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2015 Whitehorse program a big success

"My experience was invaluable and hopefully a significant step towards my future career."

Since 2009, Whitehorse City Council has collaborated with Deakin University to provide students with unique opportunities to develop work-ready skills within the local business community.

2015 was no exception and the program once again was a huge success for students and businesses alike.

Associate Professor Annemieke Craig, Academic Director Work Integrated Learning at Deakin, says that the Whitehorse Tertiary Business Skills Program is a great opportunity for students to engage with the local community while also getting real-world industry experience.

‘As a university it is important for us to engage with our local community and this program is one of the ways that we can do that and build strong relationships with businesses in the area.’

After changing the program structure in 2014 to allow students to gain credit for participating, this year saw a further extension, which now also accommodates postgraduate students in the program.

Associate Professor Craig says that this year, the unit has seen significant growth, with 17 students and 15 local business participating. Additional workshops also added a unique aspect for students.

‘Upon completion, I asked our students if there was anything they didn’t like about the program and the answer was simply they didn’t like that it was over.

‘A number of hosts also indicated they would miss their interns, which speaks volumes of the bonds that were built and the value businesses received from having an intern,’ she says.

Participating student, Campbell Jones says the program has been rewarding in both a professional and personal way.

‘My experience was invaluable and hopefully a significant step towards my future career.

‘The seminars especially were a great assistance to me personally in helping to question what it is I want to do after my degree and challenging me to think about why I want to engage in that particular industry after my degree as well.’

On Wednesday 16 September, Deakin University and Whitehorse City Council held an event in celebration of the program, and to recognise both the businesses and the students who participated. You can view an image gallery of the event below.

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