Internship Program Overview
Whether you are looking to create a pipeline of future talent for your organisation or need assistance with specific projects or general workload, taking part in the Faculty of Engineering and IT Internship Program can be an invaluable opportunity.
We take the stress out of sourcing candidates by advertising to eligible and the high-achieving masters students on our dedicated internship portal and shortlisting the best candidates for your review. We’ll work with you to ensure your intern aligns with your specific business requirements and is a good fit for your team. We welcome a diverse range of organisations to host interns in our program, from large multinationals through to start ups and research institutes.
The program has three intakes per year (see Key Dates). Internships should be offered for a period of 10-16 weeks (totaling 320-350 hours) and can be offered onsite, remotely or a combination of both, depending on your needs. Students can undertake the internship on a part-time (3-4 days per week) or full-time (5 days per week) basis. Students enrol into an internship subject and receive academic credit.
Students are encouraged to prepare a semester in advance and are supported with resources to ensure their outreach is professional and targeted. They are also aware that they may need to participate in a selection process to secure the internship role.
Whilst internships are conducted individually under the supervision of an industry supervisor, students are also mentored by a dedicated academic staff here in the faculty. The academic acts as a first point-of-contact, who they can approach to discuss any issues they might be facing. Should students not wish to undertake a university sourced internship, they can also source one themselves with an external company.
Why participate as a host?
Boost your organisation's capacity to undertake specific projects or gain support in periods of high workload
Grow your talent
Engage students prior to graduation and create a pipeline for graduate talent within your organisation
Work with students who represent a variety of disciplines, who can contribute to a diverse range of organisations and sectors
Allow us to advertise your opportunities, capture applications and shortlist candidates on your behalf
We have had a range of interns covering three different engineering disciplines. All of them have been enthusiastic and willing to give any task a try. Their technical understanding allowed them to pick up tasks quickly and we were amazed how much work they got through. There was a high level of comprehension and commitment meaning we were able to give them real work and get some of our internal development projects completed.
Andrea Hosey, General Manager (Victoria), ThyssenKrupp
How our program works
You submit your internship to our team
Your internship position needs to offer students a hands-on, practical opportunity to learn from industry, and provide them with exposure to the day-to-day operations and problems of an organisation. Research roles will not be considered.
Start by creating an eye-catching position description that will be advertised to our students (for ideas, see Tips to securing the right candidate).
To ensure the wellbeing and safety of our students, we need to understand your organisation’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practices. As well as a position description, you’ll also be asked to provide an OHS Policy or OHS Management Plan.
If you have any questions before submitting your internship position, please contact the team at email@example.com
We advertise the position and shortlist candidates
Once you have provided your completed position description and OHS documentation, we’ll advertise your position to eligible students on our student portal. Typically, internship positions are advertised for 14 days. Students are asked to submit a cover letter, resume and academic transcript as part of their application.
At the end of the advertising period, we’ll shortlist the best candidates and provide you with suitable students to consider.
You interview your selected applicants and make an offer
Now it’s over to you to conduct interviews and find the best fit for your team! You should carry out your standard recruitment process and make offers directly to the candidates.
Once you’ve made your offer, it’s important to let us know who has been successful, along with the agreed start date, end date and hours per week in line with the dates found in the Key Dates section. We can readvertise the position if need be.
Finalise placement agreements
We will send you either a Vocational Placement Agreement (VPLA) or Professional Placement Agreement (PPLA) to sign, depending on whether the internship is paid or unpaid. Once signed and returned, the internship will be ready to commence.
Internships involve approximately a minimum of 320 to a maximum of 350 hours undertaken over a 10-16 week period during University Semesters, noting that unpaid internships cannot exceed 350 hours.
Placements usually occur between the following months:
- Summer: Early December - Late February
- Semester 1: Early March - Late June
- Semester 2: Mid-July - Late October
Please familiarise yourself with the dates below which outline due dates involved with advertising with the Faculty of Engineering and IT.
Semester 2 2023
Summer Term 2024
Semester 1 2024
|This is the period we will advertise internships for the program.||Mid March - Mid June 2023||August - Early November 2023||Mid December 2023 - Mid February 2024|
|Position description due|
|Latest date you can submit an internship position for the intake. The earlier that you can submit your position description the more likely we are able to find your ideal candidate!||Friday 9 June 2023||Friday 20 October 2023||Date TBC|
|Final date to finalise your offers|
|By this date your organisation should have undertaken interviews, selected a candidate(s) and informed us who will be undertaking the position.||Friday 7 July 2023||Friday 17 November 2023||Date TBC|
|Late July - Early August 2023||Mid-late November 2023||Late February - Early March 2024|
|Late October 2023||Mid-late February 2024||Late May 2024|
Internship start and end dates must align within the Summer 2024 dates to be counted toward internship hours (320 - 350).
