Real world experience: Q&A with Katy Dolman

real world experience

Katy Dolman, Manager, Internships shares her knowledge on internships and how valuable they can be for students. Internships can provide experience for students in a real-life setting and will allow for students to continue developing soft-skills and and allow them to further expand their network.


Why are internships important?

Internships provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from their studies in a real-world context, learn from practitioners in an industry setting and expand their workplace skills and networks, positioning them for future career success. A recent analysis of employability undertaken by CSIRO found that employment outcomes are positively correlated with the inclusion of work-based components (such as internships), even when the field of study and the institution are considered.

What internship opportunities are available to students at the University of Adelaide?

Internship and placement opportunities differ depending on the degree program students are enrolled in. Some programs, such as medicine, engineering and teaching have a requirement for students to complete certain placement activities as part of their program. Other programs have elective courses which allow students to take internships for credit. We’re also working to develop internship opportunities in new programs through the introduction of elective courses.

The best way for students to identify what internship or placement activities are available to them is to look at the information for their Faculty and degree program here. Students can also search for currently available opportunities in CareerHub.

What is the University doing to support internships?

To support growth in internship opportunities the employability team is coordinating the development of a University-wide internships framework to develop and streamline internship policies, processes and systems. Existing teams in, or aligned to, Faculties are also directly engaging with industry and sourcing internship opportunities.

We’re listening to our industry partners and academic colleagues, and actively working to improve support to host institutions and our students. This includes:

  • Revising and streamlining agreements to cut red tape when hosting interns.
  • Reviewing the preparation our students get in advance of their internships, to ensure they are ready to go on day one.
  • Investigating technological solutions to create efficiencies in the management of internships, and simplify reporting processes.
  • Coordinating the approach to industry engagement, and establishing easier entry pathways into the university for industry to internships at the University.
  • Creating new avenues for students who traditionally haven’t had internship opportunities – and for organisations to host students from different disciplines.

How can University staff help support internships?

Staff can get involved in supporting internships in a number of different ways, including:

  • Promoting internships to students in their course or program
  • Sharing information about internships with their industry contacts
  • Hosting interns within the University’s business

How can students and staff find out more information?

More information for students, staff and potential host organisations is available on the internships website:

Katy Dolman
Manager, Internships

Katy has over 15 years’ experience in the higher education sector, working in roles supporting quality teaching and learning, as well as research. As Manager, Internships she’s working to coordinate the way the University engages with external stakeholders to increase the opportunities available for students to gain real-world experience during their degree.

Tagged in Learning Enhancement & Innovation, Guest Blog