Please note that these FAQs are subject to change and are relevant for 2019 only.

Overview

What is SWEP?

SWEP is an opportunity for early to mid-degree students to participate in a competitive recruitment and selection process, similar to those used by large organisations. The valuable knowledge, experience and feedback you gain will give you a real advantage when entering the job market as an intern or graduate candidate. You will be assessed on your initial application and, if successful, you will be invited to an assessment centre. SWEP is open to both domestic and international students, at undergraduate or Master’s level. SWEP is ideally aimed at students who have little or no relevant industry work experience, to provide you with a helping hand to get on the first rung of your career ladder.

Application

What do I need to know before applying?

Before applying for SWEP, we strongly recommend that you read all of the information available to you via these FAQs, the SWEP website and the SWEP Guide taking particular note of the eligibility criteria. BEL Student Employability Team will be running information sessions to cover off this information in more detail, and answer any outstanding questions you may have.

What are the eligibility criteria?

SWEP is open to both domestic and international students, at undergraduate or Master’s level.

To be eligible to apply, you must be a current student of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law. Undergraduate students must also meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a current GPA of 4.5 or above
  • You must be graduating in 2020 or later
  • You must not be in your honours year

Please also ensure you are applying at the correct stage of your degree program:

Level Length of program When you should apply
Undergraduate 3 years

Semester 2 of 1st year
Semester 1 of 2nd year

  4 years Semester 1 or 2 of 2nd year
  5+ years Please contact BELSET for advice
Master's You can apply at any time except your final semester

What is the application process?

Applications must be submitted via StudentHub. As part of the application, you will be required to upload your CV, your studies report and a cover letter (in written or video format).

After you have submitted your application, it will be assessed by the BELSET team. We highly recommend that you submit your application early and do not wait until the deadline. If your application is not at the standard required, you will be provided with feedback and allowed a second chance to submit. If your second application is not at the required standard, you will be encouraged to meet with a BELSET Employability Specialist to discuss alternative options to SWEP.

I am not available during the semester break. Can I still participate in SWEP to experience a recruitment process and receive feedback on my performance?

Yes, absolutely. Feedback is a valuable and integral part of SWEP and the most important part of the process, as it allows you to reflect and build on positive and successful behaviours and improve your areas for development. Please let us know your circumstances in your application.

When will I receive the outcome of my application?

Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Once your application is approved, you will be invited to book into an assessment centre. Please note that places at the assessment centre are first in, best dressed so if you apply at a later date, you may not have many dates and times to choose from. This is very common practice in a real-life recruitment process. The final results of SWEP will be released after the final assessment centre.

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

Due to the number of BEL students and the type of experience that SWEP offers, we have to restrict the intake to early/mid-degree students. BELSET runs other programs and workshops, which may be suitable for you. Please check the main BELSET webpage for more information.

Can a member of BEL SET have a look at my application to see if it is good enough?

As this is a competitive recruitment program, BELSET will not specifically review your SWEP application. We hope that you have previously met with a member of the team to go through the dos and don’ts of CV-writing and we would encourage you to closely follow the SWEP Guide to ensure your best chance of success.

Assessment centre

What is an assessment centre?

An assessment centre is a recruitment and selection process, commonly used by large organisations to assess a group of candidates in a short timeframe. It provides a fair and objective recruitment process as you are assessed on your performance across various activities and against set criteria, which allows you to demonstrate your strengths and areas for development.

How long is the assessment centre?

The SWEP assessment centres typically run for approximately 3 hours.

What activities will I participate in?

An assessment centre can consist of different types of tasks and activities, including written tests, group activities and interviews. We recommend that you read the SWEP Guide and do your own research so that you are fully prepared for what may be required of you in the session.

How should I dress during the assessment centre?

SWEP is designed to prepare you for a real-life recruitment process and we therefore expect you to treat it as such and dress professionally for your assessment centre. In real life, you should assume that your assessment centre will require you to wear smart/business attire (suit and tie for men and a tailored skirt/pants/dress and jacket for ladies) and if you are unsure, always overdress, rather than underdress – it’s better to be the sharpest person in the room than the sloppiest. You can take off a jacket or tie if you are dressed too formally, but it is difficult to look smarter if you are dressed more casually.

For SWEP, we do not expect you to go out and purchase new clothes but we do expect you to put some effort into your appearance and first impressions really are lasting. People tend to form an opinion of someone new within a few seconds of meeting so you need to focus on presenting yourself in the next possible light. Below are some tips to help guide you:

  • If you do possess a jacket or blazer, we would encourage you to wear it so that you get used to wearing it in a formal environment
  • Dress conservatively, avoiding colours that are too bright, distracting patterns and logos
  • Ladies – be careful with the length of your skirt or dress and how revealing your top/blouse is
  • Men – wear a collared, button down shirt, tucked into your pants and a belt
  • Wear smart and clean shoes. Sneakers or open toed sandals are not appropriate.
  • Do not over-do your perfume/fragrance
  • Make sure you are well-groomed:
  • Ladies – neat hair, conservative make up/nails and minimal jewellery
  • Men – neat hair and clean-shaven or neatly trimmed beard/moustache
  • Use your judgement on piercings and tattoos

At the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable and this will make you appear more confident to your assessors. It’s not a good idea to wear an outfit or shoes for the very first time at your assessment centre. Conduct a dress rehearsal beforehand.