Teaching dates for Summer 2024: Monday 27 November 2023 to Friday 23 February 2024.
If the internship is between 10 and 16 weeks of placement, students can commence their internship 2 weeks before Summer 2024 start date. In addition, they can work 2 weeks beyond the Summer 2024 end date.
If the internship is less than 10 weeks, it must be completed in the Summer 2024 teaching dates. There are no allowances to this.
What can you expect from an intern?
Students engaged in the Internship subject will typically be in the later stages of their Masters degree, actively seeking additional professional development in their chosen field prior to graduating.
Students from the following degrees are eligible to take part in this internship program. When applying, you can indicate which degrees you believe are most suitable for your position.
- Master of Biomedical Engineering
- Master of Chemical Engineering
- Master of Civil Engineering
- Master of Electrical Engineering
- Master of Engineering
- Master of Environmental Engineering
- Master of Information Systems
- Master of Information Technology
- Master of Mechanical Engineering
- Master of Mechatronics Engineering
- Master of Software Engineering
Early in the semester, students undertake intensive sessions covering a range of professional skills including teamwork, communication, personal assessments, ethics, OHS, business acumen and an in-depth understand of what employers want.
As part of the academic component of the Internship subject, students will be regularly reflecting on their own personal professional growth and adaption to a workplace environment.
What is expected of an internship host?
Each student undertaking an internship will need to be supervised by a staff member from within your organisation whom is a technical expert in that area, or is an engineering or information technology professional (depending on the position). This person must be able to provide the student with technical support in regards to their day-to-day activities whilst on placement.
This supervisor should continue to discuss the students' performance with them throughout the placement either informally (through conversations) or formally (within meets and in writing) when appropriate. We advise meeting with the student every week (in person, via zoom or phone) to help students report on the work they are doing and take on responsibilities pertinent to their job.
The host is required to ensure a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment.
As the internship placement forms a component of study embedded in FEIT curriculum, internships through FEIT's Internship Program satisfy the requirements of a 'professional placement' as defined under the University's Professional Placement Policy, Procedure and Guidelines.
For all internships, a formal placement letter agreement must be signed by the relevant University supervisor and an authorised signatory of the host organisation. Three possible agreements are available, depending on the nature of the agreed internship.
Once a payment arrangement is determined, FEIT will arrange and send you a copy of the appropriate placement agreement to review, sign and return prior to the student commencing their internship, to ensure they are covered whilst on site.
Intellectual Property and Privacy
As mandated by Australian legislation, University staff and students must ensure the non disclosure of Host organisation's confidential information, accessed during the period of the Placement. This is further detailed in sections B and D of the Professional Placement Letter Agreement (PPLA) and Vocational Placement Letter Agreement (VPLA) and FEIT are happy to discuss further if clarification is needed.
Workers Compensation and Insurance
Occupational Health and Safety
Host organisations must have a commitment to safe work practices, such as a formal Occupational Health and Safety Plan, and must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Vic) 2004. Any disagreements, incidents or near accidents must be reported promptly to the Industry Placement Coordinators. Please ensure all OH&S induction requirements are completed by your intern.
Internships can be either paid or unpaid at the discretion of the host organsiation.
Where the student is paid, companies enter into a contract of employment with the student(s). As a result, students come under the company's insurance and their employment arrangements must comply with the Fair Work Act 2009. The host is additionally required to sign a Professional Placement Letter Agreement (PPLA).
When internships are unpaid, they are covered by the University's insurance via a Vocational Placement Letter Agreement (VPLA) which requires signing.
Organisations may alternatively offer a student a stipend payment whereby the organisation offers a nominal amount invoiced by the University, which is then transferred to the student as a studentship payment. The University covers insurance under a VPLA. The host organisation is expected to also maintain appropriate Public Liability insurance.
Please note the following information:
Unpaid or with Stipend Payments
- Internships must not exceed 320 - 350 hours
- Students MUST enrol into the internship subject to be covered by the University's insurance
University Sourced Paid Internships
- Students MUST enrol into the internship subject
Tips to securing the right candidate
Advertising and Position Description Tips
- We recommend including the following in your position description:
- What specific duties and tasks will the intern perform? If you can, quantify each duty and responsibility
- What key objectives must be achieved?
- The position benefits (especially if the role is unpaid) - outline these in an honest and attractive way. Most people want to know that their internship will be challenging and rewarding. .
