Earlier this year, two students from Swinburne University of Technology began a 12-month industry placement within the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust’s (SMCT) Communications team to gain practical workplace skills as part of their degree. As we approach the halfway mark of their placement, we caught up with Bachelor of Arts student, Madison Bryce, and Bachelor of Media and Communications student, Saredo Miguil, to hear about their experience working at SMCT.
What has your placement been like so far?
‘I’ve had a diverse range of tasks that are constantly changing, from managing SMCT’s employee app, Connecteam, to working on newsletters and writing blog pieces.’ Madison says. ‘Working on the PRIDE awards, SMCT’s all-employee awards night, was a valuable experience and unique chance to step outside my comfort zone. Working cross-collaboratively with new teams has been exciting.'
As for working from home for a large portion of her placement, ‘It’s definitely been a new challenge. You miss out on the social side of work and the focus you get from being in the office, not to mention the great coffee from the café.’
However, working from home does have its upsides.
‘I’ve learnt how to be more productive and have a certain amount of self-discipline,' says Madison. 'For the most part, I’m the only one holding myself accountable for how I manage my time.’
For Saredo, her placement has involved many different roles and tasks.
‘I feel like I've had to wear many hats,’ she says, listing off all the tasks she has undertaken, from interviewing a team at SMCT that went on a 3-day mountain climb to raise funds for disadvantaged youth, to more recently assisting with event planning for Father's Day.
‘I’ve done a lot of challenging tasks that I didn’t imagine a student would get to do. It’s great to experience the full potential of my role and feel like I’m not just here to shadow others.’
While working at home has its challenges, Saredo feels it has improved her communication skills because the need to reach out to everyone is more critical.