Career Storytelling Challenge


Using machine learning to support early-career starters to find their career path and achieve their goals along the way.

September 2019

Challenge Sponsor:

The Data Experience



Swinburne’s Data for Social Good Cloud Innovation Centre recently collaborated with The Data Experience to explore the concept of career storytelling. Our challenge kicked off in September 2019, with our core team being made up of two challenge interns along with two challenge leads. The challenge’s brains trust was formed with a diverse set of minds and differing levels of experience from The Data Experience’s alumni and lead consultants. During the innovation challenge, we applied Amazon’s digital innovation methodology to explore our customer’s motivations and understand their problems. We decided to explore the customer perspective of a 23-year-old individual who has recently gained work experience and is unsure of what is next in their career. Our challenge team developed a concept prototype called Honeycomb in September 2019.



The Data Experience alumni in the early stages of their career described being overwhelmed by various career pathways, and the uncertainty of knowing which ones to capitalise on. The process is a burden due to the level of unknown and wanting to self promote in a meaningful way.

Significant gaps were found to be across career decision making, building authentic relationships, showcasing experiences and knowing where to invest in advancing new learnings. Currently there is no effective method for individuals to maintain the skills they have learned and remain connected to an organisation while advancing their career.


Innovation workshop

Our working backward workshop was held at The Data Experience, where participants were encouraged to explore the problem from the alumni’s perspective. Our workshop included The Data Experience alumni from different educational backgrounds, life experiences and goals. We also had Lead Consultants from The Data Experience take part in the workshop. This allowed us to capture the different perspectives of the problem at hand.

Moving forward, as a group we felt that a web based platform that supports career development, decision making and presenting career pathways was an idea that resonated the most with the group to take forward in the process.


Solutions workshop

With our idea taking shape of a web based platform that supports ‘Career Development’ for The Data Experience alumni, we moved into a solutions workshop. The team explored possible technical architecture options leveraging Amazon Web Services that could support the idea. The technical concept was based on defining what a prototype is and how it would take shape for our ‘Career Development’ tool which was given the name ‘Honeycomb’.

We then created a wireframe concept which identified how we imagined a future alumni to interact with ‘Honeycomb’ career development. With support from the brains trust, we explored a range of alumni interactions at varied levels of career progression.


Value proposition

Honeycomb is a solution that provides early-career starters across a web platform with career development support by short listing interests and baselining existing skills, coupled with goal setting which can call out and generate career pathway opportunities. Customers are given the freedom to assess all their options without being tied to one specific industry, having the ability to see the holistic picture and remaining connect with peers.


Concept prototype

We set out to create an application that will aid individuals in career decision making, alleviate pressure and remove uncertainty when it comes to making long term decisions. Honeycomb is able to generate career pathways through machine learning of other individuals’ historical career pathway data. For example, Honeycomb will have a career timeline including past, present and future attainable skills. It will also generate career pathways based on soft and hard skills, with a focus on core and sub-focused goals. Honeycomb will keep a virtual CV, with the option to be used for personal or professional use. The goal is for Honeycomb to equip individuals with valuable information and guidance to make better career decisions.



The challenge facilitated new learnings and allowed rapid, iterative development of a concept prototype that has the ability to scale beyond The Data Experience alumni to the broader community which empowers early-career starters to make well informed and considered decisions on their career journey.


Special thanks

  • Mitch Kiefte,  Challenge Intern & Junior Consultant, The Data Experience
  • Ebony James-McGrath,  Challenge Intern & Junior Consultant, The Data Experience
  • Sarah Bahri, Lead Consultant, The Data Experience
  • Kim Anderson, Digital Innovation Lead, Cloud Innovation Centres at Amazon Web Services
  • William Davey, Lead Consultant, The Data Experience
  • Michele Martin, Lead Consultant, The Data Experience
  • Christina Huang, Junior Consultant, The Data Experience & studied a Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
  • Khalia Chikulin, Junior Consultant, The Data Experience & studied a Bachelor of Business (International Business)
  • Joel Booker, Junior Consultant, The Data Experience & studying a Bachelor of Science (Physics)
  • Andrew Cicchelli, Junior Consultant, The Data Experience & studying a Bachelor of Science (Physics)
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