QUT alumnus, Joseph Kelly, started out in law before moving to a career in cyber security and risk management with Ernst and Young. Joseph shares his journey to date and why studying a Digital MBA is the last piece of his career puzzle (for now!).
How did you land your first full time job?
I was lucky enough to be offered a twelve-week internship at a migration firm shortly after graduation whilst undertaking my Practical Legal Training (PLT). And five weeks into the program I was offered a full-time role!
Tell us about your career journey and how you ended up in your current role
I started out in migration law. During that time, I recognised that being a lawyer was not what I wanted to be, but I did want to leverage the skills I had learned and developed during my studies.
After leaving the firm, I landed a job as a policy advisor and small business advocate. This role required me to provide commentary on legislative and policy developments, engage in the political landscape and advocate on behalf of collectives.
After two years in this role I made the jump to consulting. Despite having no cyber security background, I became a cyber consultant as I was able to leverage my transferable skills from my education and previous career. I was very fortunate in that role to have very supportive leaders who pushed me and helped accelerate my career. As part of my work in cyber I was introduced to Third Party Risk management. Twelve months ago, I moved into a new role as the Asia-Pacific Third Party Risk Manager.
My law degree was invaluable in developing the critical thinking skills I have needed to understand and adapt to new circumstances. My creative industries degree has also provided great value having taught me project management, out-of-the-box thinking, and working with diverse teams.
Any career highlights?
Leading, implementing and supporting a lighthouse service in the Asia Pacific market. And personally, as the Brisbane Unity (LGBTIQ+ network) Chair I was able to arrange a volunteer day with a local LGTQI+ organisation attended by several colleagues.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I truly just go with the flow or where my interest peaks. I see myself staying in consulting and developing my capabilities as a leader and industry expert. One of the benefits of working for a global firm is that the world is my oyster, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to try different experiences.
What advice would you share with new graduates?
Always say yes. Every job I have had has taught me something and built my network. Also, do not be afraid to speak up or be honest about your capabilities. You can never stop learning.
Why did you return to QUT to study an MBA?
I had a great experience at QUT in both my undergrads and my post grad. I am now one year into my Digital MBA. The QUT Digital MBA attracted me as I work in digital transformation and having a legal and creative background, gaining formal learning in business seemed like the last piece of the puzzle to underpin my professional experiences.
Has your course helped you in your current job?
The course so far has been great. The first subject I took around strategy and value proposition has already helped me in my day job by teaching me how to read profit and loss statements. Now I have the tools and frameworks to understand the financial health of an organisation.
More about Joseph
Joseph completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries/Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at QUT. He is now back studying a Master of Business Administration! Joseph is the Asia-Pacific Third Party Risk Manager at Ernst and Young.