Sitting down with Sam, a graduate of the UQ Business School, to ask him a few questions about the importance of interning while at university and the benefits from early industry experience.
Brisbane interning, how important was it to you?
Well its not that it was just important, it first of all put me in a position to step out of my comfort zone and apply to work in a professional environment for the first time. Lectures and tutorials do not prepare you for what the professional world has to offer, as industry knowledge is learned from first hand experience. It was important for me as a soon to be graduate, to immerse myself in the internship so that when I finished I had a plethora of experience and knowledge to take with me further in my career.
Where did you complete your internship?
I applied to work at a technology and innovation consulting company by the name of Buckham and Duffy. The company focuses on helping business innovate and employ new technologies to improve their effectiveness and their efficiency. I was tasked with creating solution design and concept documents with prospective ideas for content and innovation. It was useful to gain an insight into the daily running of a company and to apply what I’ve learned at University – applying my knowledge and concepts to real industry work.
What would you say was the biggest benefit from your internship?
It would have to be the workplace experience and understanding. Prior to interning, I didn’t quite fully understand what it meant to work in a professional environment, but the staff at B&D were exceptional. They welcomed me as one of their own from the beginning, and were easily approachable to query any questions I might have about work. Making connections and expanding your network is definitely the biggest benefit from professional industry work, as new opportunities arise daily from the new people you meet. I’m now currently working at B&D in a better role, mainly because I chose to immerse myself in this internship and reap the rewards of my hard work!
Do you have any advice for prospective interns or students looking to apply for internships?
What was most important to me was to develop a strong relationship with my boss early, because doing so allows for easy communication and no errors in the workplace. In addition, just immerse yourself in whatever work you have to do. You’ll find that most ideas/content require collaboration with others in the workplace, so do not hesitate to ask questions. Although it can be daunting approaching people you may not know very well, crossing that barrier is the first step into being comfortable in the work you’re doing.
Another tip is to apply where you’d like to work! The last you want to do is get stuck in an office or firm where you’re bored/not enjoying the content you produce. Interning is all about industry experience, and if you can thrive where you work it’ll make the entire experience better for you.
By Fraser Barton