Scrolling idly through the Real World Placement website one January afternoon, I was not expecting to see many positions available. Given the time of year, this was understandable, but I searched in hope of an eye-catching opportunity. Thankfully, fortune was on my side when the position of Channel Nine Publicity Intern was being offered. It sent me into a state of sheer excitement. As a Public Relations student, the chance to gain experience in a large media organisation was an ambition of mine, so I was going to give this everything.
The leap between student and professional is a bit like walking through your own home in the dark of the night. Through the years, units, knowledgeable academic staff and “real-world” application of QUT study, you emerge with a sound and practical understanding of your road ahead – in theory. Like stumbling through a familiar home in the dark – knowing the layout well enough to navigate the hallway but not certain of what’s looming ahead – getting started in the workforce can feel much the same.
But what if you could turn on the light?
Excitement and anticipation are emotions that first come to mind when I think about the experience that awaits me. On 31 January 2017 I was thrilled to receive an email advising me that my application to partake in the Hansard Scholars’ Programme had been approved. This eight week program will see me travel to London during May – July to undertake an internship with a Member of the British Parliament, as well as engage in study delivered through the London School of Economics and Political Science.
My name is Jeseyka, I am in my penultimate year of a Bachelor of Business and I just completed an internship at Queensland Treasury thanks to EFB342 Workplace Experience in Economics and Finance.
I was given the chance to intern in the Energy team of the Shareholder and Structural Policy Division (SSPD) for six weeks, two days a week. My supervisors, Trent and Tim, ensured I had the opportunity to work on both the policy and governance side of their work. This approach meant I also worked across the network and generation aspects of the electricity market as well as preparing advice on multiple Cabinet Budget Review Committee (CBRC) submissions ranging from rebates for vulnerable consumers to climate change adaptation policy.
The one thing that’s always frustrated me as a business student, is that there are limited ways to gain experience in a workplace setting before you graduate. Students studying in areas such as teaching and nursing get ample exposure to their future workplaces, however business students seem to be somewhat forgotten. That was my view until I first heard of the unit EFB342 about six months ago.
As a student currently studying Mass Communications at QUT, and pursuing a career as an Account Coordinator at successful digital marketing agency, TwoCents Group, it might seem that I have always boasted a focused and ambitious mindset. However, this was not always the case.
As of recently, I wasn’t necessarily ‘driven’ in the context of my uni study. In fact, you could say that I was just cruising along and espousing the sentiment “p’s [passes] get degrees”. With an aptitude for changing courses time and time again, and not taking assessment completely seriously, it was clear that any future or prospective career wasn’t number one on my list of priorities.
Two days ago, I was offered a paid internship as a tax accountant for two months during the tax season ( July to August). I was literally too happy I burst out crying when I got the phone call. If you are an international student as well, I’m sure you can understand why I feel this way. I know a lot of international students are struggling in finding an internship, so hope some of the tips I write in this blog can help.
Internships can be confusing, scary, and downright confronting – however, as I reach my fourth week of being an intern, I can honestly say that they’re more than worth the crazy rollercoaster of emotions.
As a QUT Business student it will only be a matter of time before you come across ‘Work Integrated Learning (WIL); one of the many ways you will gain Real World Learning through your degree. Our Economics and Finance students have worked in a range of exciting and relevant placements; with some even going on to be offered employment opportunities. Maddison, Doug, Harleen and Jess share their insights from participating in WIL.
Choosing the right degree is daunting, but figuring out what to do after Uni is even more overwhelming. Employers prefer grads with “experience” but finding the right experience can be challenging. However, this is less challenging thanks to our access to QUT supported internships that provide students with career specific experiences – increasing the likelihood of graduate employment.
I have been fortunate to have gained experience through the CPIE Scholarship program. The CPIE internship provided me with the opportunity to put the theory I had learnt into practice and gain real-world experience. The experiences gained assisted me to decide on areas of potential specialisation within my chosen field.