The start of an eye opening opportunity: Self-sourcing an internship

Brigitte Theuma, Bachelor of Commerce, has just started an internship at Ford Motor Company Australia Limited and joins us as a guest blogger this semester to give us the lowdown on how she found this fantastic opportunity! 

The first time I thought about doing an internship, I was looking through my subjects and saw that there was an opportunity to self-source an internship. In the beginning, I had a lot of questions: where do I start, who do I speak to from the university, and where do I begin?  

I started off by going to the Career Ready team and from there I was guided through the internship process and how it all works. The whole idea of an internship at the start seemed quite overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. This opportunity really allows you to see if what you’re majoring in is an area that you can see yourself in after university, as well as identifying if this is an industry that you enjoy. 

To secure an internship involved a few steps. After scrolling through La Trobe’s Career website about possible internships I could apply for, I found quite a few marketing opportunities but none that caught my eye. My father works for Ford Motor Company Australia Limited in the sales department and it was from my networking that it struck me how amazing it would be to intern there. The ball started rolling with my father emailing his manager about the possibility with my attached letter of interest in the position. From here, La Trobe University and Ford Motor Company Australia Limited worked together for quite a few months on an agreement so that I could get the opportunity to intern at one of the most well-known companies in Australia. While it might sound simple, it required patience as it took five months from first starting to look at the possibility of interning to stepping foot into Ford Motor Company Australia Limited. But it has definitely been worth it! I’m very grateful for this opportunity and am very lucky to be one of the only people in many years to intern with this amazing company. 

My first day definitely allowed me to settle in and grasp the new environment. I was very fortunate to sit in on a couple of meetings where I could really start to see how each of the teams work together and aim for similar outcomes. The adjustment from university to working in a marketing team is definitely a big jump. I feel that the foundations from university level are expected to be known and well regimented, but it can still seem overwhelming trying to adjust to the expectations of a workplace. Although in saying that, my supervisor and the marketing team have been nothing but lovely. They’re always willing to help me out and ensure that I feel like part of the team.  

Brigitte is taking BUS3ELP as part of her Bachelor of Commerce. You can find out more about subjects that offer internships in the College of Arts, Social Science & Commerce here. 

Stay tuned to hear more about Brigitte’s internship in her next guest post.