Career Discovery Reimagined | Prosple

What makes a great graduate program? Lessons from MYOB: the best reviewed employer in Australia and New Zealand.

Graduate students look at employee reviews more than almost any other metric when browsing company profiles. The data is clear, if you want to attract top talent, you need happy graduates. To help you with this, we spoke with MYOB, the company with the best graduate reviews across all of Australia and New Zealand.

Their unique approach is full of surprising bits of wisdom that we have collected to help you understand what makes a stand out graduate program! We begin by briefly outlining what they do, then, we analyse why it’s so special to discover how they create the happiest grads in the country.

Making The Future Maker's Academy

The Future Maker’s Academy is MYOB’s graduate program,  it is the brainchild of a question the company asked itself in 2018: 

If we were graduates about to enter the workforce, what would the perfect graduate program look like?

By beginning from this position, the team at MYOB channeled empathy and were able to build a curriculum that was truly in the best interests of graduates. This created a win-win: graduates get a great program tailored to their needs and MYOB get happy, motivated, and passionate people in their organisation. 

Applicants for the academy can come from any background. They can have a computer science degree, a certificate from a bootcamp, or be entirely self-taught. MYOB screens for attitude, not credentials. 

Doing this allows for diversity of thought, by sourcing people with varied experiences, the company can benefit from each person’s unique perspective in tackling problems. Beyond this, it gives the graduates space to take ownership over their careers. Not having a degree is not a barrier to success, rather, it is entirely up to the individual and the heart and hard work they put in.

Code your own future

This philosophy of independence runs throughout the program. It is most clear in its unique structure, in that, it is self-paced.

The Future Maker’s Academy is centred around getting the best out of each and every graduate. To achieve this, graduates are called protégés and are given two mentors who guide them through sets of problems. These get increasingly difficult as the curriculum progresses, they are designed to identify and stretch the core skills of the protégés. To maximise the effectiveness of this, self-paced learning became a requirement.

It allows people to thrive at their own pace, encouraging initiative whilst also recognising flexibility within talent. A protégé may underperform in one area but overperform in another, if this graduate was forced to keep up week-to-week and was falling behind, they may be forced to neglect their strong points and perhaps burn out in the process, their potential never having been recognised.

With a self-paced system, protégés are afforded the extra care and attention where they most need it. This alleviates guilt and ultimately creates better graduates. But who guides these protégés and helps them when they stumble? The answer is: the mentors.

Mentorship and community

Mentors are the heart of the program.

We spoke with Bianca Knight, a program consultant for the Future Maker’s Academy, and asked her, ‘If you could only keep one part of your program, what would it be?’ Her response, ‘It is all about the mentors and the community.’

Within MYOB, mentorship has a special place. There is simply no way to replace the sense of connection and the progress that can be made under the tutelage of someone more experienced. Recognising this, MYOB built their program around  mentors and their protégés. 

Every protégé is assigned two mentors. This is because all mentors are developers within the company, thus, their primary responsibility is task delivery. With only one teacher, mentorship duties can easily fall by the wayside during busy periods. But with two mentors, the load can be shared, ensuring every protégé gets the attention they need whilst giving developers the room to do their best work.

Mentors are pivotal in assisting protégés with their curriculum, drawing out their particular talents, and clearing up any confusion they may feel. Moreover, mentors help to integrate the graduates into the MYOB community. 

Mentors show the protégés around, invite them to events, and introduce them to people… they turn the intimidating into the incredible. As a graduate, one of the scariest parts of joining a new company is having to find your place and make new friends. With the help of a caring, trustworthy mentor, this process becomes more approachable and enjoyable.

They say that no road is long with a friend by your side. MYOB’s mentors are that friend. They are in the protégés corner, they are there to support them and provide them with human connection, that all important, and often forgotten force.

This role is deeply fulfilling for both parties. The clearest example of this, is that former protégés who become developers jump at the chance to be a mentor to new batches of graduates. It is a virtuous cycle, one which comprises the fabric of MYOB’s culture.

Constant improvement

MYOB emphasises constant improvement for the graduates, the company, and their program.

Protégés are given many training opportunities to advance themselves. These include technical subjects and non-technical ones, like education in ‘power skills’ such as communication and critical thinking.

Furthermore, company wide hackathons and problem solving challenges run throughout the year. These fortify the connections between protégés and develop their abilities. MYOB knows that growth and skill development is a crucial factor for graduates, encouraging them to flourish wherever possible.

Protégés also provide a retrospective every month to give honest feedback about their progress and the graduate program. Allowing the company to iterate on the academy and make it better every year.

MYOB is a fascinating case study of how to build a stellar graduate program. The results speak for themselves, they are the best reviewed employer across Australia and New Zealand and have held this title for years.

What is it that ultimately makes them so successful?

Empathy.

From the inception of the Future Maker’s Academy, MYOB thought from the perspective of the graduates. In doing so they came to understand the difficulties that graduates face and were able to address them.

Having trouble transitioning from university to the working world? Don’t worry, our program is self-paced.

Feeling isolated and intimidated entering a large company? We’ll provide you with mentors and buddies to guide and support you.

Feeling concerned about career growth? We’ll give you the opportunity and independence to take control of your path and reward your initiative.

By putting themselves in the shoes of graduates, MYOB has created an award winning program that does right by graduates, and in return, the graduates have done right by the company.

Are you looking to get your company noticed by graduates from all over the country? Contact us today.

Do you think MYOB’s Future Maker’s Academy sounds like a dream come true? They’re hiring! Apply now.

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