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Westpac Group New Zealand

  • #3 in Banking and financial services
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Tammy Muthumala

4.40 AM

BEEP BEEP… BEEP BEEP… okay sometimes I snooze it, just for 5 minutes!

4.45 AM

Starting my mornings off right with a workout! I quickly change into my gym gear and sneak out the door so I don’t wake up my flatmates! Off I drive to Les Mills Auckland City to get those endorphins going.

6.00 AM

Rolling back in all sweaty from the gym, which comprised of either a weights session or some cardio and a GRIT session! I quickly take a shower, down my breakfast smoothie and pack the daily essentials in time to catch my train!

Westpac Graduate Tammy Muthumala walk

7.00 AM

Depart home. I walk to the train station and chuck in a podcast to keep me company. Living in Auckland means I’ll usually make sure I have a warm jumper and an umbrella handy… You know what they say - four seasons in one day!

7.45 AM

Arrive in office. Plenty of good mornings to the café staff, familiar faces in the Level 4 Seaside kitchen, and on my way to my desk! I sit in a busy area, so I get to have a morning chat with a few people who have time to stop by. 

After logging into skype, I check my calendar and write out a rough outline of the day, I check for things that need urgent attention. Where there is nothing urgent to be met, I usually meet my fellow Risk Grad or have a morning meeting that involves nothing other than coffee from our awesome Westpac café - Rafters!

The ordinary business hour starts at 8.00 AM in Westpac, but I prefer starting early to finish up early at the end of the day! It is great having flexibility in choosing our work routine and balance with personal life. 

8.45 AM

The first meeting is our Team Huddle! We gather in a room with a whiteboard and start off the huddle by celebrating any achievements, birthdays or anniversaries! We talk about the service promise of focus for the week and play a game of hangman which is linked to the service promise (or a celebration for the week). In Op Risk, we have huddles twice a week, on Monday to check in with the team, and then on Friday review whether we achieved our goals for the week.

I’ve actually just started a new rotation in the Cyber and Tech team, which is under the Operational Risk Team. The best part about the Risk graduate programme is that you have four rotations.

My team also has a 1-hour meeting on a Wednesday in order to deep dive into each team members workload for the week. This is the most important time within the week where we centre our focus on how we will continuously deliver value to our customers, through the tasks we undertake.

9.15 AM

What do I do in between meetings? – finish off work tasks. This can include preparation for upcoming meetings, working on our graduate project and keep up to date with Cyber & Tech modules. I enjoy networking with a new face (over coffee, of course!) in the business at least once a week. Being a graduate, we are encouraged to reach out to people, ask questions and be curious to our environment.  

Everyday is completely different! I’ve made sure to hit the ground running and involve myself in different aspects of Risk and the Graduate programme, including the Risk Engagement Squad and two Graduate Projects. I’ve also made sure to make my team aware that I would like to shadow them in meetings to make sure I get as much exposure as possible to Westpac environment and understand how we are able to achieve our goal of delivering value to Westpac people and customers. 

The team dynamic in Risk is incredible, everyone is always willing to help each other out and I’ve learnt how important it is to build relationships in the workplace. 

10.45 AM

I am in the early stages of a Graduate project with my fellow Risk graduates which consist of mapping out the journey of a customer of Westpac who has been affected by fraud. Our project looks to map out the whole journey of a Westpac customer from start to end by interviewing different teams including our frontline staff, understanding the processes, identify any gaps and then go on to make recommendations to Financial Crime Management which can be implemented in the future. 

Today we had a meeting with the team leader from the Customer Contact Centre to find out the first steps of the customers' journey in Westpac. I am proud to work with a bank that continuously looks to improve customer experience.

My favourite part of being a risk graduate is that I am not confined to learn about one area of Risk. I am exposed to so many different areas of Risk and get the opportunity to develop my understanding of how these areas intertwine with each area to produce value to our customers.

Westpac Graduate Tammy Muthumala lunch

12.00 PM

It's lunchtime! I always make sure to get outside, grab some fresh air and make time to catch up with Westpac friends or other friends. The best part about summer coming up is Britomart puts out the bean bags and outdoor furniture to sit on! 

