A new partnership between Macquarie’s Faculty of Business and Economics and International Health care provider GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has seen five students employed for a year in the areas of marketing, sales, finance and customer marketing.
This exclusive Industry Based Learning program offers these second-year undergraduate students the opportunity to work in a paid full-time role and receive academic credit at the same time.
After an exhaustive application process Annabel Fitzgerald, Ankita Agarwal, Marlon Shou, Vince Lichaa and Vanessa Daaboul were selected to be part of the inaugural program.
While the focus of the GSK program is to increase the employability of business graduates, GSK’s Director of Human Resources Simon Cowl said the company also has something to gain.
“The program is absolutely seen as fundamental to the business. Apart from the tangible benefits to a company there are the intangible ones as well – students bring such an energy and enthusiasm into the workplace. They seem to energise the workplace and other members of the team,” he says.
Growing internship program
According to Business and Economics Participation and Community Engagement Manager Clare Iarandine, the Faculty has put a priority on providing students with more opportunities to get real world experience. “We don’t want students to graduate with just technical knowledge or intellectual ability, but have capabilities such as interpersonal skills which you get from participating and engaging in the community, including workplaces.”
The Faculty is currently offering a number of internships, both paid and unpaid and plan to extend this program. Companies involved apart from GSK include the Australian Direct Marketing Association, Nielsen Australia, Wesfarmers, Tom Tom, Citi and Beiersdorf Australia.
Students are selected for the internship programs based on merit. “Where it is a paid internship we target the top performing students,” says Iarandine. “We look at academic results, how well students have put together their application and also look at things such as relevant work experience.”
Face-to-Face with Annabel Fitzgerald – GSK marketing intern
How did you feel when you were selected for the program?
When I found out that I was selected to be GSK’s first marketing intern, I was thrilled yet very nervous at the same time as this would be my first corporate job.
How long does the internship last and what does it entail?
The internship lasts for one year and whilst I have the opportunity to be across all GSK brands, I am predominately helping out the analgesics team.
What are you enjoying most about your internship?
I am thoroughly enjoying working for GSK as everyone is very friendly and willing to answer any questions which I may have. Most of all, I am enjoying getting involved in all aspects of marketing, including attending focus groups, being involved in the running of competitions and internal events.
What are some of the benefits of your internship?
Being an intern for GSK has also come with a range of benefits including travelling to both Melbourne and Port Douglas, attending TVC shoots and radio recordings and sitting in on various external and internal meetings. The chance to work for a successful global company such as GSK has opened my eyes to many opportunities.This article first appeared in Connect, Issue 2, 2011
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