Empowering Tomorrow’s Workforce: La Trobe Students Thrive at Kangan Institute

Over the summer break, Kangan Institute hosted La Trobe University students Briony Phillips and Mei Chun (Jessica) Shu. The hands-on placements had a transformative impact on both the host institution and the students.

From November 2023 to February 2024, Kangan Institute welcomed students from La Trobe University, Briony Phillips and Mei Chun (Jessica) Shu. The experience enriched their learning journey and fostered meaningful connections between the two educational entities.

The partnership is a natural fit, as the Institute’s commitment to regional development aligns seamlessly with our mission to empower students and create career pathways for success.

Kangan Institute benefitted from fresh perspectives – and student contributions extended beyond theory, as they actively participated in shaping strategies, analysing data, and proposing innovative solutions. Meanwhile, the students gained practical experience, enhanced their employability, and built networks.

"We have found having La Trobe students to be a very positive experience. They have been hard working, enthusiastic, and willing to get involved with many different projects. Their active involvement has elevated the productivity of our team and has also contributed to more collaboration between teams. We look forward to having more students in the future!" said student supervisor Julia Ellershaw, Senior Organisational Development Consultant – Wellbeing, Kangan Institute.

Win-Win Scenario

Briony (pictured above) pursuing her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), and Mei Chun, a Bachelor of Business student, worked as Organisational Development Consultants within the Institute’s Organisational Development department.

Initially, the Institute had requested one student for this critical role. However, when presented with two outstanding applications, leaders decided to embrace the abundance of La Trobe talent on offer and welcomed both Briony and Mei Chun.

This decision not only doubled the impact of the placements but also enriched the learning experience for all involved.

The 200-hour placements also helped inform the framework for the Institute’s future business-wide industry placement program with La Trobe.

"Our interest in working with students from La Trobe is multifaceted. One primary reason is our commitment to skill development. By providing La Trobe students with hands-on experience in a real-world work environment, we aim to contribute positively to their education. Students also bring fresh, up-to-date information and viewpoints, contributing valuable ideas and energy into our team. Lastly, working with La Trobe aligns with our commitment to community engagement, actively supporting the broader educational ecosystem," said Julia.

The Journey

During the four-month placement, Briony and Mei Chun dedicated themselves to their roles. They delved into projects, collaborated with seasoned professionals, and gained firsthand insights into organisational dynamics.

"The internship at Kangan Institute proved invaluable for me. It offered a practical, real-world context to the HR concepts learned in class, from understanding departmental interrelations to observing day-to-day operations," said Jessica.

Assisting Julia Ellershaw to supervise the dynamic duo was Penni Owen, Senior Learning & Development Consultant. Their expertise and mentorship provided a solid foundation for the students, and, under their guidance, Briony and Mei Chun honed skills, navigated workplace challenges, and discovered the intricacies of organisational change.

"Latrobe has also been incredibly supportive and flexible throughout my placement. Fortnightly seminars, modules and forums also provided resources to navigate workplace challenges. Additionally, my university supervisor Rachel Baron has been very encouraging, " said Briony.

Unlocking Opportunities for Business Owners

Are you a business owner seeking fresh perspectives and innovative solutions? Explore collaboration opportunities with La Trobe! Our talented students, like Briony and Mei Chun, can bring a wealth of knowledge and creativity to your organisation.

Securing students for an industry placement is a simple process. We will assist you throughout – from the development of a placement description, to promoting to students and signing an agreement.

To get started, visit Engaging student talent or contact La Trobe Talent on latrobetalent@latrobe.edu.au