Steffan D'souza


Students to full-time planners: Steffan D’souza





Students to full-time planners: Steffan D’souza

Steffan D’souza joined Ratio as a Student Planner in 2022 while completing his fourth year and final year studying Urban Planning at RMIT. Steff was promoted to a full-time Planner in February 2023 and, below, speaks to his learnings on the job.

Students to full-time planners: Steffan D’souza

Tell us about your journey from student, to student planner, to full-time employee.

My journey from student to full-time employee has been pretty stock standard.

I finished high school, went to RMIT, and started at Ratio as a student in early 2022.

I started doing just three days a week, which wasn’t too much of an adjustment since everyone in the office made the transition period very enjoyable so it was easy to integrate into the team.

The offer of full-time work was a relief! I really enjoyed my time working last year and have become close with a lot of the team so when I was given the opportunity to stay on permanently it was a no-brainer.

What were your biggest learnings during this transition?

My biggest learning is what planning is and how the industry works. Uni gives you a very broad idea of what the field is like, but it’s all theoretical. Coming into the job and working has taught me so much more than Uni ever could.

What surprised you the most throughout the process?

How relaxed everyone is, the culture within the office, and how different my idea of the corporate world was from what the office culture actually is.

Everyone, regardless of their workload made, time to help me learn new things (even if they had to explain it to me multiple times – shoutout to Jack Lyons and Paris Micelotta especially), and everyone made an effort to make sure I was doing something worthwhile and that would help me settle in and make the most of my time as a student.

What are you looking forward to in this coming year?

Getting involved in more projects from the beginning and being able to build rapport with clients. I would also like to be able to get involved with VCAT hearings as much as I can.

What advice do you have for the next round of students?

Might be cliché, but ask lots of questions, make sure you enjoy the work you’re doing, go to lots of events, and keep Friday evenings free!