Through a University-sourced internship with the University’s Campus Management team, Edward Dai took his first step into the Australian workforce.
Working on an asset management pilot project with Campus Management, I received extraordinary mentoring from experienced colleagues and developed my employability skills to a new level. The Business and Economics Internship subject prompted me to reconsider my career objectives and career journey. After completing my internship, I decided to further advance my business competencies by taking a gap year to work for British Petroleum at its Melbourne head office.
During the Campus Management internship, I was fortunate to work through a pilot project from beginning through to completion. Different from a routine project, a pilot is more exciting with no set procedures and more room for creativity. Our pilot aimed to improve efficiency in tracking and managing the lifecycle of laboratory equipment by implementing a new asset system. Working in a small team of four, I had the chance to actively contribute to every stage of the project lifecycle, including initial scoping, stakeholder interviews, sample collection, data analysis, system demo testing, feedback communication, and final implementation.
In each stage of the project, I developed a new set of skills and techniques. The initial scoping stage involved implementation of a Gap Analysis process - where actual performance is compared with desired performance and brainstorming was used frequently to identify potential barriers. The sample collection stage was similar to a site audit, which required a high level of attention to detail. The data analysis stage tested my ability to quickly learn and apply Excel formulae in a real business context. The subsequent system demo testing and feedback communication stages developed my problem-solving as well as my coordination skills because the problems were often complex and required collaborative efforts from various stakeholders.
The best part of the internship was the opportunity to have my voice heard. Though I joined as an intern, my supervisor and colleagues paid careful attention to my opinions. I was encouraged to share my thoughts in stakeholder meetings and was given authority to contact external suppliers directly as a representative of the University. These experiences not only improved my communication and coordination skills, but also increased my willingness to take initiative and shoulder responsibility at work. Once the internship had concluded, I continued to work on the project on a casual basis.
Throughout the project, the team felt like a family where everyone was so kind and nice. We did not avoid conflict at work, but we always made sure it was constructive. I want to thank Andrew Ford (the project and internship lead), Colin Reiter, Director Campus Management, Tim Bold, and the rest of the Campus Management team for their priceless mentoring, as well as my subject coordinator (Sharon Soltys).
I would highly recommend the Business and Economics Internship subject to all Melbourne Business School students, and especially those who are still unsure about their next career move. It offers the perfect opportunity to apply in-class knowledge to real cases, learn business techniques from experienced colleagues, and identify your strengths and weaknesses in a job. Personally, by doing the internship subject, I also realised what I really want to do, and it helped me decide to take a gap year before undertaking further studies.