Published on 13 August 2013
When it comes to gaining a foot in the door for her career, no distance is too far for University of Sunshine Coast student Eliza Mason.
Earlier this year, Eliza travelled 1,700km north to Port Douglas for a coveted industry internship as part of her Bachelor of Public Relations degree.
She worked for Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree during Semester 1 as part of a study-based industry internship.
Eliza, 25, of Alexandra Headland, who is set to graduate from USC in October, said her workplace learning experience in North Queensland was a highlight of her degree.
“Port Douglas was at the top of my list of internships to apply for,” she said. “So I went for it and was thrilled when I was offered a placement.
“It was a bit scary at first. But I soon realised that all the theory and knowledge I’d learnt as part of my degree at USC helped me to not only keep my head above water, but to swim.”
“It was such a rewarding experience and I feel it has definitely provided insight into the field I would like to specialise in for my career.
“As a result of the internship, I have invaluable media, tourism and public relations industry contacts, played an active role in media familiarisations and assisted in promotional tourism campaigns.”
Eliza said she chose to study at USC because of the level of support available to students.
“While it is not a big campus, USC offers courses that build in an industry or workplace internship component, which is invaluable to those who want a taste of what working in their industry is like,” she said.
Senior Lecturer in Public Relations Dr Umi Khattab said Public Relations students participate in a range of internships, including positions at corporate PR consultancies, Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast Action Rescue Helicopter Service and Queensland Rugby League.
“The internships offer benefits for both students and host organisations and Semester 1 was a great success with all host organisations indicating they would be happy to offer future internships to USC students.”
— Jessica Halls