You might be interested to hear about the ‘Stepping Into Internship’ program offered by the Australian Network on Disability (AND).
The purpose of the program is to help you “gain paid, hands-on work experience in your chosen industry”.
You had me at ‘paid’.
Student Jayne, recently caught up with Kirsten, one of our disability advisors for a chat about the program. This is what she had to say.
What first attracted you to the Stepping Into Program?
I heard about this program as something for specifically for students who have a disability or Access Plan.
This reassured me, as it meant I would be going into a program and work environment where I feel confident they are open to providing support, breaks in the day and other assistance I might need in a workplace.
The organisations looking for interns all have strong Equal Opportunity policies and are open to supporting people who have a disability or medical condition.
What is the application process like?
I have applied three times so far, and even though the first 2 times I didn’t get past the interview stage, I have learnt so much and increased my confidence a lot.
The process is straightforward and easy, and Isabel and her team are so approachable and you can ask them anything. They have helped to clarify information along the way and are responsive on email.
The program clearly explains expectations along the way.
Stepping Into runs a seminar early on in the process (Skype or face to face), where you can ask questions, hear other students questions and learn from others. They provide lots of information about applying for jobs, tailoring your application to the organisation and interviews.
I have learnt so much just from the seminars.
Job interviews feel like being in a hot seat to me, and I was never confident or sure how to answer questions. I now feel more confident, have practiced interview skills and have had the chance to be interviewed with some organisations. I am still working on my nerves, but I know how to respond to more questions in an interview, like “What is your weakness”?
This is all fantastic experience for when I finally graduate and look for a professional job.
Have you been matched with an organisation?
I had an interview recently with a Canberra based Government department. I am waiting to hear back if I have been accepted.
Would you recommend this to other students?
You learn so much like how to tailor your resume for what the organisation are wanting in an applicant, and practicing job interviews.
If this sounds interesting to you:
The next intake for the program is April 2018.
If you’ve had experiences with the program, like Jayne and would like to share, please contact me on the details below.
Want to comment on this article, or ask me a question about the health and well-being services available to you as a student? Feel free to comment below, abuse me on Twitter (@Dr_Furber), contact me on Skype (search for ‘eMental Health Project Officer Gareth’), or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)