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Please note that these FAQs are subject to change and are relevant for 2016 only.

Overview

What is SWEP?

The Student Work Experience Program is an opportunity for students to gain experience of recruitment processes and potentially secure unpaid work experience.

What is involved?

SWEP is a competitive recruitment program so you will be expected to submit an application, attend an assessment centre and be considered suitable to be placed in a host organisation.

You will be assessed on the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Performance in various assessment centre tasks

Application

What is the SWEP process?

At the start of each semester, SWEP will be advertised using SET’s marketing channels. You will be required to follow a link, complete an application form and submit a cover letter, resume and academic transcript. You will also be invited to attend an Information Session (which is optional)

After you have submitted your application, it will be assessed by the BEL SET team and if your application has been successful, you will be invited to attend an assessment centre. If you are unsuccessful, you will be invited to attend the BEL SET Career Success Program. If you attend the Career Success Program you will gain fast track entry into the next SWEP intake.

During the assessment centre you will be asked to participate in and be assessed on several activities that you would experience in a normal assessment centre. You will then be invited to a group debrief session.

If you are successful during the assessment centre you will be invited to participate in an unpaid work experience opportunity to which you are matched by BEL SET. If you are unsuccessful, you will be offered a one on one consultation with a member of BEL SET to discuss your application further and you may also like to register for the Career Success Program.

My graduation date doesn’t fit in with the current requirements, can I apply?

Due to the number of BEL students and the type of experience that SWEP offers, we have to restrict the intake to mid-degree students.

BEL SET run other programs and workshops which would be suitable, please check the main BEL SET website for more information.

I am an international student, am I eligible to apply?

The program will be open to both domestic and international students.

Am I guaranteed a placement if I apply?

Not all applicants who apply will be successful in securing work experience as it is a competitive process, simulating the real experience of the commercial graduate recruitment process.  All unsuccessful applicants will receive feedback which makes the selection process a learning experience, and be offered the opportunity to attend other workshops.

Is there a GPA requirement to be eligible for SWEP?

You need to have a minimum of 4.5 to apply for SWEP.

Can the UQ Careers Service help me to prepare my SWEP Application or the SWEP Assessment Centre?

The UQ Careers Service (the central careers team for all of UQ) does not provide specific one on one assistance for assessment pieces for internal UQ Programs (like SWEP & scholarships) as it may give students a potential unfair advantage.

BEL students are still welcome to attend workshops run by the UQ Careers Service and utilise their resources in relation to general career topics (i.e. resumes etc.).

Please note that it is really important to be professional and friendly when asking anyone for career help and undertaking employment or recruitment programs as this is a key attribute that employers are looking for when they consider your fit with their team, clients and corporate culture. In addition, it is part of the SWEP selection criteria. Unprofessional behaviour may result in your application being withdrawn from the program.

Also remember that SWEP is a rewarding educational program, designed to teach you employability skills and give you practice in relation to assessment centres here at UQ, prior to your final year when you are applying for Graduate Roles.  This is why you can access feedback (both in a group and one on one) after the program to maximise learning outcomes and to increase your performance in the future.

Can a member of BEL SET have a look at my resume and see if it is alright now?

Due to this being a competitive recruitment program, BEL SET will not check over your SWEP application before you apply or provide you with feedback during the application process. Feedback on your SWEP application will be provided as part of the debriefing session. If you require feedback on your resume outside of the SWEP process please refer to the full list of BEL SET services and programs.

Assessment Centre

How should I dress during the assessment centre?

It is expected that you dress professionally for your interview. Please see the following resources for hints and tips on dressing appropriately.

The dress for success video for graduating students:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raH9MfLYxKw

The Women’s guide to professional dress for an interview:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpMQLe2pCD0

What happens if I cannot make the assessment centre?

During the application period you will be informed of the assessment centre dates. If you are unable to make them, you should consider applying for SWEP in the following semester. Due to the resources required we can only facilitate a limited number of assessment centres.

What happens if I miss the assessment centre, will I get a second chance?

If you are ill, please contact BEL SET as soon as you can as we might be able to rearrange your time. If you miss it for any other reason or you do not contact us, you will be withdrawn from the program.

Please remember that this is a competitive recruitment process and will mirror what happens with a graduate employer.

What happens if I am late?

Try to arrive at least 10 minutes before the assessment centre is due to start. During a ‘real life’ assessment centre, if you are more than 10 minutes late you will not be allowed into the assessment centre and you will be withdrawn from the program.

Within SWEP, if you are late please report to a BEL SET member.

What type of activities will I do in the assessment centre?

An assessment centre can consist of different types of assessment so we cannot tell you what to expect. However please read the assessment centre guide and do some research to ensure that you are aware of the types of activity you might expect.

Work Experience

Do I get to choose the company that I go to because I only want to work in a bank?

IMPORTANT: Students apply to the program itself, not a specific host company (students cannot choose a host).  If an applicant decides not to take the opportunity that they are matched to (as described above), this is their prerogative.  No further opportunity will be sourced for them and the opportunity will be provided to a different student.

Will I be placed in a multinational organisation?

Most placements will be local small to medium sized companies because many large organisations run their own vacation internships.

I am an Accounting student, how many opportunities will there be for that degree?

The exact mix and number of opportunities for certain degree types will vary and will be determined by the requirements of the host organisations.

What will be my tasks and duties during the placement?

Tasks will vary from placement to placement with some placements providing broader experiences and other placements being more project focused.

Will I get paid during this placement?

No, all of these placements are unpaid.

What type of organisation will I get to work for?

The type of organisation that will be involved in SWEP will mostly be small to medium sized organisations, but will include some large organisations.

We will not be offering job placements in the following type of organisations:

  • 'Big 4' firms or top tier organisations such as large banks, insurance companies, and consultancies
  • Organisations who already run paid vacation internships.
Can I arrange my own work experience?

Yes. Please note that unpaid work experience still needs to be approved by UQ (UQ provides insurance for students completing eligible work experience, subject to limitations). SWEP is a learning program so you will still benefit from the experience gained within the recruitment process, even if you do not secure a placement through SWEP.

During the placement

What happens if I don’t like my placement?

Your placement is designed to be a learning experience and we try to take into account your interests as much as we can. Each placement may involve a variety of tasks relevant to your studies including general work experience and project work.

If you do not like the opportunity that you have been matched to, the opportunity will be offered to a different student (and no further opportunity will be sourced for you).

If you feel unsafe or harassed during your placement, please contact BEL SET as soon as you can.

Can I change my internship to another company or department?

No, once you have been given your placement, it cannot be changed. Please see this as an opportunity to experience something different.

My friend is working in a better company than me, can I go there?

No, once you have been given an opportunity, it cannot be changed. All organisations have their merits so even if you would have preferred to be placed with a different organisation, you will gain a valuable experience and it might surprise you how much you enjoy it and learn from it.

I am sick or have an exam, what do I do?

As in a normal job, please consult with your supervisor as soon as you can. It is important to be honest with the organisation about the situation so that they can discuss it with you and plan accordingly.

The company wants me to sign forms I don’t understand or do duties that make me feel uncomfortable, what do I do?

If this occurs and you feel comfortable doing so, as a starting point speak to your supervisor or a member of the company's HR team to obtain clarification on what is being asked of you. Please then contact BEL SET if you do not feel that this resolves the situation, or if you do not feel comfortable speaking to your supervisor or the HR team.

Further questions

Who should I contact if I have a question?​​

If you have a specific question that is not covered in the FAQ’s, please contact BEL SET.  We run SWEP and can assist you with your query - our email is careers@bel.uq.edu.au.