Our graduates go on to work in all areas of the ACCC. You can read about their experiences on the graduate program below.
Fortunately, the Graduate Program gave me the perfect opportunity to broaden my horizons and get a taste for a number of different business areas. During my rotations in the legal group, mergers investigations and enforcement divisions, I gained an invaluable insight into the ACCC’s significant and diverse role in promoting competition and protecting consumers in the Australian economy.
Throughout the program, I always felt that my supervisors really made an effort to involve me in interesting and challenging work, and I felt like a valued and important member of the team from day one. I must admit that starting out as a grad, I was expecting my fair share of photocopying and proofreading. So it was a very pleasant surprise to be researching and drafting a legal advice within my first few weeks of starting!
The ongoing training courses and supportive team environment provides everything you need to develop your skills and succeed at the ACCC. Coming from a predominantly legal background, I particularly found the economics-based courses really helpful in getting my technical skills up to scratch. Additionally, the numerous other professional development, communication and leadership skills courses really demonstrated to me the ACCC’s firm commitment to investing in and developing its people.
Above all, the ACCC Graduate Program offers the opportunity to work alongside highly motivated people in a supportive, respectful and exciting workplace.
The Graduate Program works through rotations, which allows you to get a range of experience across the ACCC. This worked really well for me, because I could try a number of different areas and make a more informed choice of where I wanted to take my permanent position. It also gave me a range of skills that I might not have gotten if I had worked in only one area from the beginning. The other great thing about the Program is that staff across the organisation are really supportive of it. In each rotation my colleagues and managers were focused on giving me a good understanding of the work we were doing and the objectives we were trying to achieve. I was given substantive work and significant responsibility, which was rewarding and made me feel like I was contributing to the work of the team and branch.
Other great things about the Graduate Program and the ACCC more generally are:
- a friendly, supportive and talented work environment, with opportunities for networking and building productive relationships within and across teams
- significant training throughout the Program to help build essential skills such as legal/economic knowledge and writing/presentation skills (this was also great because graduates were able to catch up with each other)
- intellectually challenging work on meaningful matters that affect the welfare of Australian consumers.
I am currently working in the AER’s network regulation branch and love it; the work is challenging and the people are awesome. My experience in the Graduate Program helped me get started and perform well in my role. I highly recommend the Graduate Program to those interested in the work the ACCC/AER does.
After completing Arts and Economics (Hons) degrees at the University of Melbourne I joined the ACCC as a graduate in 2012.
The ACCC’s Graduate Program was an excellent introduction to the various responsibilities of the Commission. I rotated with teams working on major regulatory and competition issues in Australia, such as formulating the regulatory environment that surrounds the NBN, and assessing merger and authorisation applications from businesses.
The Graduate Program also provided excellent professional development opportunities. I undertook a number of dedicated training programs in both technical skills (e.g. regulatory economics seminars and competition law overviews) and professional skills such as writing workshops and presentation training. During each rotation I was paired with an experienced supervisor who helped integrate me into their team and provided constructive feedback on my work.
On completing the graduate program I worked as a project officer analysing authorisation applications from businesses seeking to coordinate with one another. I then took a job as an economist with the ACCC’s in house economics team and provided specialist economic advice on a range of ACCC projects, including merger reviews, cartel investigations, and misuse of market power allegations.
I recently completed an internal secondment with the Mergers and Authorisation Review Division, working as an Assistant Director, and am currently a Senior Economist with the economics team.
During the Graduate Program I completed rotations in the Legal Group, the Australian Energy Regulator, and Transport. By completing three different rotations, including an interstate rotation, I was able to gain a well-rounded view of the ACCC’s work. As a graduate I was given ownership of projects, presented papers to Commission, engaged with stakeholders and always participated in meaningful work. It was also an interesting process gaining an understanding of different industries.
The training provided as part of the Program was also great. I found the training such as Writing and Presentation Skills and Regulatory Economics really helped as I was immediately able to put those skills to use in my work. Training days are also a great way to catch up and spend time with all the other graduates.