- A description of the team - you may also want to include who the supervisor will be
- Skills required for the role
- Consider giving an example of a usual week or typical day for the intern
- Ensure the name of the role is relevant - it should be clear and attractive to students
- Share details about your organisation. Consider items including the company’s history, what awards you have won, what makes you an employer of choice, whether you’re long-established or a start-up etc.
- Direct the student to your website for any other important information, including videos that provide students and insight into your company, and the projects they might be involved with through their time interning. These can also be a great way to focus on the benefits or perks you offer, and what skills individuals will acquire interning with you.
Interviews , making offers and onboarding
- Get in early - we recommend interviewing and making offers to candidates within 2 weeks of receiving collated applications from our team. Most students are receiving multiple offers and you don't want to miss out on offering a role to your preferred candidate.
- Ask well thought-out questions that ask for examples during the interview. You’ll be able to confirm the candidate has the skills they say they have, and better understand their strengths and weaknesses too.
- Set clear expectations by discussing start/end dates and the number of hours per week requirement over the course of the internship.
- Keep in touch with your intern after making an offer and ensure there is a plan for their first day and weeks to make them feel welcome.
- Cover the statutory induction items and have the relevant person run through a training plan for the coming days and weeks. Try to avoid the too common “chuck them in the deep end and see if they swim” approach.
Onboarding your new intern
Once you have appointed the successful candidate, stay connected with them before they start, have an organised plan for their first day and make them feel welcome. This will confirm they have made the right decision to join you.
Handle paperwork during pre-boarding
The value of completing the pre-onboarding process for interns is immeasurable. To get them settled in as quickly as possible, do the following before their first day:
- Confirm their first day and standard hours of work, ideally in a face-to-face call, which can help them feel confident and give them the chance to ask you any questions
- Complete paperwork, including for banking forms and other requirements, such as an contracts if applicable.
- If they’re working in an office, have their desk space and computer set-up, ready, and waiting, along with any other equipment needs
- Provide access and permissions for all the digital tools and services they’ll be using, for example, Zoom, Teams, Google Drive, or Microsoft accounts
- Introduce starting interns to one or two colleagues during pre-onboarding. By setting up a face-to-face video call, you can further help negate any first-day nerves.
Communicate with the University
Interns can sometimes become overwhelmed when trying to balance their internship with their university life and whatever other responsibilities they may have outside of those. So, transparently, maintain open communication with the university.
In doing so, you’ll demonstrate a commitment to their wellbeing, and will be taking proactive steps to provide the additional support that all workers can benefit from, including interns.
Listen to what their academics have to say, adjust their schedule where necessary, and ensure you always have oversight of their workload and that it’s never unmanageable.
Share goals and expectations
Providing clear examples of what’s expected from new employees is particularly valuable to interns who may not have any experience of a typical working environment. One effective way to do this is by sharing key team meetings from the past year, quarter, or month. Not only will they have the chance to pick up on company goals, principles, and processes, but they’ll also be able to see how team members behave, communicate, and listen.
Occupational Health and Safety
Ensure your intern has completed your organisation's OH&S induction and training. Host organisations must have a commitment to safe work practices, such as a formal Occupational Health and Safety Plan, and must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Vic) 2004. Any disagreements, incidents or near accidents must be reported promptly to the Industry Placement Coordinators: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Map their journey
Share with your intern what they’ll get out of their time with you. Seeing the kinds of projects they’ll be working on and what skills they’ll learn will both reassure and motivate them.
By mapping their internship with a timeline showing the tools they’ll use, the special tasks they’ll complete, and the technical skills they’ll develop, you can also more easily track their training and progress.
Then the organisation can recognise each new achievement in one-to-one appraisals with their manager, or by sharing how they’ve helped the team in group communications.
Tell the team who’s starting and when
Be sure to let your team know there’ll be a new intern starting before their first day. This will give them the chance to prepare a welcome (even if it’s just a friendly email/teams message), set aside time for a meeting where applicable, and ensure your intern isn’t met with a succession of blank faces because everyone’s too busy to notice a new starter.
Meanwhile, the intern’s manager or team leader will have time to fully prepare the intern’s introduction to their role and initial tasks (which hopefully aren’t too demanding).
Give interns a fantastic introduction to the company culture
Everyone remembers their first day on the job and interns are no different – and how people start their new role can set the tone for the rest of their time with an organisation or team. Here are some of the live touchpoints you can plan for new interns so they understand the value of a strong team ethic and begin as you wish them to continue:
- A breakfast the morning they arrive with other interns. This is important as it will set new interns up with peers they can always turn to.
- A live meeting with the team and manager they’re joining. Make sure interns meet as early as possible with their teams. This will help alleviate much of their anxiety and give them the chance to start developing a rapport with their new colleagues.
