Rewarding internships amplify classroom learning

Sachin Akarawita didn’t realise how much his work integrated learning experience had made a difference until the two months were over.

‘I’ve realised how much I’ve grown into my confident professional self from my first interview with my supervisor to having a natural hour-long meeting with someone I’ve never met.’

In his second year of Swinburne’s Bachelor of Accounting, Mr Akarawita landed a role in the university’s Facilities and Services’ Property team as a Business Analytics and Property Performance Intern.

Mr Akarawita’s main responsibility was building an interactive dashboard that allows various teams to track, view and analyse data about Swinburne’s property and sustainability initiatives.

Using knowledge gained through his degree, such as business analytics tool Microsoft Power BI, Mr Akarawita and the other interns in the team collected and structured data before functionally presenting them on the dashboard.

‘We got good feedback on the presentation which made me feel like I had achieved something worthwhile. It’s satisfying knowing that I helped provide real value to the business.’

Gaining professional confidence

Supervisor and Associate Director of Property and Space Management in the Facilities and Services’ Group, Yolanda Wosny, says that Mr Akarawita has gained ‘valuable workplace skills’.

‘During the internship it was wonderful to see Sachin’s communication skills and confidence improve. The skills and experience that work placements develop are unique to the workplace and will make sure Sachin is well placed for his entry into the workforce as a Swinburne graduate.’

The internship taught Mr Akarawita about his working style and career aspirations, all while improving his industry specific knowledge and soft skills like teamwork and time management.

‘My supervisors were very supportive. They regularly asked me about my career ambitions and set up meetings with their contacts in those fields. These conversations helped me gain greater clarity on the direction I want to take my career.

Coming out of this experience, Mr Akarawita has also built a bond with his team, which he is incredibly grateful for.

‘It’s rewarding knowing I now have a network of individuals that I can grow with, as well as industry contacts that I come to for guidance if the need arises.’

Mr Akarawita says this opportunity has significantly improved his employability and recommends others pursue similar work integrated learning programs.

‘Not only does it look good on your resume and help you stand out from other applicants, but it also brings much-needed clarity to the type of work you would enjoy in your future positions whilst also letting you develop skills that would be directly applicable to your career.’

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