Benjamin Crennan got involved in a range of extra curricular activities in his time at Mill Park Secondary College. He also used the wide variety of senior subjects and positive teaching environments to build his way to a career as an IT analyst.
Name: Benjamin Crennan
Years at MPSC: 2002-2007
Current career: IT Test Analyst
What is your career and who do you work for?
My work involves computer software and system testing at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO is Australia’s revenue collection agency, consisting of a number of systems designed to collect revenue to build roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure.
What does your job involve?
As an IT Test Analyst my role is to examine specifications for computer systems written by system design teams and work with my team to write test scripts that will test these systems as comprehensively as possible within our given timeframe. I also execute these scripts and record results using specialised software.
What does a typical day look like?
Working in a Government department allows me to take advantage of flexible working hours. I like to start my working day around 8am and finish just after 4pm. I will generally find myself executing test scripts and recording results, sometimes contacting specialists working on design and programming teams I work with to clarify issues discovered whilst testing. My team will meet regularly to discuss project updates and any solutions to issues we may have encountered. Outside of my testing duties, I act as a mentor to the IT Graduates in the 2014 Graduate Program providing guidance and help with their work and assessments; and I organise the social activities for the entire testing department I work in.
What course or training did you have to do?
I completed a Bachelor of Information Technology at RMIT University. This degree gave me a well-rounded education in a variety of areas in IT, including programming, networking and system design. I joined the ATO as a participant in the 2013 Graduate Program as an IT Graduate and as part of my professional development throughout the year-long program completed a Certificate IV in Government (Project Management).
How did Mill Park Secondary College help you get there?
My teachers cared just as much about my future as I did, demonstrating this by constructing positive learning environments and having approachable personalities. Being able to ask for further help after class and after school when needed was very helpful.
Most distinct memory of MPSC?
I accumulated many memories over six years but the highlights were the hilarious classmate-bonding games in pastoral and the year 11 German camp to Hahndorf, South Australia. Every time I catch up with my school mates these memories come up in conversation.
What was the best thing about MPSC?
The amount of subjects on offer – being one of the biggest schools in the state provides students with the opportunity to study almost anything they want and follow the career paths that most interest them.
What tips do you have for students looking to get into your pathway?
Listen to your teachers – we don’t like to admit it as kids but when you enter the real world you look back and realise how much they really do know! To do my job I needed to obtain an information technology degree (graduate programs only take applicants with degrees) and to study my degree I needed to study maths in year 12. Studying IT in year 12 was not necessary but I highly recommend doing so – this gave me a ton of background knowledge going into my degree that I still use today.
I also spent some time as a volunteer teaching aide helping young adults with disabilities learn literacy and numeracy through the use of computer software. This was a rewarding experience that gave me an appreciation for helping others and also helped me to break into the IT field.