Earlier this year, two of our most promising employees, Jaime Diez and Brendan Allaway, attended the Pacific Telecommunications Council's (PTC) annual conference (PTC’23) in Honolulu and participated in its Young Professionals Program, which gives young telecom professionals the opportunity to learn from and network with some of the best and brightest in the industry.
During the conference, Jaime and Brendan attended workshops on a variety of topics, including multi-layer connectivity, submarine cable planning, data center management, and digital transformation. They also met one-on-one with PTC executives to learn more about the telecom industry and attended networking events where they could connect with other young professionals from across the globe.
All in all, it was an incredible experience for both. We sat down with them for a chat about their key takeaways from the program. Below is a summary of the discussion.
Making new connections and unlocking opportunities
According to Brendan and Jaime, the PTC Young Professionals Program helped expand their professional networks as well as helped them unlock new opportunities in their careers.
Brendan Allaway, a network specialist for Telstra Americas based in Los Angeles, said, “The Young Professionals Program allowed me to network with other young professionals and gain valuable knowledge from the highly experienced people that run the program. It was a great balance of learning from current industry leaders while also sharing perspectives and ambitions with our upcoming generation of leaders.”
While many networking opportunities were provided during the conference, Jaime Diez, senior service delivery specialist for Telstra Americas based in Washington, D.C., said that he most enjoyed the PTC Beyond roundtable discussion. According to Jaime, “The topic of attracting new talent discussed at my roundtable impacted me so much that I recently volunteered for an opportunity to speak at an upcoming career fair for a Philadelphia-based charter high school in hopes of inspiring the next generation to join the telco industry.”
They both noted that networking with other telecom professionals is an essential step for any young person starting in the telecom industry. It not only helps get up-to-date information about trends in the industry, but it can also be a great way to connect with those who have more experience and knowledge to share. Additionally, building relationships through networking helps the telco industry stay vibrant, particularly when it comes to attracting new talent from diverse backgrounds. Whether one-on-one, at conferences or through social media channels, taking advantage of networking opportunities is key to any telecom professional's development and can help ensure that their career within telecom is successful.
Face-to-face meetings with telco industry vendors
Brendan and Jaime agreed that meeting with some of the industry's vendors in-person was another highlight of the program.
In one of these meetings, Brendan said he was able to decrease the costs associated with an upcoming Los Angeles infrastructure buildout. Brendan noted, “My meeting with one particular data center vendor resulted in reducing the cost of a future Los Angeles infrastructure buildout by nearly 60% by consulting with them on how their current extremely high pricing structure would decrease the money they receive from Telstra in the long run. Through this conversation, the vendor quoted us a more reasonable price for their services. We were also able to reduce a vendor’s contractual lead times for cross-connects, allowing us more versatility with vendor selection in Los Angeles moving forward.”
The lively atmosphere of the conference in general, along with the opportunity to be face-to-face with vendors and customers who he frequently interacts with virtually, truly stuck out for Jaime. He said, “Over the course of my career as a young professional, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many other conferences, but never one where almost everyone at the conference are vendors or customers that I interact with on a day-to-day basis. Everywhere you went, you encountered people having spontaneous discussions and knowledge share, opposed to the usual, nonstop, on-the-go environment we’ve come to associate with conferences. You also felt a sense of optimism for the new year and the opportunities ahead.”
It’s safe to say that PTC'23 certainly set both up for success as they continue to make their mark in this dynamic industry.
Telecom is opening new doors for young professionals
A key reflection from both Brendan and Jaime is that they noticed huge opportunities for young professionals in telecom. This is an industry that is undergoing rapid change and there is a need for talented young professionals who are comfortable with change and have the skills to navigate it successfully.
Brendan said, “The PTC Young Professionals Program is a ‘fast pass’ for learning and networking in telco. It is even more special for Telstra International professionals since so much of our business is in the Asia-Pacific region. It’s one of the best experiences a young professional can have to get a head start in the industry – oh, and it’s in Hawaii.”
PTC's Young Professionals program was an incredible experience for both Brendan and Jaime. This program is highly recommended to any young professionals looking to get their start in telecom.
If you're considering a career in telecom, now is a great time to get started. There are many exciting opportunities available for those who are willing to seize them. If you are interested in learning more about the PTC Young Professionals Program or interested in attending the next PTC annual conference, we encourage you to browse PTC Beyond for the latest announcements and opportunities. Additionally, you can check out the Telstra careers page for all open job positions in the U.S. and globally.