The Emerging Leaders Program provides recognition for the broad range of experiences and skills that you develop during your time at university and will help you stand out when you apply for graduate roles. Activities such as participation in a club or society, volunteer work in the community, overseas study tours, internships, placements, and even your part time job can be recognised within the program and will be formally documented on your academic transcript.

The Emerging Leaders Program helps translate your experiences into the skills that all employers are looking for, and will assist you to reach your career goals. The best bit? The Emerging Leaders Program doesn't cost a thing.

By participating in the program, you will: 

  • have your achievements 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.

Interested in joining the Emerging Leaders Program?

Register for the program as an Australian campus student or a Swinburne Online student using your student ID and password.

Register or log in now
Are you a Sarawak student?

Register here to participate in the Swinburne Emerging Leader Program as a Swinburne Sarawak student. Already registered? Log in as a Swinburne Sarawak student. Forgotten your password? Click here to reset it.

How does it work? 

Complete four out of the eight categories, including Career Development, and demonstrate six of the ten employability skills to achieve Emerging Leader status.

Further information is available in the Emerging Leader portal once you are registered.

Leadership categories

The Career Development category is mandatory. You must complete at least five career development activities to pass this category. Choose activities that develop your career management skills.

Examples of relevant activities
  • attendance at Careers and Employability workshops and seminars
  • Career Start – complete any three modules to receive credit for one activity or complete the whole Career Start program (10 modules) to receive credit for all five career development activities
  • Study Smarter – complete the modules that also develop professional skills (1.2; 1.5; 1.6 and 1.9)
  • Professional Purpose – complete stage 1 to receive credit for one career development activity
  • career development planning/appointment with a Career Consultant
  • professional development workshops/events
  • development of an Employability Action Plan
  • participation in an industry mentoring program
  • attendance at industry networking events
  • attendance at trade shows (e.g. vocational education)
  • registration with a relevant professional association or student club
  • attendance at a Careers or employment expo/fair/conference
  • participation in the AccessAbility Careers Hub.
Embedded units

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

You may be recognised for Career Development and the skill “Communication" if you complete:

You may be recognised for Career Development and the skill “Teamwork and Collaboration” if you complete:

You must complete at least 40 hours working, volunteering or actively contributing to Swinburne or for the benefit of Swinburne students to pass this category.

Examples of relevant activities
  • student mentor
  • orientation volunteer
  • student council representative
  • student ambassador
  • Student Learning Assistant (SLA)
  • study group leader
  • active group, club or society member
  • active participation in Back on Track study support sessions
  • member of the AccessAbility Careers Hub Community of Practice
  • Swinburne Student Union.

Online activities can also count.

Swinburne Online Mentors can gain automatic recognition if they complete two teaching periods of mentoring.

You must complete at least 40 hours of volunteer service for the benefit of the broader community to pass this category.

Examples of relevant activities
  • social enterprise projects
  • participation in the Student Life Volunteer Program
  • charity or not-for-profit fundraising
  • active in the organisation of a club or community group such as a sports club, cultural group or a charity
  • club or community group leader (president, secretary, captain)
  • volunteering for your local council, welfare, charitable and not for profit organisations.

You must complete at least 40 hours in a diversity environment, learning about diversity and promoting inclusion to pass this category. This activity can be within Swinburne or wider community.

Examples of relevant activities
  • volunteer at a diversity event e.g. World Kitchen events, Pride @Swinburne, Youth Humanitarian Festival
  • lived experience of managing one's own disability or providing care for others
  • participation in an Indigenous study tour or an Industry Study Tour to another country
  • active participation in a Swinburne group such as Women in IT, Multicultural Student Fellowship, Swinburne Islamic Society, Swinburne Punjabi Club
  • raise funds for groups from a diversity background e.g. beyond blue, refugees
  • participation in a migrant focused project/program within the community or at Swinburne e.g. Bridging with Books
  • student mentor aiding accessibility or aged health care
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • Virtual Internship, Global Citizen Programs or Swinburne Scanlon Intercultural Fellowship
  • organisation or active participation in a community group to help strengthen and foster diversity within your community (religious, cultural, indigenous or other diversity group).

