Your KBS Work Placement: Why do one and how to make it happen

Published 24 October 2017

Whether you’re an international or local student in Australia, there are some important reasons as to why you should add a work placement to your CV.

Recent research conducted in Australia shows that students who do internships are better at decision-making and managing their careers than those who don’t. Another study found that the number of graduates in a sample group who received job offers increased from 30% to 58% after a work placement course was introduced. With benefits such as higher graduate pay, broader networks and greater insight into the industry, internships are now considered an essential part of an education.

With these significant benefits for students in mind, Careers Central at KBS has been expanding their work placement courses. Through the careers program, you can apply for three different placements. You’ll receive support and guidance from trained professionals as well as linking with companies and industry associations.

As the National Manager for Careers and Academic Internships at KBS, Ciarán Doherty works with a team of Careers Officers to deliver these services to KBS students. Originally from Ireland, he’s been in Australia for five years and has worked at KBS for the last 18 months. With a background in career guidance, education and recruitment, he has a wealth of knowledge about the ‘how what and why’ of work placements. Ciarán agreed to give our KBS Blog some insight into the placement program at KBS, why you should get one and how to organise it.

“Careers Central recognises the challenges some students face to finding employment. Most of our students are international. An Australian reference and first-hand understanding of the workplace is vital to secure employment.

We shape the careers program around employment trends. At the moment we’re working with over 100 companies nationally. These range from the Cancer Council, PwC, Pitcher Partners, Hoyts Cinemas, Blue Illusion, Marriott Group and Chandler McLeod.”

You can now participate in three different types of placements through Careers Central: Academic Internships, Work Placements and Graduate Placements. Ciarán explains the differences between the three:

Academic Internship Placements count as elective subjects towards your course. Work Placements are voluntary and typically last for 12 weeks, with a maximum of 20 hours per week. They are designed to assist students in gaining Australian work experience and a reference. Graduate Placements fall under the Alumni program. Through this service, KBS graduates can still access Careers Central and gain support in applying for jobs.”

Applying for a Placement

So what does the process of applying for a placement entail? For those of you who know you want a placement (and why wouldn’t you?!) but not sure how to make it happen, refer to Ciarán’s step-by-step advice.

“The first step is booking a consultation with your Careers Officer to discuss your resume, complete a career Pathway Plan and identify short and long-term goals.

Secondly, you would apply for part-time employment while studying, typically in casual roles.

During your course, we would provide you with opportunities to attend multiple career-related workshops and events, so you can gain valuable information and create industry connections. If eligible, you would then complete an Academic Internship as an elective subject, either part time or full time.

Following this, we would set you up with a work placement in an area relevant to study. Finally, in the last year of your studies leading up to course completion, your Careers Officer will work with you to source employment upon graduating.

After you finish, you would then stay connected with KBS as an Alumni so we can help you find future work.

What are the results of this you might ask? The latest figures from KBS tell us that 1-in-2 students who participate in work placements end up getting offered full-time employment.

 “In my role, I enjoy the positive outcomes that our students experience and the success of the work placements. The feedback is fantastic.”

With the job market in Australia becoming increasingly competitive for graduates, it’s never been a better time to start thinking about work placements. It’s also nice to have the support to make it happen. When you start your course at KBS, don’t forget to contact Careers Central so that Ciaran and the rest of the Careers Central team can work with you to get your career off to the best start possible.