Plane and Simple: Robert’s Career Evolution Journey

Discover how the Career Evolution program helped Robert Fricke change his career from the Royal Australian Air Force to Consulting in Digital Operations and Automation. 

Meet Robert Fricke, a Senior Consultant in Digital Operations and Automation. After working in the military for 12 years, Robert joined PwC in February 2022 as a part of the Career Evolution program. He profoundly appreciates how PwC values his transferable skills and enjoys having a team leader helping him learn and grow into professional services!

Tell us your PwC story. How did you get here? Where are you now?

I was previously in the Royal Australian Air Force in the aviation maintenance area. After 12 years, I sustained a substantial injury during my service resulting in a medical discharge. Due to my physical restrictions, I could not continue in the line of work I was trained in, so I needed to transition into employment without high physical demand.

After my discharge, I was unsuccessful in finding suitable employment. My CV's lack of 'suitable' qualifications or industry experience made it difficult to explain the transferability of my military skills. 

During COVID, I struggled to find someone to give me a chance in a highly competitive employment market. The Career Evolution program has allowed me to make that transition without extensive retraining or upskilling before being considered for a position.

What initially attracted you to PwC? Now that you're here, what makes your work at PwC different?

I was referred to the Career Evolution Program through a job connection consultant (Right Management). I was attracted to PwC and the Career Evolution program because they recognised my service's value and the skills I obtained in the military. PwC has been amazing so far. 

I've had the opportunity to work on fantastic projects that have put me outside my comfort zone and shown me what I am capable of. The support and acceptance that I have seen from everyone has been outstanding.

How has your career/life changed since joining PwC?

I have always been someone who thrives on being productive and achieving outcomes. Going from a full-time military career to nothing was a pretty tricky transition. 

This opportunity from PwC has allowed me to refocus and start to define who I am outside of the military. Military life was all I've known in my adult life, and it was a massive part of who I have become. This change has shown me that I can do much so much outside the confines of the military.

How has your leader coached and mentored you along your PwC journey?

The team I have been working with during this time has supported me as I continue to learn. They consistently offer time to explain or demonstrate how a task or element is completed. They regularly check in to ensure that I understand what I have been allocated and if any assistance is required, whilst still giving me the chance to work independently without micromanagement.

My team leader runs monthly training sessions for our team. He encourages us to share what we would like to learn about; this is valuable as he gives real-world examples of how these skills are applied in practice.

In addition to the training session, my team leader is genuinely interested in my development, progression, and overall experience within PwC. He works with me to identify my goals and desired outcome of my time in the Career Evolution Program. He takes the time to discover my areas of interest and passions so that we can align my goals and outcomes.

What advice would you give someone wanting to apply to the Career Evolution program?

If you're looking for a change and a company to support you through it, then I would highly recommend PwC and the Career Evolution Program. 

PwC offers the ability for you to utilise your military skills and knowledge from a different angle. Although this program is an alternate way to enter into the professional services sector, everyone will treat you as an equal and value your opinion and input. 

The flexibility offered through various options means the role can suit almost anyone's situation.

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