Industry leaders explain why doing an internship matters

We asked two of our industry partners why they love working with Monash Arts students, why gaining industry experience while studying is so important, and what you can do to give yourself an edge during the selection process.

Host: UN Global Compact Network Australia (GNCA)

Supervisor: Corinne Schoch, Senior Advisor

Why does GNCA choose to host Monash WIL interns?

The Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA) is the Australian arm of the United Nations Global Compact. At our core we are a member-based organisation and work with a growing number of business, civil society and academic institutions, of which Monash is one such member. The principles that guide our working practices very much align with many of the core principles embedded across the learning environments instilled across Monash and as such working together was a natural choice.

Working through the WIL program has achieved a number of benefits, both for the students that have come to work with us and for our organisation and growing team. We continue to work with the WIL program because they understand the needs of our organisation and as such send us through students whose interests, passions and background align with our strategic direction. We are continually impressed with the calibre of students that walk through our doors and have even hired an intern as a result of their internship through this program.

How and what do interns contribute to GNCA? 

The GCNA is a small and dynamic team which means that interns will likely wear multiple hats as they support the delivery of a variety of activities. The interns that join our team will support the Senior Adviser and broader team deliver on our strategic priorities. This may include carrying out research that relates to one of our primary workstreams, drafting documents or publications, supporting our marketing and communications coordinator by providing media content for our social media channels, and helping to organise one of over 40 events that we manage on a yearly basis.

Interns bring with them a variety of skill sets, interests and backgrounds. They contribute their time, their enthusiasm, and their growing knowledge around areas of sustainable practice, research or event coordination. They take what they have learnt from their studies and apply this to real-life business examples. This enables interns to draw from their theoretical learnings and apply these to a variety of contexts. This provides interns with a much richer experience to bring back to their studies and as the GCNA works with a diverse set of stakeholders, it also means that interns are exposed to a number of sectors and business types.

What are the benefits of hosting interns?

The benefits of hosting interns are twofold. They provide students with the experience of working within an organisation that empowers business to act responsibly and works with them to create a more sustainable future. The GCNA is often at the forefront of issues, such as human rights, the environment, climate change and anti-bribery and corruption, and as such provides interns with exposure to a diverse set of topic areas that directly impact on businesses both across Australia and globally. For the GCNA we always learn a tremendous amount from hosting interns as they bring their unique viewpoints and experiences to the role which always enriches dialogue across the team and with our members.

Internships have become critical for all students. It is an opportunity to gain experience within a particular sector or organisation. It enables the students to start building their professional networks but also narrow down where they would like to see themselves once they have graduated. The placements are not just an opportunity to work for an organisation but they provide an ideal time for students to speak to a number of their peers across the organisation.

What kind of employment opportunities exist for WIL students at GNCA?

Whilst not all interns will be offered a placement with us it is a good opportunity to start getting your name out there and testing what areas you are passionate about, what you are good at and what areas need work. We have had three interns work for the GCNA, one we were able to hire on a part-time basis for a contracted period of time, and the other now works for us on a permanent basis as an Associate, supporting the Senior Adviser across all four programmatic streams of work. As a team we were incredibly impressed with the work ethic of this intern and knew that she would make a great fit within our team. We have thus far not been disappointed and are so happy that we have been able to create an environment where interns thrive and where we too are able to learn from those that come across and join the team.

What advice can you give students to improve their chances in the selection process?

All successful interns have had high levels of passion for the thematic areas that we cover, incredible drive, ambition and a curiosity and appetite to learn more. A number of our interns have only had experience working within a university setting, so having previous business experience is certainly not a prerequisite. And lastly, we are looking for interns that we know can fit our team. Creating a positive and supportive culture is incredibly important to us so we are looking for interns that will fit within the dynamics of the team.

Host: iBuild Building Solutions

Supervisor: Jayden Savannah, Business Development manager

Why does iBuild choose to host Monash WIL interns? 

iBuild hosts Monash students through the WIL program due to the simple and streamlined process to garner talent for our Internship Program. Interns provide a diverse range of knowledge and perspective to help shape future growth and concepts of the business.

How do interns contribute to your organisation?

Interns contribute to the company by applying their knowledge learned in their studies in a real-world environment, allowing interns to see in real-time their ideas and concepts shaping the industry. Depending on the stream or role that the interns decide to apply for, interns are able to further develop their skills in a safe but real environment within the industry to develop confidence, technical knowledge, and professionalism.

How can students make the most of the opportunities that a placement at iBuild presents?

As a basis within iBuild’s Internship Program, it has been proven that those who showcase initiative and self-motivation are those that garner the most out of the experience. After the tenure of their internship, iBuild looks favourably amongst iBuild Intern Alumni for employment opportunities with us. There are many examples of interns becoming employees with us. Those interns who perform well are also provided with valuable referrals within the industry.

What advice can you give students to improve their chances in the selection process?

The advice iBuild would provide to students to improve their chances of selection in the application process into the iBuild Internship Program would be to showcase their adaptability and diversity skills within their CV/resume and interview.