The Ins and Outs of Internships in Australia

January 29, 2019
By Kim Fernandes

There are many ways you can begin your career journey in your chosen field, and quite frankly, a lot of these pathways can be overwhelming! With terms like graduate roles, work placement, volunteering and internships, it’s no wonder it hard to navigate the waters.

We’re here to simplify internships for you - and explain what it all means in Australia. Buckle in and get ready to learn a thing or two!

What’s an internship?

An internship involves completing a work experience for a period of time that is carefully monitored by the employer. In most cases, you will be set intentional learning goals to meet during your time with the company. An internship can vary from an intensive, full-time commitment, to a one-day-a-week undertaking over a period of months.

The reason why internships are so popular is because they help students navigate the transition from study to work. Internships are mentored-based work opportunities where you experience many elements of the workplace that you don’t necessarily become privy to during your classes, at events or in student clubs. Imagine developing the skills you wanted to know for 2019 through an internship experience! That’s a win-win in our eyes!

Just remember, internships are fundamentally a value exchange. That means you should be LEARNING as well as working and, in many cases, getting paid for that work. Check out Fairwork.gov.au to make sure your time is being appropriately valued!

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What’s the best way to find an internship?

The good thing about internships is that they are offered by many employers all over Australia. First, do some research. Think about the industry you want to end up in. Is it common for internships to be sought out in first year? Can you get subject credits for completing one? Many universities offer work-integrated learning experiences or similar (subjects where you can complete an internship) that will offer you subject credit points. Check with your university if this is offered and how to go about making sure you get the credits you deserve.

To find one to suit you, aim to be active and make the most of the platforms you have at your disposal - whether it be on your university’s career hubs, student newsletters, social media accounts or of course, through Paddl who works with major Australian companies to fill up their internship programs. These platforms are a great way to find out what offers are open to you.

Paddl tip: update your Paddl profile and watch opportunities like this come straight to your inbox!

Benefits of Internships

The reason why internships are so great is because they have a multitude of benefits for both the intern and the employer. From an intern’s perspective, you get your foot in the door, a taste of the real world, your networks expand, you begin to develop your professional identity (and your Paddl Profile!) and of course you get to put your theoretical knowledge and skills into practise. The list truly goes on!


On the other hand, employers are able to access the next generation’s fresh insight, it’s an extra pair of hands for the business and it inadvertently creates a pool of temporary or emergency staff. So, while internships are designed to undoubtedly benefit students, employers who commit to running a great internship program can reap the benefits of an enhanced team and fresh ideas.

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Ready to Find an Internship?

We’re excited for you! Update your Paddl profile and start applying! But remember to research the internships that are right for you. Spending time investigating companies you want to be a part of, or industries you want to work in, will make it more worthwhile when you do get your foot in the door. Check out these hot tips to nail the first week of your internship when you do land the part!