Jessie McKinnon

Two days before the final exam of my degree, I received a call from Coles to say that they'd love to offer me a full-time permanent role in the team immediately after I finished.

Jessie specialised in Discrete Mathematics and Operations Research during her Mathematics and Statistics major.

I fell in love with the mathematics course early on in my degree and it inspired me to go in that direction. The highlight of my studies would be my Techniques in Operations Research subject. It was easily my most satisfying and fulfilling subject, and due to the differing types of assessments we did. When a guest speaker - Christina Burt - came in to talk about mathematical applications to real world scenarios in the mining industry, I realised that this was my passion and it led me to the career path that I've started now.

I spent the 100 hours of my science internship learning about how Coles uses different programs and forecasting techniques to optimise the flow of product from Supplier to DC (Warehouse) to Store, to try and ensure that there is the perfect amount of stock in store at all times. It was fascinating, and really eye opening to the complexity of supermarkets that you don't ever think about when grocery shopping and I loved my time there. Whilst I was there, one of the team members within my supervisor's team moved departments and a position became available. I was encouraged by my supervisor and his manager to apply for the role. Though I was extremely under-qualified - they were asking for four years industry experience in Supply Chain and with the particular programs at a minimum - but they thought it would be wonderful interview experience for me at the very least.

I did make it through to the interview stage! It was difficult preparing for exams and a big interview at the same time, but I went into the interview very relaxed because in my mind, I knew that it was impossible for me to get the job. But it went really really well, and two days before the final exam of my degree, I received a call from Coles to say that they'd love to offer me a full-time permanent role in the team immediately after I finished my degree. So now, I work as a full time Systems Analyst in the Supply Chain Operations department for Coles!

The Bachelor of Science gave me a lot of room 'to move' and allowed me to explore different majors - mathematics and engineering - before specialising without having to extend my course by too much. I also got to enjoy learning about the Arts - music and the film industry in particular - by doing breadth subjects. Studying at Melbourne has given me a really well-rounded education and I am so lucky and grateful to have been able to study there. I am so grateful that the Science Internship subject gave me the opportunity to have an internship during my degree, because certainly if I hadn't, I wouldn't have walked straight into a job after uni!