The Student Work Experience Program (SWEP) places highly motivated students from The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (BEL) into unpaid work experience opportunities within organisations around Brisbane.

SWEP is designed to complement a student’s academic knowledge by offering them the opportunity to gain commercial experience which will in turn prepare them for their future career. As a host you will be providing the student with valuable pre-professional learning experiences to build their employability skills.

The program

As part of SWEP, we assess a pool of talented students and match them with organisations able to offer meaningful, practical work experience in their chosen field of study. Students must go through a competitive recruitment and assessment process before they are considered for a work experience placement within a host organisation.

It is our aim to form a mutually beneficial partnership with our host organisations. Some key benefits   to participating in the program include:

  • Access to students with specialised skills and knowledge.
  • Enthusiastic, innovative workers who can contribute new ideas based on their academic learnings.
  • Increased brand exposure to the broader student population.
  • The personal satisfaction of helping students progress in their career paths.
  • Short-term talent to assist current employees, especially on shelved non-business critical projects or tasks.
  • Full support of the BEL Careers Team during the work experience placement.
  • Insurance cover is provided by UQ for a maximum of 30 working days per calendar year.
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What is involved

The program has been designed to benefit both the student and the host organisation. The following expectations have been put in place to achieve this:

  • SWEP runs each semester so students can be hosted in either the winter semester break or summer semester break (usually in June and July and again from November to February).
  • Work experience can run for two to four weeks which can be a solid block of time on a full-time basis during the semester break or be on a part-time basis during the semester, ideally no less than two days per week. 
  • Students ideally need to be assigned to a worthy project (or projects) where they can apply their academic knowledge as well as develop new skills. As a guide, no more than 20% of their time should be spent doing general day-to-day administration tasks such as filing and photocopying.
  • Students are required to have a point of contact, which is a current member of staff who will be available to them for queries and guidance. There is no expectation that the student will be work shadowing that individual for the whole of their placement (contact with a number of staff is beneficial and encouraged).
  • Students can participate in a maximum of 30 days of unpaid work experience per calendar year.
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Tips for running SWEP successfully within your organisation

  • Offer challenging assignments that benefit your organisation while providing beneficial work experience for the student.
  • Connect students to other professional employees, clients or stakeholders (as appropriate) for professional growth.
  • Provide supervision and mentoring to maximise the students’ learning experience by offering guidance and identifying developmental opportunities that strengthen and enhance the students’ skills, strengths and performance.
  • Evaluate the work experience. This is a great learning experience for the student and if they have exceeded expectations, please consider writing them a LinkedIn referral or offering to be a professional referee. If there are areas of improvement, please feel free to provide constructive feedback throughout their placement.
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How to get involved

Students will be matched to host organisations based on their current studies, ideal career path and performance during the formal recruitment process. Once matched, the host organisation will be notified by the BEL Careers Team and encouraged to meet the student for an informal meeting before the placement begins. This will happen during the second half of each semester.

To find out more about SWEP, please contact

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