Teaching Matters 2017 | Presentation Details | 28 NovemberNov 2017
SIPS: refreshing perspectives on creative application of disciplinary knowledge
Millie Rooney, SIPS Coordinator, Infrastructure Services and Development
Rose Kling, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics
Tim Millbank, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics
Kim Beasy, Infrastructure Services and Development
Carmen Primo Perez, Infrastructure Services and Development
Corey Peterson, Infrastructure Services and Development
Kamal Singh, Infrastructure Services and Development
Making a Difference for Students
Social Sciences 210
Work Integrated Learning is more than an extra ‘relevant experience’ on a resume!
By working together, the Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) and the TSBE’s Corporate Internship Program have not only provided rich experiential learning experiences for students but have delivered opportunities for students to consolidate learnings from their education.
Although SIPS and the TSBE Corporate Internship Programs utilise different internship models, both provide students at the University of Tasmania the opportunity to apply their skills and expand their learning through placements in real world workplace environments. Whilst these two programs are different in their aims and administration, they are particularly interesting, and successful, when working together. Since 2016 TSBE Corporate Interns have been placed within the sustainability team.
SIPS provides opportunities for students to do meaningful work progressing university sustainability goals. Students can either choose to base an in-class assignment on a particular university sustainability challenge, and receive support from the sustainability team and course credit for their assignment, or they can apply for a paid internship position. Paid interns assist the sustainability team to research, run and develop various sustainability programs and events.
The TSBE Corporate Internship Program places students into local businesses to gain real world work experiences. TSBE students from accounting, economics, management, and marketing disciplines are able to undertake internships, with the placement credited as part of their degree. Students apply for a suitable internship through our external partners’ promotion of their projects published to the TSBE Corporate Internship portal. Many students have chosen projects advertised by the sustainability team. Previous sustainability projects have focused on a variety of outcomes, and some included; Cost Benefit Analysis for a potential solar array, Market Research into recycling signage, Life Cycle Analysis of carbon emissions from take away containers, and the development of a Sustainability Induction Module for staff and students.
Whilst the respective TSBE and SIPS intern projects provide students with significant opportunities for an insight into workplace environments and practical skills development; when the two programs combine, something remarkable happens. Previous interns provided the following feedback:
“I think the internship provides an insight into how business works – specifically UTAS sustainability – lots of challenges in communication and time frame deadlines…”
“Really valuable – I hope it could be compulsory for everyone – I am glad that there is an opportunity for work placement – especially for international students – it helps us more as there are not the avenues for international students.”
“It [Internship Placement] was the most positive experience of my academic studies.”
Most students who apply for SIPS internships, or choose to do SIPS in-class projects, have an interest and passion for sustainability. They are often seeking to gain work experience in an area they want to work in and, at the same time, wish to contribute to progressing the sustainability goals of the university.
TSBE internship students also choose internships in a similar manner, eager to apply their skills in experiences that are environmentally and socially significant. In some instances, students may also be initially unaware of the reach of sustainability. Often at the conclusion of a sustainability internship, students have not only gained a broader appreciation of the impact of sustainability on everyday life, on business practices and the global business arena, but as future leaders will take the message of sustainability into the world.
Over the course of the semester we have observed students learn about sustainability and the significance of sustainability in a global environment. We see students realise how important their new skills and knowledge will be for the future of all, and to understand how in-demand sustainability related skills will be for every workplace.
Students completing a combined TSBE and SIPS internship have articulated their realisation that the knowledge they have gained from discipline related education coupled with the application in a real world environment has enriched their perception of the world of work well above that which they had ever thought possible.