A 3-Step Guide on How to Start Your Business Internship Program

Turning an internship into a paid role

Learn how you can start your business internship in 3 steps

I’ve been teaching for 25 years, and I passionately believe that some of the most important learning takes place on the job as well as in the classroom. For my MBA students, an internship completed while studying is an absolutely essential stepping-stone in their career.

At Torrens University Australia (TUA), we make two important promises to our students; everyone will work and everyone will have an edge.

To keep these promises and to help students gain the best possible head start in your career, TUA offers a personalised Internship Program. This program has consistently opened up fantastic opportunities for students and I urge all my students to give it a try.

Studies consistently show that completing work experience during your degree will lead to better employment outcomes and higher wages when you graduate. At TUA, 91% of our graduates go on to find employment within the first 12 months of graduation.

Getting your Business Internship Program started is easy if you follow these simple steps:

1. Check out internship opportunities on Careers Connect
2. Contact your Success Coach
3. Get help preparing for the application process

These three steps are all explained in detail below, so please read on to find out more.

Firstly however, my colleague Mustafa Kadir, Industry Consultant for Torrens University, shares some key information about how it all works.

The TUA Internship Program essential points

Before you get started on your Internship Program journey, there are some essential things you need to know. Here are a few key points:

  • Internships are organised by TUA Industry Consultants and Success Coaches, who will assist you throughout the application process.
  • The Program follows a Work Integrated Learning Model, meaning your internship may be credited towards your degree.
  • The Internship Program places students within companies that are part of the TUA Industry Network, but students are responsible for driving the process.

As a TUA Industry Consultant, Mustafa Kadir acts as a mediator between industry contacts and aspiring interns.

“My job is to look after industry engagement, by engaging directly with businesses and sourcing opportunities for our students. I champion our students and try to connect them with any opportunities that come up on my radar.” – Mustafa Kadir (Industry Consultant, TUA)

Mustafa has been personally responsible for successfully placing many students in internships matching their skills and interests. Alvaro Sanchez, now in his final year of a Master of Professional Accounting, is one of these students.

“I was recommended by Torrens University Business Consultant, Mustafa Kadir… I did the internship for three months, and then after that I got offered the contract, ” he told TUA in a recent interview.


Who the internship is for

“Some internship projects allow two to three students to participate at a time, whereas others are more individually based and focused on a specific area of the business.” – Mustafa Kadir (Industry Consultant, TUA)

The internship program is available to all undergraduate and postgraduate business students. You will be selected for a role that suits your particular skills, course and aspirations.

Bachelor students are required to complete 200 hours of placement (with the exception of the BA of Commerce, which is 120 hours), which equals three to five months.
Master students are required to complete 120 hours of placement, which equals three to five months.


Companies offering internships

Internships are offered by diverse organisations that are part of the extensive TUA industry network. Some examples include Australian Red Cross, Human Appeal International, City of Charles Sturt, GOGO Events, Association for Strategic Planning, Keylend, Carlo Cantini, City of Unley, Brisbane City Council, GPA Projects, Link4, and many others.

“Our Business Internship Program provides an opportunity for organisations to gain access to talented students, free of charge. It’s great for them, because it’s like hiring consultants to research specific areas of your business, and provide recommendations for improvement…

An Industry Consultant guides the host organisation throughout the internship process. We ask that the business provide a description of the projects or tasks that they expect the student to work on, including any specific expectations or requirements.

We then work to promote these opportunities to our students, and the business will have an opportunity to review resumes before selecting the right candidate.” – Mustafa Kadir (Industry Consultant, TUA)

The TUA three-step guide on how to start your Business Internship Program

Look for internship opportunities on Careers Connect

“As soon as I get approached about a potential internship opportunity, the first thing we do is promote it through Careers Connect, a platform created for our students to browse various internships and job opportunities.” – Mustafa Kadir

Careers Connect is an online platform that connects students with Success Coaches and potential employers. It is available on-demand to students, and you can access a range of career-related information and services including:

Uploading of resume and cover letters for feedback from success coaches
Search and apply for internships, jobs or volunteer opportunities
View and RSVP to career events & guest speakers
Mock interviews
Resource library


Contact your Success Coach to explore unlisted opportunities

I urge all my MBA students to take advantage of the support services on offer at TUA. If you haven’t found anything on Careers Connect, go and speak to your personal Success Coach. There may be opportunities coming up in future, or existing ones that haven’t yet been listed.

If an Industry Consultant is already familiar with your resume and they know that you’re looking for an internship, they will keep you in mind when something suitable comes up.

“If we know some students are a good fit for an opportunity, we often encourage them to apply for these positions. That’s why it’s really important to maintain good grades and a positive attitude.

If you cannot find something suitable advertised, try regularly browsing the websites of graduate employers as they often advertise internship opportunities there.

Alternatively, don’t shy away from approaching some of the smaller businesses directly and asking them for an opportunity. If you find something suitable, talk to an Industry Consultant. They will be ready to assist you and the business with all the paperwork that’s required.” – Mustafa Kadir

Get help preparing for the interview and application process

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. You will be assisted throughout the whole application process by your Success Coach. They will guide you through everything from updating your resume to preparing for an interview. Industry Consultants sometimes offer helpful feedback and advice specific to your company, too.

“Staff helped me to prepare for the interview and to correct my CV. The internship offer came across, and after the interview I got to start the internship immediately on Monday.” – Alvaro Sanchez (final year, Master of Professional Accounting)

“I sent my resume updates to Mustafa [Kadir] and he gave me some tips regarding my LinkedIn that I needed to update as well. After that, I had an interview with the CEO of the company and talked about my experiences, my current situation and my goals for the future.” – Carolina Cruz (final year, dual MBA and Master of Global Project Management at TUA)

Some final tips to help you get the internship you want

As an Industry Consultant, Mustafa Kadir has assisted hundreds of students in applying for internships. On top of his already extensive professional experience, this qualifies him to give some reliable tips on how to succeed.

If you want to organise an internship for yourself, here is his advice on how to go about it the right way.

“I’d say the first thing to do is create a LinkedIn profile, make sure to fully update it and add a professional photo. Connect with small business leaders and be genuine and friendly with your approach. Attend networking events and get yourself out there.

Show your passion for the industry that you want to get into. Importantly, highlight your achievements for all the roles you’ve held in the past, including past internships or volunteering roles.

You’re competing against hundreds of others so always ask yourself why someone should consider you instead of them. Make sure you present your best self and stand out.”

The Torrens University community is here to provide all the support we can to help you in your career, so don’t be afraid to ask your Success Coach for help at any time.

I wish you all the best with your internship and I have no doubt you’ll go on to achieve great things.

Justin Pierce, Director of Innovation, Industry and Employability and Acting Associate Dean, Postgraduate, at Torrens University Australia (TUA).

See here for more information about the Business Courses on offer at TUA.


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