The twofold benefits of university internships have been on show at the Gold Coast University Hospital where three Griffith business students are nearing the end of a rewarding period of hands-on work experience.
Study areas like accounting, finance, IT, supply network management and government have been incorporated into the work duties of students Rose Grass, Kyung Cha and Prasanna Nathan, giving them an insight into the value of their skills and potential career options.
But just as the students benefit from Griffith’s Work Integrated Learning program, so too does the employer.
“There is value for the organisation which gets access to bright new brains and lots of energy,” Chair of the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Board, Ian Langdon, said.
“There is value for the students who are able to apply some of their academic learning to a real work environment with real problems and real deadlines.”
Significantly, this set of internships also demonstrates the “enormous opportunities” for the hospital and university to develop working partnerships in non-clinical areas.
Mr Langdon (below) explained that 30% of staff in Golf Coast Hospital and Health Service is non-clinical, a notable component of an annual operating budget covering $1.2 billion and 6000 staff.
“Areas (relevant to business) like efficient procurement, financial management and people management are as relevant here as they are in any enterprise. That’s why our association with the Griffith MBA, for example, is so important,” he said.
Double degree student, Rose Grass, found the hospital an ideal work environment to apply her knowledge and skills as a student of Government and International Relations and Logistics and Supply Network Management.
“My internship at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Services has allowed me to gain an invaluable insight into the world of government procurement and the daily challenges of achieving value for money,” said Rose who was placed with supervisor, Trish Thomson, in the Strategic Procurement area.
“My internship has also allowed me to apply important skills I have acquired at university and see how they can contribute to a company’s success.
“I have also been able to improve my teamwork and my analytical and critical thinking skills. I have learnt how intertwined my two degrees actually are.”
Kyung Cha is completing the internship program as the final course of her Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting. She was placed with supervisor, Katie Bauer, in Financial Reporting and Compliance.