A Day In The Life - Dan Vu
Graduate Program

A day in the life of a graduate in Network Planning and Operations - Dan Vu

20 April 2023

Dan Vu studied a Bachelor of Engineering Diploma in Engineering Practice (Electrical Engineering) at University of Technology Sydney and is a former graduate in Network Planning and Operations – Asset Management at Transgrid. Read on to find out more about what she had learned and what it's like to work in her role.

Q: How was the transition from the Graduate Program to your current position?

A: For me, the transition was seamless as it was basically like coming back home. HV Design was a team I had worked with as part of one of my rotations (Asset Management, HV Design, Customer Planning and Major Projects – PSF) and the technical side of Transgrid – as an organisation – has always been where I have wanted to end up. At least in the early years of my career.
In completing the program, I came into HV design with a better understanding of how my work (both technical and project management) impacts the delivery of projects across the Transgrid network. Whether it be in the prescribed (main transmission network) or non-prescribed (customer connections) space.

I would encourage future graduates to be proactive in seeking out experiences and roles as the Graduate program does not limit where you can find learning experiences in the business. Transgrid actively encourages their employees to seek learning and development opportunities.

Q: Do you have any advice for the new recruits and people that are considering joining our Graduate Program?

A: Join the program with being open to new experiences but also really think about where your interests lie and what skills you want to develop (whether they be your strengths, or better yet – your weaknesses). The program is a great opportunity to experience parts of the business that you might not have otherwise thought about joining and learning the why’s and how’s of what goes into maintaining and building the electricity network.

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The below article was written by Dan Vu in 2019 during her first rotation in the Asset Management team.

6.30 AM

As the weather gets colder it becomes more difficult to wake up so early. I hit snooze three times before I eventually get up to start the day jamming to music on Spotify. Sufficiently awake after a cup of tea, I head out the door for a 30-minute drive to work at the Sydney West, Eastern Creek Office (colloquially known as Wallgrove).

Day-in-the-life-TransGrid-Dan-Vu-driving-to-work

Driving in, it always amazes me to see the scale of the substation and transmission lines that occupy the landscape surrounding the office.

7.30 AM

I’m usually one of the first to arrive and it’s no different today. The quiet of the early hours provide me the opportunity to respond to some emails about work that needs to be done for the day and accept an invitation for a meeting later in the week. Recently I’ve been having discussions with colleagues in Regulation regarding the processes and requirements surrounding project proposals.

Day-in-the-life-TransGrid-Dan-Vu-working-on-her-desk

Working in this office means that there aren’t many choices when it comes to food if I’m in need of a quick lunch. There is a kiosk for staff that serves a delicious menu (plus coffee), but I still prefer homemade lunches. After sending off a few emails I head to the break out area to store away my lunch and make my second cup of tea for the day – starting to see a theme?

My task for the day is to analyse, process and cleanse asset data that is being used as part of a new risk modelling tool. The intention of the tool is to provide input into developing an investment list based on impacts to network reliability and economic benefit

9.00 AM

After slowly making my way through a few batches of data I think I’ve earned myself a little coffee break. I head to the kiosk with a fellow graduate and grab a coffee before taking a walk along the walking track on the perimeter of the substation. It’s a beautiful day and considering the amount of time I now spend indoors at work, it’s much needed vitamin D and a chance to stretch my legs.

11.00 AM

Today begins the annual round of flu shots at Transgrid. As part of our Wellbeing Program, annual flu shots are offered as well as a low fee membership to countless gyms and aquatic centres around NSW. At Transgrid, the focus is always on the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees. Everyone is encouraged to take care of themselves by being aware of their work-life balance.

Day-in-the-life-TransGrid-Dan-Vu-Wellness-program-at-Transgrid

This is the first time I have had the shot, so let me see if it will work this winter.

12.00 PM

Time for lunch and a mini catch up with the other graduates in the office. They all work on Level 2 in another business unit, so I don’t usually have the chance to cross paths during the day. There’s only six of us today with the others out visiting site or working in the Ultimo office. Since starting the graduate program we’ve attempted to organise a get-together after work but with 13 of us in total, finding the perfect day is proving to be troublesome. No plans are made today – so instead we enjoy some delicious donuts for an afternoon pick-me-up!

Day-in-the-life-TransGrid-Dan-Vu-Dan-during-lunch-break-with-colleagues

1.00 PM

1.00 pm on the dot is when we usually finish lunch and people head back for their afternoon meetings. My afternoon plans involve compiling a list of all the work that has been done to process data for the risk modelling tool. A colleague is working on a presentation to present to our manager about where we’re at and how much further work is expected. Then to round out the afternoon – more data processing. But first, another cup of tea!

4.30 PM

Today is a bit of a late finish; usually I’m ready to jet by 4.00 pm but there were a few sheets of data that needed to be looked at. It is finally time to get in my daily workout at the on-site gym. Transgrid have made available to all staff at Wallgrove an on-site gym with a variety of equipment for a quick workout, whether it be before or after work, or during the lunch break. Now there’s no excuse for me not to work out!

5.30 PM

I finally head home and it is super dark out. The trick about working here is to time my commute to be outside of peak hours heading back towards the suburbs. I’ve learnt leaving right about now is the sweet spot. It only takes about thirty-five minutes to get back today.

6.30 PM

I arrive home just in time to make and have dinner with my family before spending a bit of time with a good old book – and maybe some online games to finish the night.

9.45 PM

After catching up on a few TV shows on Netflix, I finally decided to call it a night. I was quite tempted to finish off one more episode but I knew that if I didn’t sleep soon, the 6.30 am wake up would be a serious problem.