How an internship program could put your career on track

5 April 2022

For Olivia Argy, Gilang Hernanda and Alina Ruan, three ANU alumni, the College of Business and Economics (CBE) Internship Program not only propelled their careers but provided them with valuable skills for life.

The CBE Internship Program provides students with an opportunity to gain real-world experience through a workplace project. The placement makes a significant contribution to improving students’ employability and professional skills through an individually tailored internship project.

New career paths

While in the final semester of her Bachelor of Commerce, Olivia was eager to get as much relevant work experience as she could before graduation.

“I thought the program would be a great way to get a taste of what full time work was like and it certainly was,” Olivia says.

While Olivia did not have a project in mind when applying for the program, she knew she wanted to pursue something that aligned with her skills and talents.

“I knew from previous work that I enjoyed doing work with a strong focus on people and the project I ended up choosing seemed to have a strong focus on relationship building and internal communications,” she says.

The project that Olivia undertook in the program directly led to her current position as a Corporate Communications Officer in the ANU Communications and Engagement (ACE) team. As part of her role, she provides content for the University’s weekly newsletter, On Campus.

“[My internship] gave me an insight into an industry and area of work I hadn’t considered before. It made me think deeply about what I actually want to achieve from my career.”

Professional and personal enrichment

For Gilang, who completed the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2021, the CBE Internship Program provided valuable work experience.

“The internship benefited me by allowing me to practice what I learned about innovating and strategic management in classrooms. I utilised the frameworks discussed in class in crafting the recommendations in my final internship project, which was very welcomed by my supervisor and colleagues,” Gilang says.

On reflection, Gilang’s internship experience not only enhanced his academic and professional skillsets, but also provided a source of personal enrichment.

“It's wonderful to be able to build your network and sharpen your interpersonal skills at the same time,” he says.

Practical experience

As an accounting student, Alina found the internship program to be a worthy and valuable experience for her studies. Through her internship, Alina was able to gain practical experience in client consultation, a skill that is not often taught in the classroom.

“I was provided opportunities to get in touch with many experienced tax professionals who helped me improve my communication skills and accounting skills. Without their support, I could not be the person I am today,” Alina says.

Applications for CBE Internships are now open for semester two.

When asked about a piece of advice for prospective applicants, Olivia says: “Don’t turn down the opportunity . . . you’ll learn skills that you can transfer to your post-uni job and build relationships that will be important for your future career”.

Applications for CBE-sourced internships will close on Tuesday 24 May, while student-sourced internships will close on Friday 8 July.

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