5 minute read
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted companies, studies, and travel plans, and forced many people to work remotely, including interns from the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE).
“It was terrific to see CBE interns adapt to the new world of work throughout 2020. While virtual internships had their own challenges, I am very proud of our students’ commitment to learning and the tremendous effort they made to get the most out of their internship opportunities. The support of the internship hosts and team of academic supervisors was also certainly instrumental to the success of the interns,” shares Associate Professor Vinh Lu, CBE Associate Dean (Advancement and Engagement).
To recognise the students who perform exceedingly well in the CBE Internship Program, each year the College awards the CBE Outstanding Intern of the Year prize.
Xiaoyun Li, who is pursuing a Master of Business Information Systems, was the recipient in Semester 2, 2020. She interned with The Project Bureau, a management-consulting firm in Canberra, and worked within its unique Project Management Office.
In this interview, Xiaoyun shares how her experiences during the CBE Internship Program shaped her professional outlook and capabilities.
Q. How have your skills improved as a result of the internship?
I have now experienced working in a real workplace, better understand my strengths and weaknesses, and am more confident about my future career development in the consulting space. I strongly feel that I have not only gained valuable professional experiences, but also life-long lessons on self-improvement.
Q. Can you summarise some of your key experiences at your internship placement and what you learned from them?
• Developing new service details and cost model for the company – I have learned how to work through uncertainties using scenario planning and financial forecasting models.
• Business plan drafting in limited time with limited supervision – With the generous support of my academic supervisor and the CBE Careers and Student Employability team, I have learned to manage time efficiently. I also now know how to adapt to the virtual working environment and achieve effective communication in the workplace.
Q. In what ways do you feel that your professional outlook has changed?
In addition to the various professional skills I gained, I feel the virtual experience also enhanced my ability to effectively communicate and maintain discipline when working remotely and independently.
I strongly feel that I have not only gained valuable professional experiences, but also life-long lessons on self-improvement.
Q. Could you share some of your CBE student experiences that personally shaped you?
My time at CBE was amongst the happiest periods in my life. The camaraderie I forged with will fellow students, many of whom I am still in touch with today, meant there was never a dull moment. I still have fond memories of coffee sessions with my classmates at The Street Theatre and the ‘foodie sessions’ we organised to share our respective culinary capabilities and culture.
The wisdom, warmth, and humour of staff were also unforgettable. Whether it was informally chatting with them at the end of every research seminar, or their words of kindness when you bumped into them in the corridor, the staff also made my days at CBE memorable.
Q. How do you plan to use your degree and leverage your experience with the CBE Internship Program?
My internship placement was in the project management field, which relates to my Master of Business Information Systems. This combination meant I got a lot of value out of my time at The Project Bureau and I believe the experience I gained there will help me pave my career path in management consulting.
Q. How does it feel to be the recipient of the CBE Outstanding Intern of the Year award?
It is a great honour to be awarded this prize and it gives me confidence to be recognised for my efforts. I feel grateful for all the support I received from the CBE Careers and Student Employability team, my colleagues at The Project Bureau and academic supervisors. It is a great honour to be awarded this prize and it gives me confidence to be recognised for my efforts. I feel grateful for all the support I received from the CBE Careers and Student Employability team, my colleagues at The Project Bureau and academic supervisors.
Applications for the CBE Internship Program in Semester 2, 2021 are now open until Monday 26 April for CBE-sourced placements and Friday 9 July for student self-sourced placements. Click here for more details.
The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.