Get a foot in door with work-integrated learning

The team at River City Labs
The team at River City Labs are excited to have Bailey on board.

Delving into Griffith’s innovation and entrepreneurship’s ecosystem, as well as work-integrated learning experiences such as internships and placements, can help pave the way to your career.

These opportunities could even help you land a coveted job before graduating.

That’s exactly what happened to Bailey Clayton, who in the final trimester of her Bachelor of Business degree has secured a permanent role as a social media analyst with River City Labs following an internship with the company.

As Queensland’s premier incubator for tech startups, River City Labs was so impressed with Bailey’s performance that she was offered an ongoing role despite not having graduated yet.

“Bailey is great at what she does and is accountable and responsible,” General Manager Pauline Fetaui says.

“She’s never said ‘no, I can’t’ and always goes above and beyond.”

Operations Manager Tarryn Thiele says Bailey’s contribution during her internship was invaluable.

“Bailey re-created our marketing strategy, took ownership of our social media channels and was able to work autonomously while bringing fresh ideas and content to the team,” Tarryn says.

“It was a pleasure to have Bailey join our team.”

Putting theory to practice

As a social media analyst, Bailey is now responsible for promoting the organisation’s events and programs through social media, tracking engagement and total reach, and keeping an eye on how the company’s social channels are preforming during various campaigns.

With majors in marketing and human resource management, Bailey says her internship with River City Labs helped inspire a new confidence by bringing her learning to life.

“Coming into this internship, I could definitely apply the theory I’d learned in the classroom-especially from my marketing courses-when it came to developing campaigns and strategising,” Bailey says.

“More so, I think I learned more about myself and my strengths, realising I did have the ability to do this.”

Developing graduates with innovative thinking

Like Bailey, all Griffith students have access to work-integrated learning opportunities as well as innovation and entrepreneurship experiences offered through Griffith Innovate.

“Beyond preparing students to the become innovators and entrepreneurs of the future, we have also considered what employers are looking for in graduates,” Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Dr Naomi Birdthistle says.

“Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Griffith University has been designed so that graduates can differentiate themselves from others as they develop skills and competencies that employers are demanding today such as creativity, resilience, customer empathy, influential communication.

“By participating in a work-integrated learning experience and getting exposed to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, students get hands-on experience, which allows them to try different roles and get exposure to new areas of interest.”

Benefits all round

To anyone considering similar opportunities, Bailey says the experience gained and connections made can be advantageous.

“Completing an internship while you are still at uni is really valuable, just to get experience or your foot in the door,” Bailey explains.

“It would be daunting to finish your degree and have to start from scratch, not knowing anyone in the industry or having any relevant experience to put down on your resume.”

While work-integrated learning is an ideal platform for students to gain experience in their chosen industry, Pauline says businesses also benefit.

River City Labs runs its own internship program that matches interns with tech startups, allowing these fledgling businesses to tap into fresh talent.

“It’s a win-win for all involved,” Pauline says.

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