The University of Newcastle, Australia

Work Integrated Learning with nib

Monday, 3 August 2015

The benefits of incorporating work placements into our degrees are clear. Not only do they provide students with real world experience after graduating, but they set them up with great contacts, as well as boost their self-confidence in the workplace.

The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Program run between the School of Design, Communication and IT and NIB has wrapped up again for the year, with two students taking part. Students are given the opportunity to undertake the placement as an internship, for which they are credited for their time and work.

For third-year Visual Communication Design student Lauren Jones, the experience has been one of great benefit. She has just completed a three-month placement with NIB, and is keen to put her new skills into practice.

"After studying for 3 years you begin to wonder how your new found skills are going to translate into the real world," she said.

Lauren spent her time at NIB working as a User Experience (UX) Designer, involved in everything from research and user testing, right through to designing landing pages and forms for mobile responsive web design.  

"The internship experience with NIB has given me an incredible education in UX design and the importance of understanding the user when creating design solutions… The placement has also allowed me to gain confidence in the rapidly growing digital space. These are all valuable skills that I will now take with me throughout my design career."

Mark Roxburgh, Associate Professor of Design, is an advocate of WIL and says the program is a fantastic opportunity for students to reflect upon the similarities and differences of learning at university and at the workplace in order to see the value in both approaches. He also sees the benefit from an academic point of view.

"[It] is an invaluable resource for us academics to reflect upon to ensure our program is providing the right balance between meeting employee expectations and producing independent and critical practitioners capable of challenging and transform those expectations as the field of design itself transforms," he said.

Contact Mark if you're interested in learning more about future placements.

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