In Summary

  • Isabelle Barton is the first Swinburne student to do a 12-month professional placement with Siemens Australia’s communications team
  • As part of her placement, Isabelle assisted with a Statement of Intent for the company’s Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Isabelle says her time at Siemens has cemented her interest in pursuing a career in communications

Bachelor of Media and Communications (Professional) student Isabelle Barton takes the phrase ‘ingenuity for life’ in her stride.

Isabelle is the first Swinburne student to undertake a 12-month paid placement with the communications team of industrial manufacturer, Siemens Australia.

At the Melbourne head office, she has assisted with many corporate campaigns, including a Statement of Intent for the company’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

Creativity and innovation

Working with the communications team, Isabelle wears many hats.

She has created content for the Siemens Australia website, published staff news, and helped with social media coverage and video production – all with competing deadlines.

 “The thing I love most about this placement is the scope of activities I have been tasked with,” she says.

”As Siemens has several core areas, I love the diversity of the content I assist with. One day I am drafting a social media post about driverless trains and the next a promotional post about our presence at a food and beverage show.”

 “No two days are the same, which keeps me on my toes and excited to see what each week brings.”

Isabelle has helped organise nine trade shows and conferences since she began her placement in March. With six more to go before she finishes, her portfolio continues to grow with plenty of opportunities to demonstrate her skillset.

“It’s interesting to see how internal and external events are managed here at Siemens. There’s so much planning and coordination involved, and it’s great to be part of a team effort,” she says.

A plan for reconciliation

Isabelle also supported her colleagues with the recent development of a Statement of Intent for a Reconciliation Action Plan by researching relevant aspects of Siemens’ history.

The statement provides an overview of the company’s approach and commitment to advancing reconciliation.

“This was a chance to look back on Siemens’ current appreciation and recognition of Indigenous culture and diversity,” she says.

“Moving forward, Siemens will be seeking further advice from Reconciliation Australia and the Australian Industry Group to ensure a strategic and meaningful action plan.”

Another highlight for Isabelle was learning how Indigenous design has been incorporated into Siemens’ Perth offices.

“I particularly enjoyed studying the opening of the Perth facility, which was commemorated by a special artwork entitled ‘Ancestors’ by Indigenous artist Sarrita King. It represents the connecting of two cultures and generations.”

A warm welcome

 1912-Isabelle-Barton-Siemens-LSIsabelle standing proudly outside of Siemens Australia.

Isabelle credits Siemens for understanding the needs of employees outside of the business.

“The culture within the communications team and Siemens as a whole is very positive and respectful,” she says.

“I feel valued as an employee, and the company offers great activities, such as mindfulness yoga, to help us maintain our wellbeing.”

Isabelle says she is grateful for the support of her colleagues as she learns the ropes.

“The team are understanding that I am a student and encourage me to always ask questions,” she says.

“I really appreciate my colleagues taking time out of their day to ask me what I want to improve on and learn alongside my everyday tasks and activities. Going that extra mile makes all the difference.”

From intern to the industry

Swinburne students are offered unique industry partnerships to gain full-time work experience and earn credit towards their degree.

Isabelle says her professional placement gave her valuable insight into how the corporate world operates.

“Pursuing my placement at Siemens has been one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my time as a Swinburne student,” she says.

“Working in the industry allows you to translate theory into practise and get real-life examples of communication challenges and campaigns in action. This experience has affirmed to me that the communications umbrella is expansive and presents so many opportunities going forward in my career.”