Interning to expand your learning and potential

Our guest blogger, Brigitte Theuma, Bachelor of Commerce, continues to share her internship journey at Ford Motor Company Australia. In this post, she gives us some insights into what she has learned so far. 

From my time at Ford I have learnt that this company really embraces everybody’s strengths and works together to complete projects. They not only have their marketing teams work together, but also further expand this with, sales etc. to integrate their ideas in order to achieve success. From being at this workplace, I have learned that it is a very supportive environment. Whether you’re a new graduate entering the workplace or you’ve been at Ford for forty years, everyone is spoken to and treated with the same respect. I have been very fortunate that so far during my time with Ford that I’ve been very well supported and work colleagues treat me with the same respect as any other employee.  

Along with new skills comes the challenges and surprises. From interning at Ford, I have definitely learnt and expanded on many graduate capabilities; especially public speaking and the standard of my writing. I didn’t realise how confident I would need to be in order to talk and present to others. One challenge that I have come across would definitely be the expectation that the basics from university would need to be known (e.g. brand awareness). Therefore, if you’re thinking of doing an internship knowing at least the basics of your major/degree would definitely make your experience more rewarding. A big surprise for me was hearing that I have a wonderful work ethic and finish tasks very quickly. And because I have finished the majority of my project already, I have been able to take on many other projects to keep expanding my knowledge and really get a grasp of product marketing.  

The project that I am undertaking is a data analysis. This assessment requires me to analyse electric cars from other car brands whether they be premium or mainstream. This project was negotiated through a project proposal which required my supervisor and I to work through aims and objectives that would be of interest to Ford, but also be something that I could complete in the short time that I’m with the company. My supervisor has been helping me through this by guiding me along the way through ensuring that my presentation is at a high standard. I have been supported by my supervisor and other members of the team with lots of praise and always ensuring that I understand my tasks. My subject coordinator has also supported me through a one-on-one consultation where I was able to ensure that I was on track with the university subject learning guide and the outcomes I need to complete in order to receive the credit points for this subject.  

The advice I would give to other students considering a placement would be to really put yourself out there and apply. Industry experience is something that will not only benefit your learning, but also looks amazing on your resume. Although it is a little scary entering a big company like Ford for the first time, it is definitely rewarding and eye-opening to see how everything works and integrates together. Whether you’re from finance, sales, marketing etc. everyone works together.  

If you are thinking of applying for an internship, check out the subjects on offer in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce.