles): Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, WFH

We are excited to partner with Deloitte in their search for five (5) Analyst/Consultants to work in their teams from our community of talented autistic candidates.
At Deloitte, we create positively differentiated work experiences that enable our people to feel valued and achieve their full potential. Deloitte Australia opens the door to a career that can cross borders virtually and physically across Asia Pacific to gain experience and access projects beyond Australia’s borders.

We value difference, and embrace people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, gender identities, abilities and thinking styles. Knowing that people work best in a variety of ways, we are happy to discuss alternative arrangements if the working pattern you are looking for is not specifically indicated.

We’re committed to continually building a safe and respectful workplace, where all our people feel appreciated and accepted. Through the creation of endorsed employee-led diversity networks which promote cultural, disability, LGBTI+, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and gender equality, we’re leading the way to shape an environment where everybody can thrive.

Project Manager: Macquarie Park, NSW

We are excited to partner with Transport for NSW in their search for a Project Manager from our community of autistic candidates.

The role leads and delivers high level project support to ensure the efficient functioning of the senior executive management and their respective Division. This includes managing all cross-functional issues affecting the group such as safety, financial, project processes, reporting, strategic planning and organisational improvement.

The Project Manager will guide and co-ordinate the project planning process for the Division, ensuring alignment with corporate strategies and initiatives.

Analyst/Consultant Managed Services Team: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, WFH

We are excited to partner with Deloitte in their search for an Analyst/Consultant to work in their Cloud Managed Services Team from our community of talented autistic candidates.

The successful candidate will work in the Cloud Managed Services Team that sits within Deloitte Consulting. Deloitte’s Cloud Managed Services Team provide an end-to-end solution for running an organisation’s operations on managed cloud infrastructure across all major providers, optimised for the client’s own application and data portfolios as well as Deloitte managed solutions. Our services include cloud-based infrastructure operations, service management, cybersecurity, optimisation, and compliance support.

Deloitte is looking for candidates with a great mix of skills to work in their Cloud Managed Services team.

Reporting Coordinator: Sydney, NSW

We are excited to partner with Transport for NSW in their search for a Reporting Coordinator from our community of autistic candidates.

Sydney Metro is leading Australia’s biggest public transport infrastructure program, developing and delivering a new world-class metro railway system for Sydney.

The role provides coordination of reporting and support services for the development and maintenance as well as continuous improvement of regular reports.

The role also enables effective decision making across projects and provides high level administrative and communications support to contribute toward the effective operation of the social procurement and industry development team, and alignment to the wider Sydney Metro Workforce Development & Industry Participation strategy.

Assistant Designer (Projects | Engineering & Design): Sydney, NSW

We are excited to partner with Transport for NSW in their search for an Assistant Designer (Projects | Engineering & Design) from our community of autistic candidates.

The primary purpose of the role is to undertake detailed design management activities, design review and research under supervision, for a project within clearly defined scope, quality, time and cost constraints.

Candidates with a background or interest in Engineering or Architecture are well suited to this role.

With the Northwest line already in operation and works well underway on the City & Southwest, West and Western Sydney Airport lines, Sydney will enjoy a fully operational Metro network by 2030.

Come and join one of the divisions that focus on achieving community outcomes for the greater good and on putting our customers at the centre and our people at the heart of everything we do.

Project Development Officer: Parramatta, NSW

We are excited to partner with Transport for NSW in their search for a Project Development Officer from our community of autistic candidates.

The role is responsible for supporting the early development of road and bridge infrastructure projects through to completion of the detailed concept design and environmental approval.

The Project Development Officer is responsible for working effectively within large project teams to support project development staff in achieving optimum project outcomes.

Project Coordinator: Sydney, NSW

We are excited to partner with Transport for NSW in their search for a Project Coordinator from our community of autistic candidates.

The Project Coordinator will work collaboratively with project teams and coordinates the development of project related information for the efficient and on-time delivery of projects.

The role performs project management coordination and support activities to contribute to the development and delivery of a range of projects in line with established objectives.

Analyst/Consultant Quality Engineer: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, WFH

We are excited to partner with Deloitte in their search for an Analyst/Consultant to work in their Quality Engineering Team from our community of talented autistic candidates.

Deloitte’s Cloud and Engineering practice are obsessed with all things tech and love the idea of changing the way that businesses leverage technology. Our team builds platforms so that our clients can disrupt industries before industries disrupt them. We build modern technology solutions that run on premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both. We’re looking for Quality Consultants to join our team to work on a range of client projects.

Customer Service Representative: Lytton, QLD

We are excited to partner with Weir ESCO in their search for a Customer Service Representative from our community of talented autistic candidates.

Weir ESCO® is a world leading manufacturer and distributor of cast wear parts, bucket solutions and ground engaging tools for mining, construction and industrial customers. With more than 100 years of experience, ESCO’s global engineering and technical teams offer expert support to customers who need trusted mission critical components for their operation.

Your primary objective is to provide product and service information to customers and identify up-selling opportunities to maintain and increase income streams. You will provide new and existing customers with the best possible service in relation to billing inquiries, service requests, suggestions and complaints.

A hybrid work/home option may be offered.

Analyst/Consultant Cloud Engineering: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, WFH

We are excited to partner with Deloitte in their search for an Analyst/Consultant to work in their Cloud and Engineering Team from our community of talented autistic candidates.

Our Cloud and Engineering services team help clients integrate technology seamlessly into the fabric of their day-to-day business. Deloitte experts provide infrastructure and networking solutions to connect, optimise, and manage private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions across leading platforms, including AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba, VMware, Cisco, and Arista.

No matter where you are on your cloud journey, Deloitte’s Cloud and Engineering Practice, in combination with specialists across Deloitte’s deep technical network, can work with your organisation to find your cloud possible.

Analyst/Consultant Platform Engineer: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, WFH

We are excited to partner with Deloitte in their search for an Analyst/Consultant to work in their Platform Engineering Team from our community of talented autistic candidates.

The Deloitte Cloud and Engineering team are united in their pursuit of technical excellence, passion for delivery, and aspirations to continuously improve. Most important of all, we thrive on our focus on life-work balance and ensuring we have fun. We have been able to capitalise on the incredible benefits available, including flex-time, an award-winning parental leave package, a suite of learning and development opportunities (technical certifications, leadership and personal development), and most recently, are celebrating winning “Most Popular Technology Employer – Large” (GradConnection/AFR).

Deloitte Cloud and Engineering is changing the way that businesses leverage cloud-native technology to solve the toughest technology challenges faced by our customers!

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