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Currently: Project Officer - Transport Accident Commission
Gaining an internship with an advertising agency was the key to a change of direction for Deakin University commerce student Adelaide Sinclair. 'I was wondering if I had chosen the wrong major,' says Adelaide, 'I decided I wanted to do marketing but I had not chosen a marketing major.'
Fortunately for Adelaide, some good advice and a Deakin internship put her on track for the career she wants. 'A family friend who is involved in the advertising industry in Sydney told me to be pro-active and to look for opportunities,' she says. 'I saw the internship and asked my friend to recommend somewhere to do it. I really thought it was too late but she told me that if I took opportunities I would be fine.'
Adelaide landed an internship with large advertising agency Grey Group Melbourne, completing 100 hours in the workplace over a one month period during trimester two of her third year. 'It was my choice to do it intensively and it was very busy but I liked it,' she says. 'Because I was there three days a week I got to know the people better.'
There are plenty of benefits for students who elect to spend time in a real work environment, according to Adelaide. 'I am sure it will help me get a job. I have had positive feedback from the company and there could be opportunities there for me in the future,' she says. 'Doing the internship means I am on their radar.'
Adelaide could have taken an extra major instead of an internship, but she is convinced she made the right choice. 'I think the practical experience is a lot more valuable than having a triple major,' she says. 'Even if you have to sacrifice a core unit, you learn so much more in a working environment.'
An additional advantage is the opportunity to confirm your choice of field, she adds. 'You don't really know if you are suited to something until you try it. It is kind of settling and you can tell yourself, 'I can do this, I have learned a lot and I am employable'. It gives you confidence.' She also enjoyed her task of writing a blog about how much can be learned in a month.
Adelaide's employer placed her in an area of the company that was under resourced, so she was able to prove her worth. 'In one situation there was just the client, the head of planning and me,' she says. 'I did a lot of things the head did not have time to do.' The benefits are not only for the student, but the company too. 'They were very grateful I had been able to help out,' she says.
Any students considering doing an internship within their course should go ahead, Adelaide urges. 'The fact that you are thinking about it means you should do it,' she says. 'If you are keen to do it, be pro-active and it will work out well.'
Since completing her Commerce degree, Adelaide was accepted into the Transport Accident Commission's Graduate Program and now works as a Project Officer.