Like many students, Ishita Agarwal wanted to keep plenty of options open when deciding on a university course.
She knew she was ‘good with numbers’ and liked accounting and economics but she was also interested in psychology and management.
‘Deakin was the only university that offered an arts/commerce sequence with an opportunity to complete a psychology major as part of the course. It worked out beautifully with extensive internship opportunities, a great faculty, detailed support system, multicultural students and a great online learning interface,’ she says.
Due to complete the degree in February 2016, Ishita says one of highlights has been the opportunity to undertake a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program.
‘I loved that I was able to participate in a really competitive internship program which allowed me to contribute to the community and gain a heap of experience in a short amount of time,’ she explains.
Ishita completed a human resources internship at Graphic Effects – a Melbourne signage company where she was able to expand her interpersonal and organisational skills and build important networking opportunities and relationships.
‘I absolutely loved and cherished the experience. It boosted my confidence considerably as it confirmed my goals for the future – and I received constant appreciation for my efforts. It has been terrific to gain real world experience in the area of my choice and I even gained a mentor in my manager. My resume looks great and I couldn’t have asked for a more fruitful experience,’ she says.
An added bonus for Ishita is that the internship has led to an ongoing casual role with company while she completes her degree. She says it’s an opportunity that’s building connections and strengthening her ‘real-world’ skills.
‘I’m working in a HR role with reception duties, organising employee packs and job descriptions, and ensuring the company is OH&S compliant. My Deakin course has been relevant and benefitted me immensely. I have learnt the soft negotiation and counselling skills required for communicating with different personalities in the workplace, I have understood the importance of safety and health regulations in a workplace and learnt to juggle a number of priorities successfully at one point in time.’
She adds that the flexibility of the degree provides her with the option to complete summer trimester units to more easily balance her study and work load.
‘The course is well structured so I always know what units I need to do and what my options are. Deakin’s staff have been efficient and helped keep me on track with my career through events, resume checks and appointments with career advisors every few months.’
Ishita says the human resources industry is a burgeoning employment sector and in the future, she would like to work in the fields of selection and recruitment, or personnel training.
‘Any company, whether large or small in nature, requires a HR division to support the stakeholders’ vision and increase employee satisfaction and motivation – which helps businesses increase productivity in the future. HR is also important for minimising any health risks and dealing with any conflicts in today’s team-integrated and diverse environment.’