UQ students Rebecca Upton and Eva Kiriakoff (left and centre) with Uniquest's Suzanne Brangwin and Mel Dunn
UQ students Rebecca Upton and Eva Kiriakoff (left and centre) with Uniquest's Suzanne Brangwin and Mel Dunn
28 April 2011

A new internship program is helping University of Queensland students work with vulnerable communities overseas.

UQ Master of Development Practice student Rebecca Upton said it was very fulfilling to work on projects delivering real benefits for communities.

Ms Upton completed an internship in March with the International Development Division of UQ’s main commercialisation company UniQuest, and is now working part time for the expanding group.

“My passion lies with working in developing countries, so it’s been a fantastic experience to work with UniQuest, which has such a great reputation and involved with a lot of important projects overseas,” Ms Upton said.

“The internship has exposed me to a wide scope of the business; I’ve gained an incredible insight into the industry, and learnt so much. Ultimately, this is the type of work I’d like to continue with into the future.”

UniQuest’s International Development Division is one of Asia-Pacific’s leading university-owned development groups with clients including AusAID, NZAID, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

The internship program was implemented as part of a closer working relationship between UniQuest and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (SBS).

International Development Division General Manager Mel Dunn said the collaboration set UniQuest apart from its competitors and enhanced UQ’s contribution to international development and engagement objectives.

“UniQuest’s technical expertise and program management in international development has always been significantly enhanced by UQ’s resources and capabilities, and now we are directly accessing the latest learning in the sector and applying it to our work with communities,” Mr Dunn said.

“The internship program has been terrific and is a clear example of the ‘UQ Advantage’ that is attracting postgraduate students to Brisbane. Students are gaining an additional level of exposure to the development sector, and UniQuest is getting smart, enthused people to join our team and contribute to fresh solutions for our clients.”

Executive Dean of the SBS Faculty Professor David de Vaus said he wasn’t aware of any other Australian university that had on campus access to an international development company.

“UQ students have an extraordinary opportunity to apply their theoretical training while also leveraging the expertise of development sector professionals,” he said.

A similar internship program also operates in UniQuest’s Technology Commercialisation Division, with up to eight UQ Business School students each semester given the opportunity to work as technology analysts within the company.

Further information about UniQuest’s internship programs can be found at www.uniquest.com.au/internships

Media: Leanne Wyvill (+61 7 3365 4037, 0409 767 199, l.wyvill@uniquest.com.au)