What happens if I cannot attend any of the assessment centres?

We will be holding a minimum of 4 assessment centres. If your initial application is successful, you will receive the dates of the assessment centres straight away and you can self-book your preferred session. Please do this as soon as possible as the dates will be filled on a first in, best-dressed basis. Waitlists will be available for each assessment centre. We recommend that you register on the waitlist and keep checking the availability on a regular basis.

What happens if I am late?

Forward planning, organisational ability and time management are all key skills that are assessed during a graduate recruitment process. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes before the assessment centre is due to start and plan for unforeseen travel delays. 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. If you are running late due to unforeseen circumstances, please call BELSET as soon as possible to notify the team and ask for advice.

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

If you are ill or have an excuse deemed reasonable, please contact BELSET as soon as you can, as we might be able to rearrange your session. 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. You are expected to conduct yourself in a professional manner.

Will I receive feedback after the assessment centre?

Feedback is a valuable and integral part of SWEP as it allows you to reflect and build on areas of success and improve your areas for development. After the final assessment centre is complete, all participants will be invited to a group debriefing session where BELSET will run through the positive behaviours observed and some general areas for development. You are also strongly encouraged to book an individual consultation with BELSET to run through your detailed scores and feedback across the whole SWEP application and assessment centre process.

Placement Process

Am I guaranteed a placement if I pass the assessment centre?

The opportunity for a placement is not guaranteed to all successful participants. The number of available placements in the Brisbane area is limited and subject to the business needs of the individual organisations. The top scoring students from each degree program will be placed first with remaining students considered on a case by case basis, should suitable opportunities be identified. Please be reassured that BELSET will endeavour to identify as many opportunities as possible in order to offer as many placements as possible. Historically, we have secured between 50-60 placements per semester.

What is the point of SWEP if I’m not guaranteed a placement?

You will always be competing against your peers and friends for any real-life employment opportunity. SWEP is a valuable program designed as a learning and development opportunity. It allows you to make mistakes in a ‘safe’ environment and receive feedback so that you can reflect and improve for your real-life recruitment processes.

How many opportunities will there be for my degree?

The exact mix and number of opportunities for certain degree programs will vary and is determined by the business requirements of the host organisations. Typically we will have between 5-10 placements per discipline.

Do I get to choose a company or industry for my work experience placement?

Students apply to the program itself, not a specific host company (students cannot choose a host). If you decide not to take the opportunity you are offered, no further opportunity will be sourced for you, the opportunity will be provided to a different student and you will be withdrawn from the program.

What type of organisation will I get to work for?

Most placements will be Brisbane-based small to medium-sized organisations, The majority of large or global organisations run their own internship programs and do not offer unpaid placements. We do not typically offer work experience placements in the following type of organisations:

  • ‘Big 4’ professional services firms
  • Large banks, law firms, insurance companies or management consultancies
  • Small or boutique organisations with few employees
  • Organisations who already run paid internships.

Will I be working in the Brisbane CBD?

Many of the organisations offering work experience placements are based in the CBD, however some are located in the outer suburbs or further away. We cannot guarantee where you will be placed and ask you to be reasonably flexible. If you have any concerns, please discuss with BELSET.

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.

If I am a double degree or double major student – do I get to choose which discipline my work experience relates to?

Unfortunately, in order to maximise the number of students receiving placements, you cannot choose which discipline your work experience relates to (i.e. it will be relevant to one of your degrees / majors).  If you decide not to take the opportunity you are offered, no further opportunity will be sourced for you, the opportunity will be provided to a different student and you will be withdrawn from the program.

I am no longer available during the semester break (e.g. due to holidays or other work experience). Can the timing of my placement be rescheduled?

If you have secured your own work experience, then congratulations! We hope that SWEP assisted you in that process. To be considered for a SWEP placement, students must be available to work on a full-time basis for a minimum of four consecutive weeks during the summer semester break. If you are unable to commit to this timeframe, you may still participate in SWEP to gain experience of a recruitment process and receive feedback. Feedback is a valuable and integral part of SWEP and the most important part of the process as it allows you to reflect and build on areas of success and improve your areas for development. Please let BELSET know as soon as possible if your circumstances have changed.

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 BELSET as soon as you can.

Can I change my placement to another company or department?

No. Once your placement has been confirmed, 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 your placement has been confirmed, it cannot be changed. All organisations have their merits, and you will gain valuable professional experience. You may be surprised at how much you learn.

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

As with any 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 BELSET 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 FAQs, please attend an information session to ask the BELSET team in person. If you think of a further question at a later date, please contact BELSET.