What position do you hold at Australian Internships? What has your career path been like so far?
Diana: I am Australian Internships' Manager Director. I established the company after many years in education and training with Queensland Government. I started my teaching career in Hervey Bay with a new concept in education that recognized the value of both the academic and technical/vocational development of students. I eventually moved into the role of Director of Business Development where much of the training was developed to respond to industry demands.
I have been actively involved in international education and this served as a catalyst for the establishment of Australian Internships, the first company in Australia to welcome and support students from over 45 countries. I am a founding member of the Australian Internships Industry Association and have been an active member - currently holding the position of Chair of the association. I enjoy meeting young professionals from different countries and seeing the wonderful benefits they receive from the Internship Program.
What separates Australian Internships from other internships abroad providers?
Diana: Australian Internships (AI) was the first company in Australia to provide internship programs for participants and young professionals from over 60 countries. The company offers comprehensive programs including internship placements, visa guidance, insurance, airport reception, accommodation, English language referral and ongoing emergency support. Each candidate is carefully assessed and provided with a structured program that is tailored to respond to the individuals' objectives and capabilities.
AI has built its reputation on developing and implementing innovative and creative internship programs and forging strong relationships with industry leaders and educational partners in Australia and overseas. Through the relationships created, AI can provide value to young professionals, educational institutions and industry through international exposure in education, experience and cultural exchange.
Since AI was first launched, the dedicated team of professionals have been striving to deliver a unique and highly professional customer experience. In the 14 years of operation and continuous improvement of procedures, systems, and partnerships, AI has become the market leader in this competitive industry to the mutual benefit of interns and the industry.
What makes Australia a unique location for interning abroad?
Diana: Australia is a multicultural nation built on shared values, community participation and respect. It is a prosperous developed country and one of the world's largest economies, offering numerous opportunities for young professionals in different industry fields. It's unique climate, animal diversity, landscapes and beautiful beaches, make this country a very attractive destination for both tourism and business.
Aussies have a laid-back lifestyle and welcome people from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Australia' s major cites are often ranked in the top ten most livable cities in the world, which attracts hundreds of visitors every year. In 2012, 4 of the top 10 most livable cities in the world were Australian. With one of the most appealing lifestyles in the world and a beautiful physical environment, Australia is a great place to visit and a perfect destination for interring abroad!
What do you see in the future for Australian Internships?
Diana: AI's team of dedicated young professionals are forging ahead and will be driving much of our future. I see us continuing with our core business which is arranging internship programs for students and graduates. The training in the workplace remains our major focus and I see us opening new offices and growing staff in various location, building on our capacity to respond to the intern demands. We are taking time to research and listen to industry and we do have stronger partnerships with our Host Organisations. The future of quality internships relies on our ability to understand what opportunities exist for interns and to define what interns best match the needs of host companies.
In short, our future will see us continuing to provide programs that offer young professionals structured training related to their professions. We will consider and respond to industry feedback to enable us to better respond to the growing competition for industry training.