15 November 2010

UQ’s Master of Development Practice students received a welcome opportunity to speak with industry leaders and to gain valuable internship opportunities at a workshop held on campus recently.

Representatives from UniQuest, UQ's main research commercialisation company, and GRM International, a leading international development management company, provided students with insights on how to get their dream job.

Tips such as gaining valuable experience through internships, how to position yourself in a crowded marketplace and the important message of making personal contact with your potential employer, were all taken on board by students.

During the workshop UniQuest’s General Manager - International Development, Mr Mel Dunn, announced an ongoing commitment to establish a number of internship opportunities for students enrolled in the program.

“Internships provide valuable opportunities for both students and UniQuest. UQ students have the advantage of being able to engage with the sector, and for UniQuest, it means involving some of the brightest young minds in looking at ways to respond to clients’ needs," Mr Dunn said.

"It is also one way to ensure we remain contemporary and contribute positively to good development practice.”

GRM’s Deputy Managing Director Darryn Purdy was in agreement.

“It is important to create opportunities for the next generation of professionals and establish pathways for career growth," Mr Purdy said.

"We have a number of opportunities for students to enter GRM through internships and a young professionals program, as well as an ongoing GRM Scholarship in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Science.”

For Bethany Carey, winner of the 2010 GRM International Scholarship, an internship is an important career tool.

“I think it's vital if you're intending to pursue a career in development. It's given me a better understanding of my degree and the opportunities and career prospects out there for a graduate,” she said.

The Director of the Development Practice Program, Dr Heloise Weber, was delighted by the commitment of UniQuest and GRM in supporting student interns and their awareness that students are keen to develop skills that make them attractive to potential employers.

“We have invested time and effort into establishing links with industry and pursuing internship opportunities for our students. It is great to see that companies in the development sector have been so responsive,” Dr Weber said.

Housed in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, the Development Practice Program has been in existence for more than five years.

It is a multidisciplinary program involving teaching staff across four UQ Schools, Political Science and International Studies, Social Science, Social Work and Human Services and Geography, Planning and Environmental Management.

If you would like to find out more about the Development Practice Program at UQ and internships opportunities, please visit www.uq.edu.au/development-practice or email development-practice@uq.edu.au

Media contact: Naomi Smith (School of Political Science and international Studies) on 3365 3446 or email naomi.smith@uq.edu.au