Embedded units:

You may be recognised for Diversity and the skill, “Able to tackle unfamiliar problems” if you complete:

  • Grand Challenges: Skills and Strategies for Social Change (ART20001)*

*Note: automatic recognition will depend on the topic of your strategy paper.

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

Examples of relevant activities
  • study abroad and exchange
  • overseas program with an educational, sustainability, or humanitarian focus
  • interactive project with an international partner
  • international student studying in Australia
  • migrants, Refugees, or Asylum Seekers.

Your overseas study tour may gain automatic recognition for this category. Email for further information.

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

Examples of relevant activities
  • full time/part-time/casual/vacation paid or unpaid employment
  • an internship
  • professional placement or accreditation placement
Embedded units

If you complete one of the following units, you may be recognised for the Industry Experience certificate. You must register for the Emerging Leader program but you will not need to submit an application for this certificate.

You may be recognised for Industry Experience and the skill “Teamwork and collaboration” if you complete:

You may be recognised for Industry Experience and the skill “Learn from situations and events” if you complete:

  • Integrated Professional Placement A
  • Professional Internship

You may be recognised for Industry Experience and the skill, “Communication” if you complete:

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

Examples of relevant activities
  • a final year research project that includes academic research methodology and key research design components
  • research cadetship
  • position as a research assistant.

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
  • local or regional council volunteering
  • sustainability training, short courses or units
  • Swinburne Actions for Sustainable Impact – create actions to bring about change to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Complete modules, take part in events and share your actions on social media.
Swinburne Actions for Sustainability Impact (SA4SI) Program

Swinburne Actions for Sustainability Impact (SA4SI) Program

As part of the Swinburne Community, what actions will you take to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals?

Embedded units

You may be recognised for Sustainability and the skill “Critical Thinking” if you complete:

  • Engineering Design & Innovation (ENG10001)

You must register for the Emerging Leader program but you will not need to submit an application for this certificate.

You may be recognised for Sustainability and the skill, “Able to tackle unfamiliar problems” if you complete:

  • Grand Challenges: Skills and Strategies for Social Change (ART20001)*

Note: automatic recognition will depend on the topic of your strategy paper.

Identify your skills

Once you’ve completed your activities for a leadership category, consider the skills you have demonstrated and the examples you might give to a future employer. Choose one or more of the skills below and write a reflection using the STAR format (situation, task, action, result).

Your reflection must be 200-300 words in length and provide an example of how you have enhanced and demonstrated your skills whilst undertaking your activities. You will also need to provide a 50 word summary in a format that you can add to your resume.

To complete the Emerging Leader program you will need to demonstrate six skills across your four categories.

Identify one or two of the following skills for each category completed:

  • building a positive self-image and ability to interact effectively with others in a professional setting or for a professional purpose
  • accessing and effectively utilising career information; developing and working towards career learning goals and plans
  • identifying and developing aptitudes, abilities and attitudes to make informed career decisions, access opportunities and enhance one’s own career
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • Students sitting and listening in class to their tutor

    Information sessions

    Register to attend an Emerging Leader Information Session. These are conducted regularly, both on campus and as online webinars, and 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 process
    • how to become an Emerging Leader.
  • Students taking part in a workshop class listening to their tutor

    Writing STAR

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

    • Learn where, how and why we use STAR
    • Review some STAR reflection samples and exemplars to learn how to structure your STAR responses effectively
    • Share your draft STAR reflections with your peers for further advice.


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

Academic transcripts will be updated throughout the year. Please ensure you submit at least three weeks prior to the end of your final semester or teaching period.

  • Semester 1 and Teaching period 1: 20 June 2021
  • Teaching period 2: 17 October 2021
  • Semester 2: 7 November 2021

Need further assistance?

If you need help or have any questions about your Emerging Leader Program application, contact the team today.

Email us