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Business Practicum completed Trimester 1, 2011
Brief: To create a fruit and vegetable price index based on best practice for the Produce Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand (PMA-ANZ), and to write a report on the cost of the recommended serves of fresh produce per person per day in Australia.
I am a Sydney based off-campus student and was able to complete the practicum remotely with PMA-ANZ in Melbourne. PMA-ANZ had a very clear idea about their requirements for the project and this provided a clear framework for what I would need to do across the trimester. Understanding the goal of the practicum for the host organisation is very important for the success of the project. In close collaboration with PMA-ANZ, I developed a time line for managing the workload and delivering the pieces of work to the host organisation.
The most important issue to understand before undertaking a practicum is how to draw upon academic learning and translate this into business success. Each of the different stakeholders in the practicum will have slightly different goals. The host organisation will expect that best practice principles will be used and that the project will be delivered on time. The University is looking for an academic paper, and to foster lasting relationships with industry partners. Finally, as a student I was looking for an opportunity to undertake a project that was removed from my current work, ideally to complement my previous work experience, to showcase the skills and knowledge I had gained through my course, and ultimately to assist me in achieving a career change.
Balancing all of the demands is challenging and requires a capacity to work independently. I would recommend the practicum to students who relish a challenge and are driven by success.