Staff Spotlight: Ania Preston

Marketing Executive

Originally from Poland, Ania came to Australia in 2009 and started working at Australian Internships the same year. She also lived in London for 5 years – started as an intern, which then turned into to a permanent position. Therefore, Ania is well equipped by her own experiences to be able to advise international students on internship opportunities, career development and living abroad.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Visiting the USA for the first time! My close friend, who is American, invited me to come and see the country I dreamt about for so long! I spent a lot of time in Seattle and we also stayed in San Francisco, which was my absolute dream come true. I will never forget how I felt when I saw the Golden Gate Bridge in front of me! Totally unforgettable and worth every money!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have been with Australian Internships for over 9 years now, and I have had an opportunity to work across different departments in the business and also act in a managerial role in the Marketing area. I have a very deep understanding of the business. I have grown a lot as a professional and individual. I know the organization and the international education industry in Australia very well and I am confident when dealing with key stakeholders in Australia and overseas.

When I first started at AI, I didn't really know much about Australia or the business of internships. Over the recent years, I have become an Australian citizen and have been recommending Australia - it's amazing lifestyle and world class education to international students.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There are so many wonderful stories that I could share from former interns. However, the one that stands out for me is a story of Brazilian student, who came to Australia for a 20 week Engineering internship just after he graduated from his degree. Today, he is a manager in a multinational engineering company and he lives in Singapore.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would love to learn more about the Hospitality industry, so the program I would pick is our Hospitality Internship Program. Living on a remote Australian island on the Great Barrier Reef and working in a 5 star property would be a great year of working, learning and living the dream.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Australian Internships offers a comprehensive program, not just a placement. All programs are tailored to meet the individuals skill need – finding candidates what they need for career success - programs include candidate assessment and interviews, coaching and preparation, internship placements, visa guidance and sponsorship, access to monthly blogs, newsletters and career learning modules, airport reception, accommodation, networking events with interns from more than 90 nationalities, orientation sessions and 24 hour emergency support and much more.

Participants’ expectations and responsibilities are defined through the initial application form and a pre-screening interview, including ‘Terms and Conditions’ and an Intern Manual that clarifies the program, participants’ responsibilities, application, visa and placement processes.

The Company Quality System provides clear direction for the monitoring of internships. AI allocates two staff, an Internship Program Supervisor (IPS) and an Internship Program Manager (IPM) to each participant to closely monitor and ensure that the internship is progressing as defined in the Training Agreement/Training Plan. The IPS works closely with the participant to counsel and assist them and each follow-up is documented in AI’s custom-built database containing an accurate record of the candidates’ personal details, internship details and host organization details.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Be adaptable, open to change and the ever changing market.
Investing in staff and their training
Offering ongoing support and training to stakeholders, staff and partners

Since 1998, when Australian Internships first opened its doors, we have been successfully providing international work experience opportunities to students and graduates from all over the world. We achieve this through extensive experience and know-how of the business, knowledgeable staff and contacts with the industry that we have made in the 20 years we have been in the business.

AI remains the market leader on the global scene of the work experience providers. This is possible because we invest time and resources in our staff, clients and partners. We continuously develop services; implement new programs in response to the changing market, whilst offering ongoing support and training to all our stakeholders. The company is run very proactively with great vision and passion. Our mission is to positively change lives, while valuing everyone and always enjoying the journey.