Internships, work experience and mentoring
Degree-related internships, work experience and mentoring can help you to practice and develop professional skills under supervision in the workplace.
An internship is an opportunity to practice and develop professional skills under supervision in the workplace. Internships are for fixed periods of time and may be referred to as vacation programs.
Some courses offer internship subjects where students are required to participate in industry-based placements. This is sometimes referred to as ‘Working Integrated Learning’ (WIL). Please note that these are unpaid internships.
The following are some examples of internship subjects available at the University. These are in addition to placements undertaken as an integral part of a professional course such as Social Work or Teaching. Check the University’s Handbook to identify all up-to-date opportunities.
- Internships abroad
A small number of opportunities exist for students to undertake internships or similar work experience placements abroad to meet a hurdle requirement or for credit towards a University of Melbourne degree. Please check with your faculty or course coordinator for information specific to your course, or find out more at Melbourne Global Mobility.
Please note that internships are not formally recognised in University course curriculum unless they are part of an internship subject. It s important to remember that many of the opportunities that may be available will not carry credit or University insurance or be counted as meeting your hurdle requirements for your course. It is your responsibility to check with the University before you embark on such experiences. However, even if the experience may not carry credit, you are still encouraged to seek internship experience to build your employability.
Employers may advertise external internship opportunities in various ways throughout the year. Keep up to date by checking these range of resources.
You may also consider approaching an employer directly to enquire about internship opportunities.
Will I be paid for an external internship?
External internships are generally paid. Under the Fair Work Act, an internship needs to be paid unless it is:
- With a not-for-profit organisation
- A vocational placement as defined in the Fair Work Act (2009) as a required and / or assessable part of your course (as with an internship subject)
With paid internships, the employer would normally provide insurance cover. The University will only provide insurance cover if the internship is an assessable part of your course.
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry internship program gives you meaningful work experience in your field of study. It consists of up to 120 hours of paid work on a specific project in one of the Victorian Chamber’s member businesses. The University of Melbourne is a member of the Victorian Chamber, so placements can be within the university or with external businesses.
Opportunities will be placed on Careers Online.
These programs may provide an opportunity to gain relevant work experience. Check with your Faculty for an up to date list of relevant programs:
- Commerce Case Study Competitions
- Student Union, Clubs and Societies: these offer many roles which can have direct career relevance, eg promotions officer for a student society, Student Union rep
- Leaders in Communities Award: a self-paced award which provides a structure to gain recognition for your extra-curricular leadership and volunteering activities and develop your career related skills and networks.
Other work experience
- Mentoring programs
Guidance from a mentor can help you to get the most out of your study and to expand your knowledge of future options and strategies post-study.
Volunteering provides an opportunity for you to develop professional networks, gain real-life experiences and build your skills.