The Student Work Experience Program (SWEP) puts highly motivated mid-year students from The University of Queensland’s (UQ's) Faculty of Business, Economics and Law (BEL) into unpaid work experience programs 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 a pre-professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work experience relating to their chosen field of study.

The program

This program is a recruitment campaign facilitated by the BEL Student Employability Team (SET) to provide mid-degree BEL students with the opportunity to gain relevant industry experience in the form of unpaid work experience.

Under the Student Work Experience Program (SWEP), we will assess a pool of talented students keen to undertake industry work experience placements and match them with organisations able to offer meaningful, practical work experience in their chosen field of study. Work experience is not intended to be something which only benefits the students involved. It is our aim to form a mutual partnership and give back to the host organisation through the students.

Some key benefits for your organisation during this program include:

  • Access to students with special skills and knowledge.
  • Enthusiastic, innovative workers who can contribute new ideas based on their academic learnings.
  • Increased brand exposure to the student population.
  • The personal satisfaction of fulfilling a professional responsibility in helping the students progress in their career paths.
  • A way to gain short term talent to assist current employees especially on shelved non-business critical projects or tasks which will provide a valuable learning experience for the student.
  • Full support of the BEL SET team during the work experience placement.
  • Developing a good relationship with UQ for future opportunities.
  • Students go through a commercially based recruitment process. This means that BEL SET personally screen every applicant before they are considered for a work experience placement within a host organisation.

What is involved

The aim of the program is to provide the students with relevant industry experience to help them to set a career path related to their studies, while being a mutually beneficial experience for both the student and the host organisation.

The following expectations have been put in place to achieve this:

  • SWEP is run in each semester so students can be hosted in either the summer or winter vacation.
  • Work experience will run for two to three weeks which can be a solid block of time or be spread over the vacation period. 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).

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, etc. (as appropriate) for professional growth.
  • Provide supervision and mentoring to maximize 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 in giving constructive feedback in the form of an exit interview

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 BEL SET and encouraged to meet the student for 15 minutes 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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Expression of interest

If you are available to participate in this rewarding program, please complete the EOI form.

View EOI form