Business School Topics
UWA Business School
Business students at The University of Western Australia are gaining practical experience while assisting local organisations to solve problems and explore new opportunities.
The Business Practicum unit, which is available to undergraduate students who have completed at least half of the units for the major relevant to their project, requires students to spend 100 hours working on an approved project for an organisation. Upon completion, the unit provides students with one credit towards their degree.
Practicum co-ordinator Assistant Professor SzeKee Koh said the Business Practicum provided participants with skills which were highly valued by employers.
‘In addition to further developing their generic and academic skills, students will make a valued contribution to the work of an external organisation and reflect on how well the working experience matches their personal and educational expectations and aspirations,' he said.
Madhavi Rangaiah, a UWA Science/Commerce graduate, completed the Business Practicum in Semester 1, 2011. During the practicum, she worked with Concero Consulting to develop best practice policies and procedures for Colosoul Group Inc., a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing the media and arts industry in Perth. As a result, the organisation attracted increased grants and built community goodwill.
‘I found it gratifying to be able to apply my learning from university to find solutions to problems for a real-life firm,' she said.
‘One of my lecturers commented, with regards to the formulation of a business plan, that formulating plans and making decisions on a product or service idea that has been developed in theory can be quite superficial as it would be difficult to distinguish whether the plans had the genuine potential to be successful. While being able to decipher the same choices for an actual enterprise with real constraints and opportunities was more challenging, I felt it concretised concepts in a more applicable way.'
The Director of Concero Consulting Group, Carley Broadway, was impressed by Madhavi's work.
‘Madhavi was an exceptional intern for Concero. She was an integrate part of our team and her work for Colosoul was outstanding. I would have personally employed Madhavi if I were given the chance... I wish her all the best and secretly hope she will come back to work for our corporation,' she said.
Commerce graduate Amy Ingram-Gillson completed the Business Practicum in Semester 2, 2011. While based at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI), Amy assisted the Human Resources division in evaluating the current pay levels of a group of employees. This included undertaking an industry-wide salary survey and preparing a report on the effects of perceived pay fairness on employee outcomes.
‘My time at CCI has proven to be invaluable in terms of the understanding it has given me of Employment Relations, the skills and knowledge I have gained and the relationships I have developed,' said Amy.
‘Through my reading of case law and observation of hearings at Fair Work Australia, I have grown in my understanding of the law and the procedures involved in handling industrial disputes. This knowledge will be invaluable in my future career in either HR or IR as the law has a strong influence on all aspects of the employment relationship.'
Amy's practicum supervisor, Simon Bibby, Senior Employment Relations Consultant at CCI, said Amy would make an outstanding employee.
‘I would not hesitate to recommend Amy for a job in our organisation. I was impressed with her ability to pick up complex concepts and provide effective responses to the requests made of her,' he said.
The Business Practicum can be completed during semester one, semester two, or during semester breaks. Enrolled students will be supervised by a practicum supervisor at the organisation and an academic supervisor from the Business School. At the end of the Practicum, a final practicum report is to be submitted. It is also mandatory for enrolled students to attend at least three workshops conducted by the UWA Careers Centre.
Students or organisations interested in participating in the Business Practicum should contact Assistant Professor SzeKee Koh at szekee,[email protected] or visit http://units.handbooks.uwa.edu.au/units/busn/busn3348 for further information.