I have completed a three-month professional internship at Swinburne as a Web Developer for the expansion of the Knowledge Integration Servers System for E-Learning (KISSEL), which was a project developed by the Ibaraki University in Japan.

As a knowledge sharing system designed to cater to teachers in Asia Pacific countries, KISSEL aims to provide resources (especially in multimedia), tools and techniques that are essential for student-teacher communication and self-learning.

During my internship, I developed a PHP-based website from scratch for KISSEL. I got to experiment with both server and client-side scripting languages (i.e. PHP, HTML5, CSS and JavaScript) to create several interactive features for the website, including membership registration and login system, file upload and retrieval system for course contents, as well as a discussion forum.

I was also given the opportunity to design and implement a MySQL database to connect the KISSEL website with a maintainable database.

Sinviana completed her internship as a Web Developer at Swinburne.

I have also been asked by my industry supervisor to write two papers for conference submission – one about the role of ethical competence in ICT professionalism and the other about privacy concerns over monitoring employees’ social media activity in the workplace.

My internship has given me valuable insights into what it’s like to work in a professional environment. Just like other industries, the IT industry has a wide range of career paths that I can choose from. The internship gave me an opportunity to learn about my future career options and narrow them down to what I enjoy doing the most. 

The experience also helped develop my transferable skills, like working independently with little guidance and communicating in a professional setting, which are essential. In addition, I learned the importance of establishing and widening my professional contacts before graduation, because those networks can provide guidance and advice in future job searches. 

  • "Completing an internship is a fantastic opportunity to put what I have learned during my undergraduate studies into practice, while I develop and enhance both my technical and transferable skills."

    Sinviana , Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology (majoring in Network Technology)

One of the key learnings from my internship is the huge difference a scale can make in website development. I had to consider several important points in deciding on the best practices to develop the project's website, such as:

  • How many users are going to utilise the software?
  • Which countries do the users come from?
  • How much data will be processed?
  • How can we minimise data size to maintain the website and database performance?

Interestingly, I hardly considered these questions for my university projects, as they were normally kept simple for academic purposes only. However, I realised that it is critical to consider the scale for real-world projects, because it will fundamentally affect the website design layout, as well as the website requirements based on technical needs.

Completing an internship is a fantastic opportunity to put what I have learned during my undergraduate studies into practice, while I develop and enhance both my technical and transferable skills. I gained insights into things that are not taught in university studies. All of these factors have positively contributed to the development of my pre-graduation industry experience, which I am sure will be helpful for me when it’s time to pursue my future career.

I would highly recommend other students to undertake the Work Integrated Learning program. It really helped develop my professional skills and gave me a real-life overview of my potential career. An internship is also beneficial in building professional networks, which establishes opportunities to kickstart or advance careers. 

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