Please note that these FAQs are subject to change and are relevant for 2019 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 (or optional Application Video)
  • Resume
  • Performance in various assessment centre tasks

Application

What is the SWEP application 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 (or optional application video), resume and academic transcript. You will also be invited to attend an Information Session (which is optional but highly recommended).

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. We highly recommend that you submit your SWEP application early and do not wait until the deadline. If your application is not at the standard required to progress to an assessment centre, this will give you the chance to meet with the BEL SET team for feedback / to understand the changes required and to resubmit your application before the deadline. In addition, it is important to note that applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and assessment centre places may be filled by successful candidates prior to the deadline. This is very common practice in a real-life recruitment process.

During the assessment centre you will be asked to participate in and be assessed on several activities, similar to those you may experience in a corporate assessment centre. You will then be invited to a group debrief session and you will also have the opportunity to receive feedback on your individual performance.

If you are successful during the assessment centre you will be invited to participate in an unpaid work experience opportunity sourced 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.

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 mid-degree students as outlined on the application form.

BEL SET runs other programs and workshops which may be suitable for you. Please check the main BEL SET website for more information.

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

As this is 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. In this regard, please make sure you follow the instructions in the SWEP Guide (PDF, 463 KB)

We highly recommend that you submit your SWEP application early and do not wait until the deadline. If your application is not at the standard required to progress to an assessment centre, this will give you the chance to meet with the BEL SET team for feedback / to understand the changes required and to resubmit your application before the deadline.

I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply?

The program is open to both domestic and international students.

I am a Masters student. Am I eligible to apply?

As long as you are not in your final semester, you are eligible to apply.

Am I guaranteed a placement if I apply?

Not all applicants who apply will be successful in securing a work experience placement 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.

Assessment centre

How should I dress during the assessment centre?

It is expected that you dress professionally for your assessment centre. Always overdress, rather than underdress for an interview or assessment centre. You can always 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. 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 attend the assessment centre?

During the application period, you will be informed of the assessment centre dates. If you are unable to make any of 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 or have an excuse deemed reasonable, please contact BEL SET 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.

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 10 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 BEL SET  as soon as possible to notify the team and ask for advice.

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

An assessment centre can consist of different types of tasks and activities, so we cannot tell you exactly what to expect. However, please read the SWEP Guide (PDF, 463 KB) 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 a company or industry for my work experience placement?

IMPORTANT: 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 BEL SET.

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.

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, students cannot choose which discipline their work experience relates to (i.e. it will be relevant to one of their 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’ve decided to plan holidays, can my placement be rescheduled around my holidays?

To be eligible for SWEP, students need to be available during all 4 weeks of the winter break (for Semester 1 applications) or between 6th January to the end of the summer holidays (for Semester 2 applications).  If a student becomes unavailable during these times, they become ineligible for the SWEP program and no further placement opportunity will be sourced for them. Please note that for Semester 2 participants, some organisations will also provide placements in November and December. The more flexible you can be, the easier it can sometimes be to find you a suitable placement.

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 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 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 FAQs, please contact BEL SET.  We run SWEP and can assist you with your query. Our email is careers@bel.uq.edu.au.