GET TASTE OF THE FUTURE
INTERNSHIPS and work experience programs often don’t come with a remuneration but a little hard work can pay off in the long run with about one in four placements leading to a job.
A 2016 report by the University of Adelaide, Queensland University of Technology and University of Technology Sydney reveals unpaid work experience is most likely to convert to employment for part-time university students (46.2 per cent), graduates who completed a degree in the past 12 months (39 per cent) and full-time vocational students studying a certificate or diploma (36.4 per cent). Those not studying (18.2 per cent) or still in high school (22.3 per cent) are less likely to be offered a job at the end.
Apart from direct employment outcomes, work experience placements also offer indirect benefits.
Most participants agree or strongly agree the experience helps them develop relevant skills (70 per cent) learn new knowledge (75 per cent) and know how to dress, speak and behave at work (57 per cent). Others say it helps them understand the kinds of jobs available in the field of work (59 per cent) and whether it is right for them (68 per cent). Chartered Accountants runs its Achiever Program for university students in business, commerce or accounting, offering paid work experience placements for one to 12 weeks during the summer holidays.
Joshua Robb applied in his first year studying a Bachelor of Commerce. After four weeks interning for an accounting practice, he was offered a full-time role and by the time he had graduated was already a senior liquidator. He is now an associate director at SV Partners at just age 29.
“I did the internship so I could gain some experience in different areas of accounting and see if there were any areas I liked,” he says. “After a week in business services and audit, I was ready to move on. And while I liked tax, I wasn’t sure I could keep doing it. But the day I started in insolvency, I realised this is what I want to do from now on.” Chartered Accountants general manager commercial Mark Rice suggests before starting an internship students make a list of questions to ask the employer and do some research on the company.
PRACTICAL SKILLS: Josh Cook, Madi Hirini, Natasha Walford and Aidan Ayunon are doing internships.