Employment initiatives boost student experience and graduate outcomes

Monique Quirk is kickstarting her career through an internship with GHD, an engineering company.

A new range of career-focused initiatives will give Griffith University graduates a sharp competitive edge to improve their job prospects.

Griffith aims to include real life industry and professional experiences in all its degrees and programs.

Its students have access to a range of mentoring programs, including an industry and alumni e-Mentoring program and peer mentoring programs. A high-quality ePortfolio platform is also available for students to collect evidence of their skills in readiness for future careers.

Griffith is the first Australian university to operate a franchise of Unitemps – a recruitment service providing paid work opportunities for students.

These employability enhancing services have proved invaluable for recent mechanical engineering graduate Sebastian Speck, who has been employed full-time by Scout Aerial to design a drone launcher for an anti-poaching device, which will be used in Africa.

“I designed one launcher as part of a 12-week internship and now I’m making 30 ready to be used in Africa to specifically target the illegal poaching of rhinoceros and elephants,” he said.

“I moved to Australia to specifically study at Griffith because I had heard it focused on preparing you for working in industry and I couldn’t be happier with my outcome.”

Internships, work experience and jobplacements

Griffith University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Debra Henly said this year approximately 22,500 students were enrolled in programs that facilitate internships, work experience or work placements within industry professionals locally, nationally and globally.

She says there are almost 400 subject areas with a specific industry placement course option and that the University also assists with work experience and job placements outside of specific courses.

“Students across all study areas at Griffith will experience a range of opportunities to build their professional identity and career readiness throughout their degree,” she said.

“We are also moving to three 12-week trimesters in 2017, which will allow students greater flexibility to balance work and study, or to accelerate their study in some degrees.”

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Griffith University School of Education and Professional Studies academics Professor Glenn Finger and Dr Paula Jervis-Tracey recently published research about internships in the education industry in a book titled Teacher Education: Innovation, Intervention and Impact.

This quality research reinforces Griffith’s position as a leading university for graduate success and graduate employability, and is based on Griffith’s Employability Framework.

Professor Finger says internships are designed to inspire students to achieve their dream career.

“Strengthening the connection between university and industry is the key to the success of internships,” Professor Finger said.

Griffith’s work with Education internships has seen approximately 90 per cent of our graduates working in schools in Queensland.

Griffith’s key employability initiatives

Industry experiences – Griffith University has internship opportunities in every study group. It also offers up to 250 exclusive internships with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games organising body (GOLDOC) through our official partnership. Students completing internships with GOLDOC have the unique opportunity to earn 40 credit points, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the organisation and apply their knowledge throughout their placement. Each year hundreds of students also travel overseas to enhance their degrees through global learning experiences, which are available in 48 countries.

Griffith Unitemps is the first Australian franchise of Unitemps, a UK-based student employment service providing paid work opportunities for students on campus and in South East Queensland businesses while they study. It offers a broad range of general and degree-related vacancies aimed at improving employability before and after graduation.

Mentoring — Griffith offers a range of mentoring programs that focus on local and global engagement. The programs aim to support career development learning, global citizenship and graduate outcomes for Griffith students by connecting them to students, alumni and industry professionals.

Supported ePortfolio platform – Employers are increasingly looking for quality online portfolios when hiring, and ePortfolios allow students to document their professional and academic development as their studies progress. All Griffith students have access to build a high quality ePortfolio during their degree.

Professional profiling on LinkedIn – Students are encouraged to build and optimise their LinkedIn profile and enhance their employability prospects by connecting with industry professionals, employers and alumni. Griffith’s LinkedIn eModule provides expert guidance on developing an exceptional professional profile, including selecting the right photo and addressing the headline, summary, experiences and more.

The Griffith experience:

  • Griffith mechanical engineering graduate Sebastian Speck has been employed by Scout Aerial Media and Surveying to build catapult launchers for fixed wing drones.
    Griffith mechanical engineering graduate Sebastian Speck has been employed by Scout Aerial Media and Surveying to build catapult launchers for fixed wing drones.

    Sebastian Speck, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering graduate, now building drone launchers for wildlife surveillance in Africa for company Scout Aerial.

  • Chloe Portanger, Bachelor of Urban Planning graduate, now works in a virtual office travelling Australia advising on climate change adaptation strategies.
  • Danielle Nash, Bachelor of Education (primary) graduate, now employed full-time as a teacher in Logan.
  • Hayley Thomas, Master of Business/Master of Human Resources graduate, working for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) as accommodation administration assistant.
  • Mindy Nelson, Bachelor Education/Child and Family Studies graduate, now team program leader at The Family Place, providing support to families living in the Logan area.
  • Rachael Ovington in Laos
    Rachael Ovington in Laos

    Rachael Ovington, Bachelor of Nursing, gained invaluable experience providing primary health care to remote rural village in Laos.

  • Monique Quirk, Bachelor of Civil Engineering student, interning with GHD Group to assist with bridge inspections across Brisbane by using drones and laser scanning technology.
  • A group of mechanical engineering students make up the Griffith Racing Team, taking their studies to the next level by designing, building, racing and marketing a race car.