UTS launches Business Internship Program

| February 12, 2013

Do you need a helping hand with elements of your business? Would you like to give back to your field and the support the country’s brightest students? Alice Watkins outlines the latest internship program from the University of Technology, Sydney. 

This semester UTS is formally launching its new Business Internship Program.  This extends the established range of internship programs at UTS.  The new program presents an opportunity for medium enterprises to engage with keen aspiring business professionals and to tackle some useful projects in the workplace.

What type of skills can the students apply?
Students across the range of UTS Business School disciplines including marketing, marketing communications,  finance, accounting, management, economics, HR,  event management and international business are keen to participate in an internship.  They can apply their skills and knowledge to your business while learning from your practical guidance and experience. 

What is the standard of the students?
Employers can be assured of gaining the best of the best through this UTS program.  The entrance standards for the UTS Business degree are among the highest in the state.   To be eligible to take part in the program, students must have achieved  strong academic results to date and must have completed at least half of their degree.   Students will be given preparatory workshops to prepare them for the program.  Medium businesses will therefore be engaging with high quality, knowledgeable, focused students. 

What can the students do?
Students will need to structure an approved internship work program with you.  This should be something that contributes to their course learning objectives.  As the internship is about the student engaging in meaningful work, we would also expect them to make a contribution to your business, perhaps by working on a special project for you.  For example, a student might review competition in your product or service sector, design a marketing communications plan, manage a small marketing campaign, set up some basic HR procedures, implement a social media campaign, update your web site,  help to organise an event, or perhaps research new products in your business space.

To complete the requirements of the internship, students will need to work for 210 hours (30 days) over a year.  They can work in block mode in vacation time or part time during the semester to suit mutual needs.  The students will produce a report at the end and UTS will ask for your feedback and evaluation.

How a typical medium business can benefit.
There is the potential for many benefits for a medium business.  As one of UTS intern supporters recently said: 

UTS interns have always provided a positive influence on our business. The interns have provided some insightful reviews on aspects of our business as part of their studies. They are a great resource to have on hand for large projects or busy periods.  Taking on new staff becomes easy too- our first intern stayed for 5 years!

  Paul Adams, Managing Director, Free-2-Travel

Does this program conform to the current regulations regarding interns?
UTS encourages organisations to offer paid internships to value the contribution of the students.  Students may still consider unpaid internships as the program has been designed within the framework of the Fair Work Act.  One of the objectives of the Act is for the students to gain meaningful practical experience without being exploited in the workforce.

Taking on interns outside the terms of the Act may carry significant penalties so it is within the employer’s interest to engage with interns  via a formal educational program like the UTS Business Internship.  In the case of unpaid internships, UTS also provides insurance coverage for the student and host organisation in relation to personal injury and public liability.

This program provides an ideal way for medium businesses to engage with some top students at an early stage and to gain some valuable new perspectives on their business.  It presents an opportunity to raise your business profile and to attract some of tomorrow’s sought after professionals to take your business forward.

Medium businesses will be pleasantly surprised at what students can contribute during an internship.  Businesses may promote an intern position via the UTS Careers Service website at no charge, ideally by early March, if they want to offer an internship this year. Further information is also available by calling 02 9514 1471.


Alice Watkins is currently responsible for SME engagement at the UTS Careers Service.  She has been involved with employer engagement and internship programs at UTS for over ten years and has lectured in management and marketing.  Alice holds an MBA from Edinburgh University, Scotland,   and also has tertiary qualifications in Psychology, Higher Education and Organisational Behaviour. Contact Alice via email.