Diane Micallef

As an Internship Advisor at La Trobe University with the Careers and Employability Team, Diane is changing lives of students by helping them find the right opportunity, get the crucial work experience and professional exposure, as well as build their skills. She has an educational background, mostly in program development, curriculum development, community / industry engagement and careers and has been working in the education industry for the last ten years.

“The students at La Trobe are the ones I like to work with. They are so diverse, and the University provides a lot of support. It’s a great place to work,” Diane said.

Diane meets with students every day and helps them understand the value of internships.

“Technical skills are not enough today. Students need employability skills,” Diane explains.

Employers come to Diane with internship opportunities and during her typical day, she is focused on accepting the right ones, engaging with students and academics and making sure students land the right role and get real work experience.

“I mostly work on non-for-credit internships ensuring that all students at the university have an opportunity,” Diane says.

Diane is on a mission to help students realise how important it is to have an internship experience before students finish their degree, as in today’s world students may not be ready for a workplace even though they have formal education.

“Students who do an internship feel like they have an advantage over the ones who haven’t done them. I had students who never worked in an office before or never consider the emotional aspect of working in HR, for example”.

Seeing the full transformation, the confidence building and the learning curve that the students have after an internship is the most satisfying part of Diane’s role at La Trobe University. She meets them as shy, insecure young people and greets them back seeing a confident, changed person ready to take on the world.

When she is not matching students with amazing organisations, Diane dedicates her free time to friends and family, photography, travelling and yoga, as well as volunteering.

“I do volunteering work with the Australian Red Cross and I work in a couple of justice support programs at a prison. The purpose of the programs is to positively impact the prison visit experience for children and their families.”

“I engage with people from diverse backgrounds and provide visitors with emotional reassurance and support, link them to specialist support services, provide activities for children and help to raise awareness about prison policies and procedures before and after they enter the prison. Inside the prison, I work in a program with the objective of creating a child friendly environment and facilitate activities for the whole family to engage in, making the visit experience as positive as possible,” she says.

Whether it’s La Trobe students or families of prisoners in Melbourne, Diane is dedicated to helping others through the difficult times and enjoys seeing lives change, passionately guiding through the transformation and empowerment.