Student Sourced Industry Placements
When searching for your own industry placement, it is important that you spend some time creating a targeted approach though identifying industries, companies, projects, and contacts of interest. This will assist you in being clear about what it is that you are looking for and additionally, will help you to build knowledge of possible careers in your discipline area.
When contacting industry professionals, remember that you will make a strong first impression if you are well informed and clear about what it is you are hoping to achieve while undertaking a placement.
Get yourself industry ready
Prepare your documentation
When searching for a placement, the first and most important task is to ensure you are ready to present yourself to industry. The Student Sourced Checklist provides step by step instructions detailing how to prepare yourself for industry, identify a potential host and how to find a placement opportunity.
Career Ready Online also has a range of suitable resources to ensure your application for a placement opportunity is successful. Here are some suggestions to get you ready for applying for a placement:
- Build your CV or optimise your current CV so you can feel confident about your offer to a potential host
- Create a cover letter to communicate what skills, experience or attributes you could offer to a potential host
- Create an elevator pitch so you can speak easily about who you are, what you are studying (and why) and your career goals
- Practice for an interview with a potential host
- LinkedIn Networking Tool
Contact the Employability Programs team for further support with any of these resources.
If you are applying for an Industry Placement subject or the minor, you can use on of the industry introductory letters which provides potential industry partners with more detail about the subject you are looking to undertake and what the expectations of becoming a placement host to a La Trobe student. Use these letters to email to a potential host, along with your cover letter and CV.
Identify your skills and career pathways
Are you curious about what type of placement, job or career you can aim for?
La Troe University has produced career summaries for the major discipline areas taught at La Trobe. The summaries are based on the jobs and companies La Trobe graduates have gone on to work in, and the technical and transferable skills you’ll develop in your course.
You can refer to these PDF summaries when searching for a placement opportunity and an ideal host, enabling you to focus on some of the skills you are developing while you're studying (to add to your CV and cover letter) and the potential hosts that you could contact about placement opportunities.
Browse the list of career summaries here.
Identify the right organisation
Searching for the right organisation and a placement opportunity requires advance planning. Reflecting on your values, interests and goals will help you find a placement that aligns with your course and your career goals.
- Approach an organisation that can provide you with a learning opportunity of interest
- Select an organisation that can allocate you with a dedicated placement supervisor
- Placement tasks should allow you to meet the Subject Learning Outcomes and meet your goals
Consider different types of organisations such as:
- Local Councils
- Small to Medium business
- Not for profits
- Community organisations
- State & Federal Government departments
- Services industries
La Trobe University's minimum standards and OHS guidelines:
- Students generally cannot undertake a placement in a small family business
- All host organisations must complete a student placement agreement
- All host organisations must have public liability insurance
- All host supervisors must be willing to complete a student evaluation form as part of the WIL unit assessment
Finding a placement opportunity
Consider the following links to help you find the right opportunity:
- LinkedIn (Connect with employees of the organisation)
- Seek, ProBono or Ethical Jobs (search for placements through job search websites)
- https://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/opportunities/careers (La Trobe Career Hub site)
Most industry placement opportunities are student sourced however, occasionally, University Sourced Placement Opportunities arise which are secured by La Trobe University and are available to students enrolled in a variety of courses.
Negotiating a placement
Once you have secured a placement, you may need to negotiate the details of your placement opportunity with a potential host to ensure that it meets the following requirements:
- Relevancy to your study discipline
- Key duties and responsibilities
- Suitable start and end dates that fall within the semester dates
- A suitable supervisor (someone who can allocate time to the role and discipline expertise)
- Shift pattern schedule (agreement of placement days/hours per week)
- Location: onsite, remote or hybrid placement
Note: Application assessment can take 2-4 weeks, so please include this timeframe when negotiating a start date with your potential host. The Industry Placements team may request that you renegotiate your start date with a host to allow for additional time to process your application, enrol into the placement subject or to complete compliance requirements.
Whether you have secured a placement or contacting potential industry placement supervisors, remember to ask them whether you will need any of the following:
- Police check
- Working With Children Check
- Health check
- First aid certificate
- Protective clothing or equipment requirements
If you need a Police Check or Working with Children check, the Industry Placement team can help organise these.
Other placement options
Apply for a University sourced placement
Most La Trobe industry placement opportunities are student sourced however, periodically university sourced placement opportunities arise with our industry partners. These opportunities are secured by La Trobe University and are available to students enrolled in a variety of courses.
Gain credit for 'Internship' or 'Vacation' programs
"Vacation" or "internship" programs are a great way to apply skills and gain valuable experience which may lead to a graduate program entry or direct employment opportunities. These programs are offered across a broad range of organisations and study disciplines, including Accounting, Finance, Cyber security, Marketing, Communications and Environmental Sustainability. Many websites advertise these opportunities, such as Grad Connection, Grad Australia, and Career Hub.
Did you know that these programs may be used to gain credit towards your degree?
When undertaking an internship program, it may be possible for students to concurrently enrol into one or more of La Trobe’s Industry Placement Elective Subjects and use the internship experience to fulfill the industry placement requirements of the elective subject/s (subject to approval from the Subject Coordinator).
How do I apply?
Students must submit a student self-sourced online application (including a Placement Description) prior to the closing date for the selected Industry Placement subject/s. The application and Placement Description will then be assessed and must be approved by La Trobe prior to enrolment into the Industry Placement elective subject.
Undertake a placement with an existing employer
It is possible to utilise a paid position with your current employer as a placement opportunity, provided that for the placement period, you would be undertaking a special project distinct from your current paid position. It would be your responsibility to demonstrate in your placement description and project proposa, how the internship project you are proposing to undertake is different from your current role. A placement role in an organisation should not replace an existing position.
Talk with your manager to see if there is a suitable project that you can undertake for the internship period of 100-400 hours within your chosen semester dates.
You can refer to the WBL Industry Placement guides to find out more about Work Based Learning at La Trobe and the student/host responsibilities whilst on placement.
- WBL Student Guide
- WBL Host Organisation Guide
- The Industry Placement Minor - Industry introductory letter
- The Industry Placement subject LTU3IND - Introductory letter
- LinkedIn Networking Tool
Contact the Employability Programs team for further support with any of the Career Ready online resources.
- For further information about the industry placement subjects, the application process and placement opportunities, please email email@example.com
- For general enquiries about La Trobe Work Based Learning (WBL) placements, please submit a question via the Work Based Learning Placements Student Enquiry form