Emerging Leaders Program

Recognise the valuable skills you've learnt during your time at university and become a Swinburne Emerging Leader.

Employers are looking for more than just good grades in graduates. They want skills like team-work, leadership and the ability to adapt.

Through the Emerging Leaders Program, you identify skills you have developed during your time at university. This might include a part-time job, volunteer work, participation in a club or society or overseas study tour. The program translates these experiences into skills that employers are looking for.

By participating in the program you will:

  • have your skills formally recognised on your final academic transcript
  • learn how to confidently communicate your skills to employers in interviews
  • improve your employability and stand out from other graduates.

How it works

To participate in the Swinburne Emerging Leaders Program you need to: 

  1. register your details
  1. register for a leadership category and related skill(s).
    To become a Swinburne Emerging Leader, you must complete the mandatory Career Development category and three other leadership categories.
  2. download the Activity Declaration Form under the Resources section.
    List the activities you complete for each leadership category on the form, then get the supervisor of your leadership category to complete it. Next, upload the completed form to your activity log.
  3. complete a STAR reflection for each skill you submit, demonstrating how you have used that skill in the activity.
  4. submit

You can register for leadership categories at any time while you are a Swinburne student. You can count activities completed up to 24 months prior to applying for a category, provided you were a Swinburne student at the time.

There is no fee to join the program. Once complete, your achievements will be listed on your final academic transcript at graduation.

Swinburne Sarawak students should log in to the Sarawak portal once they have registered.

Leadership categories

Career Development (required)

The Career Development category is mandatory. You must complete at least five career development activities to pass this category. View all upcoming Careers & Employability events.

Examples of relevant activities:

  • attendance at Careers and Employability workshops and seminars
  • résumé, cover letter and LinkedIn check (complete all three to receive credit for one activity)
  • career development planning
  • professional development workshops/events
  • development of a Career Action Plan
  • participation in an industry mentoring program
  • attendance at industry networking events
  • trade shows (e.g. vocational education)
  • registration with a relevant professional association or student club.

If your activities were conducted by Careers & Employability, you can upload a screenshot of SwinEmploy as your evidence. Click on Events in SwinEmploy > My Event Bookings > Event Booking History.

If you have completed one of the following units, you will be automatically recognised for the Career Development Certificate. You must register for the Emerging Leader program but you will not need to submit an application.

You will be recognised for Career Development for the skill “Communication". 

You will be recognised for Career Development for the skill “Team work and Collaboration”

Campus participation

You must complete at least 40 hours working, volunteering or actively contributing on campus or for the university to pass this category.

Examples of relevant activities:

If you’re a Swinburne Online student, find out more about online campus activities directly through the Swinburne Online website.

Community Engagement

You must complete at least 40 hours' volunteer service in a community environment to pass this category.

Examples of relevant activities:

  • social enterprise projects
  • participant in the Student Life Volunteer Program, through community work
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • charity fundraising
  • non-profit fundraising
  • club/society member - e.g. sporting, charity
  • club/society leader (president, secretary, captain)
  • volunteering for your local council.


You must complete at least 40 hours in a diversity environment to pass this category. Diversity activities are inclusive of all people whatever their age, gender, religion, sexuality, socio-economic or cultural background, or disability. This activity can be within the Swinburne or wider community.

Examples of relevant activities:

  • volunteer at a diversity event e.g. World Kitchen events, Pride @Swinburne, Youth Humanitarian Festival
  • actively participate in Swinburne groups e.g. Women in IT, Multicultural Student Fellowship, Swinburne Islamic Society, Swinburne Punjabi Club
  • raise funds for groups from a diversity background e.g. beyondblue, refugees
  • participate in a migrant focused project/program within your community or at Swinburne e.g. Bridging with Books, or a fundraising event
  • act as student mentor aiding accessibility or aged health care
  • complete the Virtual Internship or Global Citizen Programs or apply for the Swinburne Scanlan Intercultural Fellowship
  • lead or organise a community group to help strengthen and foster diversity within your community (religious, cultural, indigenous or other diversity group)
  • participate in an Industry Study Tour to another country.

Global Citizenship

You must complete at least 50 hours in an international activity to meet the criteria for the Global Citizenship category.

Examples of relevant activities:

Industry experience

You must complete at least 50 hours in a workplace setting to meet the criteria for the Industry Experience category. This experience does not need to relate to your field of study.

Examples of relevant activities:


Students must work with a research group or on a designated project to pass the Research category.

