A fresh collaboration between SA tech company akto, Flinders University and the City of Holdfast Bay is providing graduates with a daring new way to drive business solutions projects, underpinned by the benefit of mentor support.
akto, which provides technology integration solutions for businesses, has employed two Flinders technology and business graduates since January and contracted them to steer a complex overhaul of the City of Holdfast Bay’s automating processes – with akto providing mentoring, and continuing training and support from Flinders University Careers and Employability, the University’s transition to employment service for graduates.
“This is an innovative way to introduce graduates to complex work projects and provide them with access to greater responsibilities, but ensuring they have a secure safety net through having our mentors in place to guide and support them,” says akto Chief Operating Officer Gordon McAlister.
“It breaks with traditional formal structures that tend to bind new graduates to limited roles in the workplace, and instead gives them an opportunity for their ideas and abilities to take centre stage.
“The Flinders graduates have brought an energy and creativity to the workplace that the council would otherwise not have access to, and the council is really keen to harness and use their talents further.”
Holdfast Bay Council is now planning to extend the graduates’ responsibilities and retrain them in the more complex level of application support.
“We looked at the akto approach to graduate training and mentoring and we were impressed,” says Pamela Jackson, General Manager, Strategy and Business Services at City of Holdfast Bay. “The business and technical graduates, who receive professional development provided by Flinders University Career and Employability, are experienced, trained and well-rounded, and are an asset to any organisation.
“We see that the akto graduates working with us will deliver real business outcomes that aid the council’s internal business transformation and innovation processes.”
These developments have akto confident that other councils may also choose to work with mentored graduates, to improve their ongoing tech efficiency projects.
akto founders Sam Loveridge and Chris Wood have extensive careers in the international tech sector, but have witnessed talent shortages in South Australia, so are especially keen to develop local talent by employing graduates.
They have been especially impressed by the quality of talent from Flinders University since they commenced interviewing candidates for akto positions, with their combined technical capability, flexibility in thinking and customer service experience.
The two successful Flinders graduates are delighted with the work opportunity that has been presented to them through akto working in partnership with Flinders University Careers and Employability.
“I was instantly inspired by the opportunity to join akto. The company founders have motivated me to explore my own strengths in the IT industry,” says Flinders University graduate Karan Godara. “I feel supported by working with a close-knit team and I have learned so much already.”
The innovation of providing several layers of support has been especially attractive for fellow Flinders graduate Katelin Ryle. “akto offered mentoring as a part of the job, which is really beneficial to my learning. I appreciate that akto is a small, local business, and I can see huge potential for me to learn and grow in this company.”
The impressive work of these two graduates signals the start of a potentially long-lasting partnership for akto and Flinders University that provides great benefits for everyone involved. “We are so proud that we are giving graduates their first big break in industry,” says Mr McAlister, “and they are grasping this opportunity and flying with it.”