Zac Chodos joined WiseTech more than seven years ago, originally as an Installation Engineer in the Customer Service team before taking on roles as a Product Associate, Relationship Manager and Support Specialist.
After taking a two-year break to pursue his passion for music, Zac found his way back to WiseTech in 2022, this time as a Rotations Partner guiding new starters and helping them choose the right team.
We spoke to Zac about his career journey and how he found himself working in tech, what drew him back to WiseTech, and why he finds his new role so rewarding.
Can you share a bit about your career and your journey with WiseTech?
I studied music at university, which is still a big passion of mine. But I knew when I graduated that I didn’t want to be a working musician, but I also didn't know specifically what I wanted to do. I ended up falling into the tech industry in a role where I was teaching people how to use a specific type of software, and that's where I worked for a few years.
Then in 2015, WiseTech’s Talent team reached out to me on LinkedIn about a role as an Installation Engineer. After having the chance to meet with my future WiseTech colleagues, I was keen to get the chance to work with them, and joined not long after. I was then approached to take on a product role in the System Components team, where I stayed for a couple of years, absorbing different parts of the development process before moving back to the Customer Service team to be a specialist in onboarding new clients.
Since finishing university, I had never worked in the music industry so in 2019, I left WiseTech to give music a proper go. I then returned to WiseTech last year as a Rotations Partner in the Rotations Management team.
Why did you decide to return to WiseTech?
Once I was outside of the company I was able to reflect on my time here, and I realized there were a lot of really good things about working at WiseTech. Everybody is exceptionally good at what they do and they always strive to make things better. I’d genuinely enjoyed the work that I’d done, and I’d made a lot of good friends here, so it felt very natural for me to think about coming back.
I reached out to the Talent team to see if they were interested, and they were immediately responsive and said “let's have a chat.” I didn't necessarily know what I wanted to focus on coming back, but after talking to the Talent team, I felt confident that they would find me a role that would interest me, and they did!
What was the process of rejoining WiseTech?
I initially looked at the available roles on WiseTech website, and there were a couple that I thought could be interesting. But after speaking to the Talent team, I realized they weren’t quite right for me. They let me know that there were some other roles that weren’t on the website yet that we talked through, and because I was already familiar with the company, I very quickly understood what these roles would entail, the teams I’d be working in and the types of projects I’d be working on.
My conversation with the Talent team went deep into my interests, strengths, career goals and the type of team I’d work well with, and that's how I ended up in the Rotations Management team.
What does your role as a Rotations Partner involve?
WiseTech has what we call the rotation program, which is for new developers and product specialists who join the company. The program gives them the opportunity to learn about the company by working in three different teams over a six-month period. At the end of the six months, they get to decide where they are most interested in working and will bring the most value.
Part of my role is to help people find a home initially before deciding which team they’d like to work in once their rotation period ends. What we often hear from new starters is that the rotations program is quite a unique thing in the tech industry and that they didn't expect to enjoy it as much as they did. Initially people might think, “why would I want to move teams?”, but by the end of the program they’ve gained experience across three teams, they’ve learned how the business works, and they now have a network of peers that they can reach out to and socialize with.
Although they get to choose a regular team that they want to go into, this isn’t necessarily permanent. Part of my role is to stay in touch with people throughout the process to find out if they’re satisfied in their role, if there’s something new that they want to pursue or new skills they want to learn. We also continue to reach out to them after they’ve chosen their regular team to make sure that this is the team that they want to be in, if they’re still enjoying the work that they're doing or if there are opportunities for them to try a different team. So the program is a huge benefit to anybody coming in.
My role as a Rotations Partner has made me realize that I get a lot out of helping others achieve their goals. From the start of their journey at WiseTech to the end of their six months and beyond, it’s really rewarding hearing about the positive experiences they’ve had and helping people find the right team. I really enjoy continuing that relationship with that person through their career and helping them grow.
It’s not unusual for people to return to WiseTech after leaving, why do you think this is?
There’s a real feeling that the company wants the best for you, even if that means exploring options outside of WiseTech. When I left, there were no hard feelings and I got well wishes from everyone, so I felt really comfortable reaching out to the Talent team when I was thinking about returning.
I think WiseTech is very good at bringing people back in when they've taken time out, because they recognize that people have different interests and needs they might want to pursue. One of the great things about this company and something that I’ve learnt, is that you can actually pursue your interests internally. If there’s a new skill, role or team you want to try, WiseTech really encourages you to follow that.
We want to get the most out of people without pushing them in a certain direction. So I think people are attracted back to WiseTech because they’re encouraged to explore other areas and decide where they can add value, rather than just doing the role that they’re assigned to do.
What excites you about the future of WiseTech?
The actual technology and the solutions that WiseTech is creating with CargoWise, that's really exciting, because there's still so much value that can be brought to the logistics industry. And while I'm not an expert in it, I certainly see where it’s going and I think that’s very cool.
In terms of the Rotations Management team, we're excited because we have so much more space to grow, to bring people into the company, to develop people’s skills, to provide enriching experiences, and to continue to succeed in building new things in the tech space. I'm excited to work with anybody from a student to senior level, and to help them succeed as best they can and see what amazing things that they can do.