Get a job! Internships a pathway to success for UTS students
For most students, getting a good job is the number one priority after graduation.
But for UTS Landscape Architecture students, many will graduate having already landed a job in their field, thanks to a curriculum focused on real-world projects and industry collaboration.
Fourth year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture student, Michelle Wang recently beat out a group of ten students applying for a coveted 12-month paid internship with City of Parramatta, where she’s now working two days a week.
“Our course director, Dr Simon Kilbane really encourages us to apply for internships and relevant part-time roles, in order to build our professional networks early and develop skills we just aren’t able to pick up at uni,” explains Wang.
The rigorous recruitment process involved an online questionnaire, portfolio submission plus a face-to-face panel interview, where she was asked to demonstrate her skills in communication, leadership and organisation.
Adam Cook, Supervisor of Landscape Architecture at the City of Parramatta, said Wang’s comprehensive skills in all areas of landscape architecture, and her advanced skill set in design documentation helped her achieve the edge over other candidates.
“To realise a vision, with skills in communicating and prescribing design outcomes for construction is valuable, and Michelle demonstrated this very well indeed”, says Cook.
Since commencing work at one of Sydney’s biggest councils in May, Wang has had the opportunity to work across a diverse variety of small and large-scale projects, including project managing and designing her own children’s playground.
“The internship has allowed me to understand the design process from start to finish, especially how the projects come to life in reality; going on-site is invaluable and not something that a textbook can teach you.”
“I’ve also had to learn some technical skills quickly such as drafting on CAD, plus soft skills such as being able to communicate my ideas effectively with project managers and engineers,” she says.
Cook says Michelle’s contribution to the Landscape Architecture team at Parramatta Council has been highly valuable, “Michelle has assisted us in delivering a number of projects efficiently and within the tight timeframes.”
“During her short time with the City of Parramatta so far, Michelle has contributed to ten projects ranging from park improvements, cycleway signage, community fitness equipment, playgrounds and small neighbourhood centre upgrades. Of these ten, she is the nominated design lead for seven of them,” he says.
Michelle, who chose UTS due its strong connections with industry, says, “When I first applied for the course, I wasn’t entirely sure about what it would entail but knew I wanted to pursue a design degree. I quickly learnt that Landscape Architecture is a rapidly growing profession, with significant relevance in current society.”
“I think it’s great for both professionals and students to build solid relationships together as it’s beneficial for both parties. They bring their expertise and we hopefully bring fresh ideas and alternate perspectives.”