Zoos Victoria Business Development Manager, Carla Phillips, shares how her own placement experience at University inspired her to host students in her current role.
"I decided to take on a professional placements student, because I had done a placement as part of my degree. I’ve experienced first-hand the benefits you can get out of a placement, how beneficial it can be for your career and how much you can actually learn in the workplace. At Zoos Victoria, we had an opportunity where we needed an extra hand and bringing in a Professional Placement student made a lot of sense.
Zoos Victoria is a not for profit Zoo-based conservation organisation, meaning any of our placement students need to have an understanding of and passion for the work Zoos Victoria is doing to save some of Australia’s most precious wildlife from extinction. It’s important for us that they have the time to go out in the Zoos to explore and learn as much as they can about our wildlife. On our current Professional Placement student’s first day she got her business card photos taken, which is a picture of her with a lemur sitting on her lap… so that’s not a bad first day!
Every day at the Zoo is different. The tasks that our placement students help with can be quite varied. It can be anything from administrative tasks like updating databases, to tasks with more of a business development focus like hosting a potential sponsor or tour group that will potentially bring us business. It could even be researching companies for us that we are looking to partner or create sponsorships with.
Professional Placement students bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the team, and their ideas and approaches are really welcomed.
I would definitely recommend businesses take on Professional Placements students. I think it’s great for the organisation to have someone who’s young, fresh and energetic, come into the organisation… the hardest thing is having to say good bye to them at the end of the 12 months."