22 May 2014
A Business Internship course is expanding after finding success in matching the talents of University of the Sunshine Coast students with the needs of local businesses.
Melissa Martin of USC’s Faculty of Arts and Business encouraged more Coast-based businesses, from sole operators to multinational offices, to reap the benefits of the course, where students undertake an unpaid work experience placement in the final year of their Arts or Business degrees.
“Students work one day a week for 12 weeks, putting into practice their skills in fields such as accounting, financial planning, information systems, international business, management, property development and tourism,” Ms Martin said.
“The businesses give students exposure to their future industry through a range of projects and mentoring. Employers gain dedicated workers with up-to-the-minute knowledge while students gain work experience and academic credit.”
Business/Arts student Kelsey Moore, 23, of Buderim, said her current Marketing internship with self-employed author/illustrator Peter Rowe was inspirational.
She is helping a small team market ‘Josh the Robot’ children’s books and other artworks created by Mr Rowe, who has Down Syndrome and is non-verbal, requiring him to use a system of Facilitated Communication.
“I saw this fantastic advertisement on USC’s Career Connection and I’m loving the opportunity to get real, hands-on work experience and market something so meaningful,” said Kelsey, who attended Matthew Flinders Anglican College.
Marcia Tibbo De Bartolo, who works for Mr Rowe and is supervising Kelsey in the workplace, said Kelsey’s contribution was so valuable she has been offered paid part-time work after she finishes her degree in June.
“Kelsey has been a god-send for our team, including Mr Rowe’s parents, because she’s so enthusiastic and so capable,” Marcia said.
“She has fantastic, fresh marketing ideas and I’ve given her a lot of autonomy. I’ve had every confidence to say ‘go for it’. She’s been organising school visits for Peter and is working on getting his books into local book stores.
“Peter’s fifth book will be launched later this year on the Coast and in Brisbane and Kelsey will be helping with that and continuing with the school visits. There’ll be plenty of other activities coming up – Peter keeps us very busy.”
Marcia, a photographer, graphic designer and writer, said she met Peter Rowe while they were both studying at USC several years ago.
“I thought the way he communicated was extraordinary, spelling out words by pointing to cards, and I ended up becoming his study supervisor, then project manager.”
For details of Peter Rowe’s work go to his website
For information on USC’s Business Internship course email FABwil@usc.edu.au
— Julie Schomberg