My lunchtime definitely varies depending on my workload, I usually take it anytime between 12.00 PM and 1.30 PM. Of course, any urgent matters or pre-planned meetings come first. I love the flexibility around this as it means I can organise lunch with my fellow graduates, or even friends!
Today I had Hello Fresh leftovers - Parmesan crumbed chicken with roasted pumpkin and beetroot with some spinach! 

Westpac Graduate Tammy Muthumala meeting

1.00 PM

Today I get to sit in on an Enterprise Tech Council (ETC) meeting. My current rotation as I discussed above is Cyber & Tech Risk, in which the team leads the effective oversight, insight and control in the management of Cyber, Data and Technology Risks across WNZL. The ETC is the governance forum for Technology Strategies and Architectures where all choices of Technologies, Tools, Platforms, Platform products, Techniques, Technical standards and Architectures are made and governed. It assures that each technology decision has included the appropriate collaboration and been given appropriate consideration.

2.00 PM

Debriefing on what was discussed at the ETC meeting. I’m still learning and trying to wrap my head around the technological aspects. Thankfully my buddy Jacinda is so patient and always happy to help talk me through everything. 

Risk graduates will always get assigned a buddy in each rotation. A buddy will help you through your work, is your first point of contact for information and will often assign you to work! They are there as a support system to ensure that you are transitioning well into the Westpac environment while assisting with your development and making sure you are on the right track! 

Westpac Graduate Tammy Muthumala meeting

2.30 PM

Today we’ve got a Blue House leaders meeting. The Risk Houses were established to promote collaboration, connectivity, fun and a healthy level of competition across Risk! Today’s meeting is to discuss some new ideas to get the houses re-rolling after the Auckland lockdown.

The list currently consists of:

  • Coffee Roulette (Where randomly assign two individuals to grab coffee and network)
  • The Riskmas Party (The Christmas Party for Risk)
  • Tik Tok dance off 
  • Friday Drinks 

3.30 PM

From our morning Grad Project meeting, I’ve decided to go over our learnings and notes and compile it into a road map – which is a lot easier on the eye that a whole bunch of scribbled notes! Takes me back to university days trying to take notes in a lecture!

4.30 PM 

Time to pack up my bags, and head home for the day! We always make it a point to be “loud” when leaving the office so that we all know when each other is leaving for the day – I say goodbye to my team, and head down to the Britomart Train Station, bound for Kingsland Station!

5.10 PM

I arrive home, drop my bag, have a chat with any flatties who happen to be home before me and have a cuddle with our flat cat, Millie! 

5.30 PM

Depending on the evening – I’ll either have dinner out to catch up with a friend or dinner in with the flat. This week the flat ordered Hello Fresh, we each take turns at cooking the meals! I’m on dinner tonight, and we’re cooking up a Curry – Ginger and Coconut Chicken Curry with Rice!

6.15 PM

We LOVE sitting as a flat at the dining table – plates and cutlery are set for 5, and when I’m cooking I always love lighting a candle! We serve up dinner and debrief on the day! We discuss the highs, lows and everything in between. I love coming home and debriefing to the flatties about my busy but productive workday!

We’re feeling a bit peckish tonight and that means a little dessert after dinner - ice cream with crushed double-coat Tim Tams on top, which we absolutely devour with no shame.

7.30 PM

We all resort to the lounge to chuck on some TV and just relax. We are BIG FANS of Masterchef and make sure to tune in each night to keep up with the competition! Must I say, I was never really a Masterchef fan, but I’ve been converted.
8.45 PM

It’s time to wind down. I may be a morning person, but in turn, that also means I’m not quite the night owl! I put my phone on do not disturb, light a candle and make sure my alarm is set for the morning! I’m so indecisive in the morning so to make sure I don’t change my outfit many times (although at times – it still happens) I set out my clothes for the next day. Finally, its time to grab the latest book I’m reading (currently reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and sink into the bed. 

9.30 PM

By this time, after reading my book my mind is relaxed and ready for bed. Candle off, lights out and time for 7.5 hours of bliss! Zzzzzz.