A graduate's experience in the NSW Behavioural Insights Unit
Bonnie Ho spent six months at the NSW Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) as part of the NSW Government Graduate Program. Learn more about the opportunities and meaningful work she found there.
What brought you to the BIU?
I applied for the graduate program because I was eager to explore different areas of the public sector, to see how I could use my skills and to challenge myself through an open-minded approach to learning.
After graduating with an Honours and MPhil in English from the University of Sydney, I initially worked as a Customer Service Representative with Service NSW.
While doing that job, I was both experiencing and witnessing difficulties that affect customers and frontline workers. The pain points I was noticing in transactions and interactions helped me understand what it takes to deliver great customer service.
With customer focus in mind, I was thrilled to be asked to join the NSW BIU for my first rotation.
What learning opportunities have you had here?
Although it is daunting starting a new role, I have been fortunate to work with a team that has consistently gone above and beyond to not only support my growth and development but also to offer me invaluable learning opportunities.
I was warmly welcomed into the NSW BIU and assigned to help organise a series of workshops (called the Behaviour Smart Bootcamp). The goal of these workshops was to support teams across the NSW public service to apply behavioural insights to specific customer challenges that those teams were facing.
Interacting with these teams from different agencies taught me a great deal about behavioural challenges and the different methods of working through them.
Stemming from these workshops, I have also been working on co-creating self-directed learning modules based on the learning material for Bootcamp. It's been an enjoyable experience working collaboratively on content that has a practical purpose and continuously challenges the way I think about the customer experience.
I’ve also had a chance to be involved with other projects. Notably, I helped organise interviews and focus groups and contributed to the evaluation of research on women’s retirement planning.
Recently, I have directed my focus toward some research related to sludge, which is the frictions and barriers that make it more difficult for customers to achieve their goal. This was made possible by my manager, who always ensures I work on projects that relate to my interests and goals.
What were the highlights of your placement?
There have been many highlights so far, but what I appreciate most about being a graduate in the NSW BIU is the opportunity to learn from a team with a range of expertise, who are generous with offering their knowledge, guidance, and encouragement. With the support of my team, it’s been very motivating and fulfilling engaging in meaningful work that makes a real difference.
Another highlight has been the connections I have made in the NSW Government, as the BIU works with various agencies and departments. The NSW BIU has been excellent in fostering my learning within and outside of the team. They have offered many opportunities for me to work and network with stakeholders within and beyond the DCS, providing a strong start to my graduate journey and giving me the resources to help build career confidence.
Find out more about the NSW Government Graduate Program.