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Nutrien Ag Solutions

  • 50,000 - 100,000 employees

Denice Dao

Do more research into what roles or career paths you would be interested in, put out some time to do extra study on courses related to that specific role, there are lots on Udemy, and LinkedIn learning has learning paths which is pretty useful.

What's your job about?

Nutrien Ag Solutions works to assist the agricultural industry by providing a variety of services, ranging from water solutions, farming supplies and even insurance solutions. My area of responsibility as an IT graduate currently sits with Nutrien’s Digital team in Australia. I was originally placed in the platform engineering team, but as an IT graduate I have the opportunity to learn as much as possible and be exposed to all sorts of IT areas, not just one. I started off with documentation work for a few of the sub-teams in Digital, allowing me to learn about platform engineering, cyber security and even development. After learning the foundations, I was given more technical tasks ranging from minor configurations on the platform engineering side to taking charge and automating a markdown code linting process for the development team.

What's your background?

I grew up in Melbourne Australia, in a large family with lots of siblings and cousins. Growing up I always had an interest in technology, whenever there was an issue with tech, I would pretend I knew what I was doing, turning things off and on usually fixed it, but the adults thought I was a genius, I guess this fuelled my love for technology even more. 

Going into primary and high school, I didn’t care which part of I.T. I got into I just wanted to work in the industry. My interest changed depending on the I.T. project I was working on at the time, it went from game developer to web developer, during year 10 while researching all areas of I.T. it led me to cybersecurity, hence the reason why I moved on to do a bachelor of cybersecurity.  

Towards the end of my bachelor’s degree, I started job hunting, but first, I looked back on my career path and current interests to see what it was I wanted to do or potentially do. I managed to find the Nutrien Ag Solutions IT grad role advertised on indeed and applied. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was in for, since I had never considered how I.T. and farming could be connected, but as I started my career at Nutrien Ag Solutions I was able to learn so much more, not just on the I.T. side, but also about the agriculture industry and how the two are inter-linked. 

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes and no. 

No since my role right now is being an I.T. graduate, those from a different background would still need a degree in I.T. to be considered for this role. 

However, if you’re talking about the industry overall then yes, those from a different background can definitely look into the role of platform engineer, cyber analyst or developer. Like lots of other roles, as long as the person is willing to put out the time and effort to learn, be teachable, adaptable, know when to ask for help and not be afraid of making mistakes, then yes, it is possible. 

What's the coolest thing about your job?

What I love most about my job are the technical tasks, being able to put all that theory into action. As of right now there are a few specific things I enjoy, one is looking at compliance checks for the platform engineering team, my supervisor will send me an email and ask for me to check the compliance alerts, and I get to take charge and look through the aws console and get back to my supervisor with my updates and comments. Another task is related to work on the development side of things, I was given a task that required me to do the research and figure things out on my own, before following up with my colleague and getting feedback. I have also had the opportunity to code something and it worked! It was simple but it worked!

What are the limitations of your job?

As an I.T. graduate at Nutrien Ag solutions I don’t see a lot of limitations, we start off with small responsibilities and there is always someone to review and help out. In I.T. when it comes to coding and pushing code out, I get a bit scared that I might break something, but I have been reminded multiple times during my time here that it’s alright to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them. A possible limitation could be time difference, I was given the opportunity to work with the Nutrien cyber team in Canada as well, but due to the time difference I wasn’t able to get much time with them, my work around was to wake up a bit earlier which I’m fine with.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Do more research into what roles or career paths you would be interested in, put out some time to do extra study on courses related to that specific role, there are lots on Udemy, and LinkedIn learning has learning paths which is pretty useful.
  • Some university courses may only go through theory and basic hands-on work. It may be useful to start side projects based on your career interests, this is something you can place in your resume as experience. This advice was given to me by one of my colleagues, it is definitely something I’d want to pass onto students that still have lots of time on their hands.
  • The real-world, there’s university theory, assignments and tools, and then there’s the real-world. Depending on your role of interest search up the popular tools that are actually being used in the real-world and familiarize yourself with at least the basics. This will speed up the learning process when you start your first role.