Distinctiveness, Coherence and Clarity of Purpose

Why did we want a work integrated learning program in our Masters courses? Providing significant work integrated learning (WIL) for Masters students had until recently been considered a challenge too difficult to attempt within the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT). However, feedback from employers, students and our international recruitment team indicated a very strong demand for a work experience component within our coursework Masters programs to prepare students for careers in this time of unprecedented change. Buoyed by the success and excellent reputation of our WIL programs within FIT’s undergraduate degrees, the Faculty’s leadership team was keen to try to replicate that success at the postgraduate level. The challenge was issued to us, the WIL teaching team, to deliver a WIL experience within our FIT Masters degrees to better prepare students for future employment in an increasingly competitive workplace. 

Quotes from Industry 

‘Volunteering my time as an industry mentor is a wonderful way to give back to the community. I get a lot of satisfaction from giving my feedback and advice to intelligent but inexperienced students and then seeing them grasp concepts that have eluded them till their conversation with me. Towards the end of each semester I see how they put my advice into practice and am ecstatic when they approach me to express how I made a difference.’

Paul Henry, Senior Manager, Cognizant.

‘I have employed students from this program over the last year. They are ready to work and they think outside the box, thinking further than I would normally expect IT graduates to think. The program is excellent and will ensure future IT professionals have the right knowledge and the right attitude.’

Steven Strange, Employer

‘When Ignite Data was first approached to contribute as mentors, both Kris and Harj had concerns around the time commitment required. After looking into the program further, it was evident that there is a myriad of benefits, both from the perspective of the mentee and the mentor. The ability to identify and support future talent, as well as the opportunity to contribute to the generation of new ideas provides a distinct advantage to a start up company such as Ignite Data.’

Harj Chand, Founder, CEO – Ignite Data

‘Speaking for myself, and for my colleague who has also been mentoring these teams, it has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience –providing advice and guidance, feedback and encouragement. I hope they found the experience as useful and as rewarding as I did. You can tell the program pushes them, disrupting the way they think. It offers a combination of techniques, creating a cadre of graduates who feel differently about the way they do things and what’s needed to be successful in business.’

Steve Ingram – former Head of Technology and operations and group CIO, DBS, Singapore, former Global Head of Financial Service Consulting – EDS

‘Students need exposure to industry, to see how things are done in the real world and [the program] also gives my staff the opportunity to mentor and practise their skills at product development in a compressed time frame. It’s of long-term benefit.’

Simon Raik-Allen, CTO, MYOB

‘The program is producing a different kind of student, not only can they add value as soon as they begin, but they can think creatively. The student I employed this year is very confident and has worked independently to follow the organisation’s culture but also suggesting new approaches to doing things when asked. He also brought with him a level of professionalism that has been highly regarded.’

CEO, IT Visions

“Initially we were unsure what value we could add, but it has been fascinating to see students develop throughout the journey, and the difference we have made.”

Luan Tran, Cyara, Industry Mentor

Industry Mentor References

Reference letters in support of the program from a selection of partner organisations who have participated in the program as mentors. Files are in PDF format.