Swinburne University of Technology and media agency Initiative are giving students authentic, real-world learning opportunities as part of a new internship pilot program.
Exclusive to Swinburne students from a variety of disciplines, the internship offers a deep dive and behind the scenes insight into agency operations.
In 2020, the program is set to expand to five internships per semester and Initiative has committed to developing a guaranteed recruitment pathway to hire selected interns.
Initiative’s Melbourne office, led by managing director Sarah James, teamed up with Swinburne’s advertising discipline and Professional Placement team to pilot the program in the second half of 2019.
Swinburne Lecturer in Advertising, David Reid, says it is critically important for advertising education to link to industry practice.
“Internships offered through our Professional Placements program allow students to build upon their applied learning in an industry context,” Reid said.
A recent CSIRO study shows university students who undertake work placements as part of their course are more likely to find jobs after graduation. Data from the 2019 Graduate Survey confirms the success of Swinburne’s Professional Placement model, with 91 per cent of Swinburne graduates finding full time work within three years of finishing university – one of the highest rates in Victoria.
Four undergraduate students from Swinburne’s faculty of health, arts and design secured semester-long internships in 2019, including Ethan Catt (Advertising), Hailey Galpin (Screen Production/Social Media), Brooke Scallion (Advertising/Physics) and Harry Strugnell (Advertising/Digital Advertising Technology).
The four students were placed in client teams and worked on accounts such as Specsavers, Officeworks and ME Bank. They were given hands-on experience, mentoring and insight into the commercial reality of the fast-paced advertising media industry.
Advertising and physics student, Brooke Scallion, says the internship provided her with insight into the world of advertising media.
“It was such a supportive environment at Initiative, with structured learning that helped build upon our academic knowledge,” she said.
National director people and culture at Initiative, Scott Laird, said the calibre of applications for the intake was exceptional.
“We are able to provide practical application to the students’ theoretical learning, whilst benefitting from their fresh thinking which is unencumbered by our industry. We’re excited to continue this partnership and build on the initial success of this program,” he said.