Updating Results

Westpac Group New Zealand

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Caroline McElroy

In Office (pre-pandemic)

5.40 AM

For the ambitious days - I’ll sometimes manage to fit in a 30min-1hr gym session prior to getting ready for work, otherwise, like today…

6.40 AM

The alarm goes off - My blaring and out of reach alarm has my feet on the floor within seconds. I jump into the shower and throw on some form of ‘smart casual/business attire’. I’m super hungry this morning, so I make myself some oats and berries. 

7.30 AM

Stroll to work - I like taking my time walking to work and often listen to a podcast or the radio. Today I’m listening to Fletch, Vaughan and Megan laughing my way down Tamaki Drive.

8.15 AM

Arrive at La Petite Fourchette - A guilty pleasure of mine is buying a coffee from this little café beside Westpac. The coffee is great, and the staff are more than happy to allow me to practice my broken high school, French, “Bonjour, je voudrais un café”.

Westpac NZ Graduate Caroline McElroy meeting

8.30 AM

Squad stand up - Our squad (a self-steering autonomous team) of four people collects around our Kanban board for 15 minutes. We each run through the work we’ve been doing and update the board with the progress of each piece we’re working on. This ensures we’re all working together to achieve the same end-to-end vision and objectives. Then it’s back to my desk, to prepare for the day.  

9.00 AM

Getting Down to Business - My squad is currently working on a revamp of some customer-facing offers. Having written a proposal for an initiative that we’re implementing, I and another squad member meet with Risk, Legal and Finance to discuss this initiative and (hopefully) get it approved.

Westpac NZ Graduate Caroline McElroy sic

10.30 AM

A quick break - Around mid-morning I decide I need to step away from my desk and stretch my legs. I meet up with a colleague and go down to our ‘in house’ café where I grab a takeaway coffee in my Keep Cup and have a quick chat.

Westpac NZ Graduate Caroline McElroy hallway

12.00 PM

Lunch time - Having spent the rest of the morning making changes to online forms, it’s time for some lunch. I head outside with my packed lunch to meet some friends in Takutai square. It’s an awesome spot, often filled with food trucks or promotional events (and freebies) and is a great chance to get some fresh air.

2.00 PM

Tribe Demo - Fortnightly, our Tribe (a group of squads with related individual responsibilities) will get together and share the work they’ve been doing recently. It’s a cool opportunity to see what those around you are working on plus these gatherings sometimes include food – perfect for a hungry grad.

Westpac NZ Graduate Caroline McElroy tribe

3.30 PM

The Work Continues - Following the 3 pm Stuff quiz we do as a Tribe, I continue working on updates that will be available to our frontline staff. I’m excited to write these as they will help Westpac provide a more efficient service to our customers. This goes with our squad mission of designing a future state which will meet our customers’ needs. 

Westpac NZ Graduate Caroline McElroy working

5.00 PM

Logging Off - Work is finished for the day, so I head across the road to the gym for an evening training session. As a bonus, this gym offers a corporate discount to Westpac employees. Today, I am meeting my cousin who works in a corporate office just down the road and we are going to do some weight training together. 
7.00 PM

Relax - Having walked home while calling my friend in Dunedin, I head straight to the kitchen for dinner. The rest of the evening is spent relaxing and reading ‘I Am Pilgrim’. 

10.00 PM

Well Past My Bedtime - With the same start tomorrow morning I put my phone on Do Not Disturb and start to fall asleep to Brooklyn-99 (my 100th time watching the series) while cuddled up with my two dogs. A pretty good day in my books. 

Working from Home (lockdown L4)

8.15 AM

The alarm goes off - Just enough time to have a shower and get dressed for the day (track pants and a nice blouse for any video calling – why not?) so that I can be seated at my desk, on the other side of my bedroom, ready for my first meeting.

8.30 AM

Squad stand up - Time for stand-up just like in the office, only using online tools to operate a virtual Kanban board and talk to each other. Since lockdown started, we take extra time in these sessions to also check in on each other’s well-being and any obstacles we’re currently facing. 

9.00 AM

Getting Down to Business - Time to make breakfast and a homemade cappuccino. Then I plan my day as I would in the office and attend to any high priority issues that have come up.

10.30 AM

A quick break - I take a moment to stretch my legs before preparing for the next meeting. The goal for my next meeting is to discuss simplifying and automating some of Westpac’s offerings, so I spend the morning talking to co-workers about how we can refine the data required to go into a rebuild. 

12.00 PM

Lunchtime - Since lockdown started, I have a bit more time to get creative in the kitchen; homemade pizza is on the menu today! I also decide to get outside and take the dogs for a quick walk. 

Westpac NZ Graduate Caroline McElroy dog

2.30 PM

Chapter Sync - On alternate fortnights, our Chapter (a group of 10 functional Product specialists working across squads) get together to share updates on the work we’ve been doing for our squads. My favourite part about this is it allows for a fresh set of eyes to see what we’re all doing and how we can get over individual project hurdles.

3.30 PM

The Work Continues - Because I have a strong interest in Customer Experience and Design, one of my favourite things about working for Westpac is flexibility. This means as a Product graduate I still get to attend the Customer Experience and Design Chapter Sync so I can see what they’re doing and get exposure into what they do.

5.00 PM

Logging Off - Today ‘Log off time’ is 5.00 PM, but it can be earlier or later depending on my workload. Westpac has an awesome work culture and along with this goes the encouragement for a good work/life balance. 

7.00 PM

Relax - After work, especially in this current environment, is the most social time of the day. Tonight, we’re having a Zoom gathering with a group of friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. 

10.00 PM

Well Past My Bedtime - With the same start tomorrow morning I put my phone on Do Not Disturb and start to fall asleep to Brooklyn-99 (my 100th time watching the series) while cuddled up with my two dogs. A pretty good day in my books.