Examples of relevant activities:


Students must complete at least 50 hours on a sustainable activity to meet the criteria for the Sustainability category.

Examples of relevant activities:

  • specialised programs with a sustainability focus
  • volunteer activities in conservation
  • projects that support and promote sustainability
  • sustainability ambassadors
  • local or regional council volunteering
  • sustainability training, short courses or units.

If you have completed:

Engineering Design & Innovation

You will automatically be recognised for Sustainability with the skill “Team work and collaboration”. You must register for the Emerging Leader program but you will not need to submit an application for this certificate.


To pass a leadership category, first identify one or more of the skills below. Then, using the STAR format (situation, task, action, result), demonstrate in 200-300 words how your activities have enhanced your skills in that area. You also need to provide a 50 word summary, in a format that you can add to your résumé.

Teamwork and collaboration

  • working cooperatively and collaboratively with others in a group, to achieve a common goal or outcome
  • individuals or organisations working together to solve problems and achieve outcomes that are not easily or effectively achieved by working alone.

Research and analysis

  • collecting and summarising data into a manageable form
  • analysis to determine what happened and why it happened
  • having proficient generic IT literacy to use digitally based technologies, systems and communications equipment
  • understanding concepts and language associated with the digital world and the capacity to understand and work with emerging/accepted etiquette and risks associated with online environments.

Critical thinking

  • identifying the problem and working towards a practical solution through trial-and-error, or a range of strategies
  • having creative ideas and using critical thinking to tackle unfamiliar or complex problems.


  • verbal - listening, understanding and speaking directly and clearly
  • written - reading, writing, understanding and interpreting information to meet your audience's needs
  • interpersonal - connecting with people, working in a team and building rapport with others.

Ability to tackle unfamiliar problems

  • ability to understand and accept change within a workplace e.g. creating a new process to effectively perform a task
  • ability to implement a process to solve a problem you have never been faced with.

Independent, initiating and proactive (self-directed)

  • showing independence and being proactive in your approach to career and life
  • adapting easily to new situations.- change is not seen as a barrier, but as an opportunity for growth and development
  • innovation and creativity to generate new ideas or alternative perspectives that may be useful in solving problems, improving communication, and entertaining or inspiring others.

Ability to learn from situations and events, including failures and successes

  • willing to learn in any setting, in and out of University and on or off the job
  • a lifelong commitment to learning and seeing the value in past experiences and recognising new opportunities to grow
  • being prepared to invest the time and effort to gain more knowledge and develop new skills.


  • ability to influence others toward the achievement of a goal
  • making use of self-reflection to review your strengths and weaknesses and to set clear goals and responsibilities
  • knowledge and confidence in your own ideas and vision, and not being afraid to show leadership potential.


  • adapting positively to a situation despite facing adversity
  • coping with stress and adjusting to challenging circumstances
  • ability to rebound from stress in the face of challenge


How we assess your application

We assess your application for each category to ensure that:

  1. your activities meet the requirements of the specific category
  2. you have used the STAR format to reflect on your development in at least one of the skill categories
  3. you receive no more than two "disagree" or one "strongly disagree" ratings on the assessment checklist for one or more of your STAR reflections for the particular category.

We’ll advise you of the results by email. If you haven’t met the criteria, you can resubmit your application within 2 weeks. We encourage you to contact us for help, as you're only allowed one resubmission per category.


Submit your Leadership category applications before you complete your course to ensure your Emerging Leader program achievements appear on your academic transcript at the time of your graduation.

Academic transcripts will be updated at the end of Semesters 1 & 2 and all Emerging Leader achievements submitted by the dates below will be recognised.


  • Semester 1: Friday 6 July 2018, 11.55 pm
  • Semester 2:  Sunday 28 October 2018, 11.55 pm


Information sessions 

Register to attend an Emerging Leader Information Session. These are conducted regularly, both on campus and as online webinars, and will cover the following areas:

  • What the Emerging Leaders Program is
  • Who can apply for the program
  • What you can achieve from the program
  • The application proces
  • How to become an Emerging Leader


Come along to a STAR workshop for support and advice in aligning your Emerging Leader experiences to your skills and writing your STAR responses.

  • Bring your draft STAR responses or ideas and get feedback and suggestions for how to structure your STAR responses effectively
  • Proof-read your responses and share with your peers for further advice

Contact us

If you need help with your Emerging Leader Program application, please contact us at emerging-leader@swin.edu.au or join one of our Emerging Leader Information Sessions (on campus or webinar).