Richmond Football Club
People & Culture Coordinator Kathryn Stevenson explains how Swinburne students are an asset, whatever your business.
"As the People & Culture Coordinator at Richmond Football Club, I help to look after our staff’s employee experience from recruitment, to induction, to performance, to learning and development. My goal is to create a workplace here at the Club where all staff can thrive and feel supported.
We had some projects that we were looking to complete, and they seemed a perfect opportunity for an intern. I started my journey here at the Club as an intern myself, so I have had first-hand experience of how valuable an internship can be, and it’s something that is close to my heart personally. We have a number of interns across the Club in different departments and we really appreciate the ideas, the enthusiasm, and the contribution they bring. Plus, we believe that we have an important role to play in developing our next generation of talent.
We were looking for students who are enthusiastic and passionate, not just about working here with us, but about the work that they do and the industry they hope to work in. We know that students have to have good grades to undertake an internship, but most important to us is their professionalism and communication. We treat any internship as seriously as we treat recruitment for a job; are they qualified? But more importantly, can they contribute? Are they professional? Can they communicate well? Are they excited to learn and develop?
Grace undertook an L&D system migration project. We were moving from our old Learner Management System to a new one. Seems simple, but it required a lot of work! Grace had to learn both the old and new systems, work out what the migration process would be, move the users and also communicate with them both about the move and problem-solving issues that came up along the way. We had some strict timelines with this project too, so Grace had to plan and manage the project according to the deadlines we gave her.
Grace has so many strengths which she has been able to further develop during her internship. She has made fantastic connections across the Club, something that is not easy to do as an intern two days a week, but that is so crucial in any business.
There are so many benefits to us on having a student undertake an internship. Firstly, it helps us to develop as a team; training and managing an intern means explaining our systems and processes and testing them against a brand new set of eyes. It also allows us to execute projects that we may otherwise not have the capacity to do, or not have the capacity to execute in such depth. Finally, it is really important to us to contribute to developing the next generation of talent in the industry, and it allows us to discover talent like Grace and snap them up as employees afterwards!
The professional internships program is a fantastic way to connect students and organisations. For students, getting real-world experience and building connections in their chosen industry is an invaluable opportunity. For organisations, it’s an opportunity to connect with the next generation of talent, get some valuable help on projects that we’re working on and connect more deeply with our partners.
The advice I would give to students about developing their employability would be to treat your internship like a job, not an internship! Act with integrity, professionalism and show strong communication skills. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and take opportunities if they are presented to you.
We had a role in our team available towards the end of Grace’s internship, and the hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and results that she had showed during her time here meant that we were confident that she was the best candidate for the job. Grace really proved her worth during her internship."