The Weekend Post - - Careers -

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.

Pic­ture: AN­NETTE DEW

PRAC­TI­CAL SKILLS: Josh Cook, Madi Hirini, Natasha Wal­ford and Ai­dan Ayunon are do­ing internships.

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