I am currently working in the Rail Access team in the Fuel, Transport and Prices Oversight Branch. I have found the skills, knowledge base and experience I have obtained through participation in the Graduate Program are essential to my work in the Rail Access team.
The graduate program has been immensely rewarding as you get to experience a variety of work throughout the organisation. For example, the rotation in Enforcement in Townsville has really familiarised me with the CCA and the consumer protection aspect of the ACCC. For a graduate with no legal training, it was an invaluable experience. The rotations also give graduates a great opportunity to build up networks throughout the ACCC.
During the graduate program, you are never on your own; there is constant support from your directors and supervisors, as well as the team running the graduate program. There is also the informal support from your buddy and the rest of the graduate cohort.
I would recommend the ACCC graduate program for anyone who is interested in doing interesting and challenging work that improves the welfare of Australians, while making lifelong friends along the way.
My graduate year was a year of great professional and personal fulfilment. I was given the opportunity to contribute to meaningful, often high profile work in a supportive and encouraging environment. Each rotation allowed me to apply my university training in different ways and build my skill set in a manner relevant to the challenges of the work carried out by the ACCC.
There is so much to enjoy about working at the ACCC. The best part for me though has to be getting to work on intellectually stimulating matters alongside like-minded, dedicated and supportive people.
The training provided by the ACCC throughout my grad. year has also been invaluable. Whether it be the law and economics training I have completed or the professional and leadership development initiatives I have participated in, I have always had the sense that the ACCC is investing in my long-term career and in me as a person.
I am now working in the Merger Investigations Branch in the Sydney Office. My knowledge of the Australian Competition and Consumer Law and the competitive dynamics of the Australian market that I acquired throughout the graduate program have become fundamental to my work in the Merger Investigations team.
Despite having an interest in a particular area, I applied for the ACCC graduate program because I wanted to gain experience in the different roles performed by the ACCC. I subsequently completed rotations in the Communications Group and the Enforcement Branch before deciding to return to the Reg 1 team in the Communications Group for my third rotation.
When my time in the graduate program ended, I began work in the Communications Group. This is a particularly interesting part of the ACCC because it requires an understanding of a number of areas, including the economics of regulation, the legal framework within which the ACCC operates and the telecommunications infrastructure.
As well as ensuring that graduates experience different work areas, the ACCC graduate program involves a comprehensive training program to equip them with the skills necessary to advance their careers at the ACCC.
I would recommend the ACCC graduate program to anyone interested in working in a relevant and intellectually challenging environment.
Working in different areas is great for providing you with a range of opportunities and challenges. As a graduate, I was interviewing potential witnesses around the country, conducting economic analysis on mergers and acquisitions by high-profile corporations and providing legal advice on potential contraventions of the law. I was able to develop my skills on a range of interesting work with extensive training and support from my colleagues.
I also thoroughly enjoyed my interstate rotation in Canberra. The interstate rotations give you the opportunity to work in different areas, put faces to the names of your colleagues and take part in new hobbies/interests outside work that might not be available to you in your home town.
I currently work as a lawyer in the Legal Group. At the ACCC, I work on a range of enforcement activities that are both challenging and exciting. The experience of working with those at the top of their field is also invaluable.
Enforcement Operations Group
Being a national organisation, opportunities for work in different regions is a big positive. Beginning in Canberra, I had two year-long stints as an investigator in Perth and then headed up the ACCC's North Queensland office in Townsville. I spent 12 months on secondment to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. These different experiences have been interesting and rewarding.
As with any job, interaction with others—whether they are colleagues, clients or otherwise—is very important. The opportunity to work with professional and skilled colleagues has always been one of the real benefits of working at the ACCC, not to mention the approachability and contact at all levels with senior management and commissioners. Contact with consumers and industry—while not always seeing eye-to-eye—also provides new perspectives and opportunities for learning.
As a career, the ACCC provides significant opportunities. Fourteen years down the track from my time in the graduate program I am lucky to have a role coordinating and overseeing much of the ACCC's competition and consumer protection enforcement work across the country.
The ACCC graduate program provides the perfect entry point and a solid foundation for a rewarding career with the ACCC.