- A brief daily one-to-one with the manager for the first week. This will give the manager the opportunity to provide extra support, answer questions, and track progress.
- A daily lunch with another team member or intern for the first week. Social lunches aren’t for everyone, but in the first week of the job this will help avoid any intern feeling alienated or unsupported.
- A brief weekly one-to-one with you for the whole duration of the internship. Interns will have the opportunity to ask you for any additional help, while also giving you feedback on their tasks and projects. Meanwhile, you can gauge their sense of comfort and where you may need to make improvements to the on-boarding process.
Engage, engage, engage
People perform best when they're engaged; engaged with their team, their objectives and their tasks. This is especially crucial for interns as they're probably only with you for a short time. So you need their buy-in from the start.
For interns working remotely, creating a highly structured, engaging on-boarding process is important. Since everyone's interactions take place via and app or platform, it means you can use automations to have more control over how to guide, time and shape those interactions. For example, you can auto-generate tasks, automate emails to be sent out to interns, trigger team announcements and auto-schedule special meetings and reminders.
Use video platforms like Zoom, to easily organise group calls and encourage team members to use engagement features like emoji reactions, polls and breakout rooms. This way, team members can really express themselves and enjoy each other's company during meetings.
Let interns make the most of their internship
By taking care to provide interns with an engaging on-boarding experience that connects them with peers, team mates and managers, you can pre-empt many of the challenges they often face, such as lack of experience in the workplace.
Using digital tools to engage with interns in remote groups, one-to-one meetigs and event replays, you help them understand the underlying culture of the company, which does so much to bond workers and focus them on shared goals.
Are we able to visit the university campus and provide more information to students?
We provide a range of other ways to connect with our students through various marketing and social media channels. We can also provide and promote virtual platforms such as webinars, depending on the context.
Some other ways you can engage with students and promote your brand include Case Competitions, STEM Mentoring, Endeavour, Industry Series and Professional Skills Series. If you’re unsure what might be right for you, speak to one of our expert team members via email at email@example.com.
Is it possible to only connect with domestic or international students?
To ensure fairness and equity, engagement opportunities are for all students. We do not exclude any student groups from accessing these programs. We understand that employment opportunities may require certain work rights for students to be eligible. We can identify the target audience in communications, but we will not exclude students. Find out more.
Do internships need to be paid? What about insurance?
The Fair Work Act requires that students are paid at least the minimum wage for work experience undertaken within organisations, unless the work is undertaken as a vocational placement or is classified as voluntary work.
For a placement to meet the requirements of a 'vocational placement', it must be undertaken as part of a subject or a course. Alternatively, it should be classified as voluntary work. The consequences of an unpaid placement falling outside these exemptions under the Act is that the student is deemed to be an employee and is legally entitled to at least the minimum wage.
We do offer our master's internship subject, each Semester, that meets the requirements of a vocational placement.
The University of Melbourne has Guidelines for Professional Placements which assist in determining the type of professional placements that can be offered or facilitated by the University.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has information on internships, vocational placements and unpaid work.
What internships can be advertised?
- Paid internships that meet the Fair Work Act requirements or the country of employment requirements (see below). These will be reviewed and approved at the discretion of the University and in line with our terms and conditions.
- Unpaid internship opportunities that are a requirement of a student's course or subject or is classified as voluntary work in a registered not-for-profit organisation. We will work with you to ensure any unpaid internships meet the appropriate criteria and standards to ensure alignment with the Fair Work Act.
What about insurance?
The University’s insurance program covers enrolled students undertaking University of Melbourne (unpaid) course accredited and approved work experience, placements, and internships. The University must be connected to the proposed activity by either:
- A compulsory course requirement or;
- in accordance with a specific vocational placement agreement or contract.
Therefore, through our masters internship subjects, insurance will be covered by the University.
My organisation is not based in Australia. Can you still help?
Yes. As a part of the University’s effort to prepare our students as global citizens, we encourage students to connect and engage with industry both domestically and internationally. We also promote opportunities based overseas.
Do you offer shortlisting or end-to-end recruitment services?
Every day we partner with employers to help them recruit interns from our talented cohort.
- If the internship qualifies as part of our internship subject we will coordinate the promotion of the opportunity, directly targeting students who are keen to undertake an internship as part of their university studies. At the conclusion of the advertising period, we will provide a list of suitable applications that you can select from to interview.
- If the internship does not qualify as part of the internship subject we will assist you in the promotion of the opportunity via our job boards, newsletters, clubs and societies and social media platforms. The students will apply directly to you/your organisation.
- Host Company Guidelines - Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (PDF 290.8 KB)
- Internship Flyer - Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (PDF 874.5 KB)
For any questions or queries relating to the Faculty of Engineering and IT Internship Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org