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?
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.
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.
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.
‘An internship is key to a successful graduate job’ ‘you need to have experience to be able to get a job after graduation’ ’employers will take someone with experience over someone with just a degree’ – these statements all university students in the final years of their degree know all too well. After spending a year saving for and then six months completing an exchange program last year I arrived back in Australia in my final university year and knew it was time to get some experience, or the above statements would become my reality.