Work placement leads to first job
26 June 2017: University of Canberra students have shared how they made the most of their work placements, with one student securing a full-time job at the end of her internship.
Bachelor of Science (Psychology) students Laura Wellsmore and Fox Fromholtz spoke about the practical work experience opportunities they undertook as part of their studies at a recent work integrated learning (WIL) workshop .
Ms Wellsmore has been offered a full-time job with Rehabilitation Specialist, a local occupation rehabilitation provider.
In her role she will help people with psychological or physical injuries return to work.
“In many cases workers are unable to go back to their pre-injury role,” Ms Wellsmore said.
“I find them new employment by looking at their qualifications, determining their transferrable skills and looking for suitable roles.
“I didn’t even know this type of work existed before doing my placement. It was through my on-the-job experience that I discovered the role really suited my skill set.
“The thing I enjoy most about it is that it’s really fulfilling work.”
Ms Fromholtz gained valuable project management skills during her placement at national youth mental health foundation Headspace.
She helped develop content and co-ordinate a ‘youth ambassadors’ program to be rolled out in August.
The program involves delivering educational workshops in schools to teach students about mental health and encourage them to seek help if they need it.
“My placement was a big insight into how mental health organisations like Headspace facilitate work and engage with young people in the real world,” Ms Fromholtz said.
“It’s one thing to learn about how things work, it’s a different thing to see and experience the impact of helping and educating people.”
The workshop was organised by Associate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics Rachel Bacon.
Associate Professor Bacon said it was a chance for students to meet industry representatives from various local organisations and discuss opportunities to work while they study.
“It’s an opportunity for different businesses to promote what they do but also to discuss how students can work together with the business to achieve objectives that suit both parties,” Associate Professor Bacon said.
“Industry partners can talk about what they would like from students completing placements.
”Work-integrated learning placements should benefit both parties. Students should be given the chance to put their theory into practice, develop employability skills like professionalism and communication, and build their network.”