Climbing the ladder through professional development

Vicki

At VMIA our people are our greatest assets. While we invest in our peoples’ careers through continuous learning and professional development, we also encourage them to drive their own careers. Here, Enterprise Risk Manager, Vicki Thomopoulos reflects on how she transitioned from her role as a lawyer to taking on a new-found passion in risk management.

A client once said to me, “Help me consider what will keep me up at night”. That comment really resonated with me because I think it demonstrates the value of my work, particularly around strategic risk identification and management.

As the Victorian Government’s insurer and risk adviser, we support our clients to consider and plan for risks. It’s a process that gives them the confidence to keep serving Victoria for the better.

Before I joined as a Risk Adviser in 2016, I was practising as a lawyer. During my time undertaking legal work, I got a taste of the risk profession when I was briefly seconded to a risk related role. I knew then, that it was something I wanted to revisit, because of the opportunity it presented to support executive teams.

I found a lot of the expertise I had developed as a lawyer was transferable to my new role at VMIA. For example, analytical skills are a critical part of risk management – analysing potential risks, looking at what impact they might have on an organisation’s objectives, and weighing up the best options to manage them.

Through my work at VMIA I’ve contributed to some seminal events in Victoria, including supporting the Department of Premier and Cabinet to identify risks associated to the outcomes of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Facilitating risk workshops with the various stakeholders, including the private sector, involved in this wide spanning reform was incredibly rewarding. I’m proud that the work I do supports our clients to positively impact the Victorian community; and creates change.

VMIA has supported and encouraged me to build on my existing skills and develop new ones. Through continuous on-the-job learning, access to internal leadership programs and many other courses, I’ve been able to progress substantially in my career. Right now, VMIA is sponsoring me to study a qualification in the psychology of risk at university, which is helping me better understand risk from a psychological and cultural perspective.

Recently I was promoted to my current role as VMIA’s Enterprise Risk Manager. Now VMIA is my client. VMIA actively taps into the potential of its people, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without support from my leaders and the myriad of professional development opportunities on offer. I’m looking forward to making this new role my own and seeing what’s next.

If you’re interested in working for an organisation that values staff development email careers@vmia.vic.gov.au.