The University of Adelaide has established this internship program to develop professional attitudes and skills in our graduates. We have done this in response to indications from industry bodies that they wish to support the development of the future workforce.
The advantages of an internship program are, from the perspectives of the:
- can appreciate the nature and demands of work in different sectors
- can develop a clear vision of where they want their career to go
- can observe and encourage potential future employees
- can contribute to the development of the human resources in agriculture and animal science
- knows that nothing supports academic learning better than seeing practical application
- wants its students to have a clear vision and enthusiasm for their career as this makes them better learners.
The internship is a core (i.e. compulsory) component of the Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences program and an elective for students in the Bachelor of Animal Sciences program. It is assessable as part of the Level 3 course AGRIC 3500WT Professional Skills in Agricultural Science III.
- Areas of work experience
- agricultural or animal research
- agricultural / horticultural production (including practical farm experience)
- veterinary work and livestock production
- rural communication
- food processing
- wildlife and natural resource management
The work can be paid or un-paid.
Successful completion of professionally-related, certified training courses may also be considered as part of the internship; e.g. TAFE courses, First Aid, and ChemCert
- How much work and when?
Our students need to complete 12 weeks of work experience during their 3 year degree program with a minimum of 3 weeks in any particular area.
We want to be as flexible as possible in the delivery of this program to fit in with the needs of both the employers and interns. So it is possible to take internships either as:
- block periods during non-teaching periods; or
- day-a-week during semester fitting in around scheduled courses; or as
- weekend work
The non-teaching periods of the university are typically (exact dates change each year):
- 15 week summer break from Mid November to end of February
- 2 week mid-semester break in April
- 4 week mid-year break over June-July
- 2 week mid-semester break September - October
- Finding Work
You are expected to organise your own internship arrangements. It is very important to notify the university of a proposed work placement beforehand by submitting a completed Professional Experience form to Ian Nuberg (for Agriculture students) or Wendy Hamood / Judy Tucker (for Animal Science students). This form has important insurance consequences.
Submitting this form is also a good time to discuss with Ian, Wendy or Judy the appropriate content of the Reflection you will need to write after the experience (see section on Evaluating Work).
You will also receive the Evaluation of Student's Performance form that the employer will be asked to complete. In addition you will receive a stamped-addressed postal envelope to make it easy for the employer to return it to the university.
The internship is an integral and assessed part of the level 3 course Professional Skills in Agricultural Science. This is a compulsory course for agriculture students and an elective course for animal science students. The successful completion of Professional Skills relies on completion of the internship, so you should take care to complete your internship before the beginning of Semester 2 in the third year of your program. Failure to do so may mean you will not graduate on time with everyone else in your year cohort.
If you are having problems finding appropriate work placements then consult either Ian Nuberg (agriculture), Wendy Hamood or Judy Tucker (animal science); BUT DO NOT LEAVE IT TOO LATE!
- Evaluating Work
Your intern experience will be evaluated in two ways:
- from employer's Evaluation of Student's Performance;
- from your own Reflection on what you have learnt from the experience
Both of these evaluations contribute to your mark for the course Professional Skills in Agricultural Science.
These reflections are compulsory component of assessment; but they will also prove invaluable when you write up your curriculum vitae for job applications. They will also help you in job interviews when the interviewer asks you (as they always do) to give an example that you have some desirable skill or attribute.
The Reflection that you need to write as part of this evaluation will depend on the type and duration of work experience. Here are some indications or what is expected.
- Refleciton Content
p>The purpose of the Reflection is to demonstrate what professional skills and knowledge you have developed through the work experience.
For example, here is a short list of various specific skill categories that you may consider:
Tractor and implement use Record keeping Selecting sires and female animals for breeding Use of handtools Handling money Identifying and applying feed rations Determining crop maturity Front-line customer relations Operating irrigation equipment Calibrating and operating spray equipment Specific job-related computer programs Manure management Harvest work Making hay or silage Agricultural engineering skills Livestock handling Communicating effectively with co-workers and managers Laboratory skills Identification of weeds, pests and diseases Tree planting and vegetation management Glasshouse and nursery skills
When describing the skills acquired be as specific as possible. For example: with ‘livestock handling' were you, mustering, marking, drenching, milking?; with ‘tractor and implement use' were you seeding, slashing, driving a chaser bin?; ‘engineering skills' may be fencing, concreting or maintain / repairing equipment.
You may also consider more general skills or personal attributes that have been developed or exercised such as these:
Taking initiative Responsibility Patience Leadership Tactfulness Effective team-working Punctuality Diligence in following instructions Reliability
When you indicate in your Reflection that you have developed any of these skills and attributes you should be very specific. Tell the story how you learnt to drench sheep; tell the story how you had to show great patience.
Your Reflection should also demonstrate what knowledge you have picked up from your internship. If you are working on a farm then give details of the size, soils, climate, enterprise mix, seasonal calendar of operations, post-harvest and marketing arrangements. If you are working for an organisation give details of their core and ancillary operations, corporate structure, place in the market.
For each period of employment you should keep a diary of daily activities and present this along with this reflection which illustrates your understanding of the environment of the enterprise / industry, its key operating principles and a critical analysis of activities.
- Reflection Length
The word count of your reflection should correspond with the duration of the work experience. The following table provides a guideline for minimum word counts.
Duration of internship (weeks) Minimum word count:
Duration of internship Minimum word count: 1 - 3 weeks 1,000 4 - 6 weeks 2,000 7 - 9 weeks 3,000
Remember this is your only opportunity to demonstrate how much you have learnt from your work experience. You are expected to be very specific in showing what specific skills you developed, what personal attributes you exercised, what specific industry knowledge you learnt. So don't just stop writing when the above minimum word count is reached. The more thorough your reflection, the better mark you will earn.
All reflections should be submitted as soon as possible after the work experience; while it is still fresh in your mind. They must be written and presented in a formal, professional manner with an accompanying Assessment Cover form.
For Participating Employers
Thank you for your interest in hosting an intern from the University of Adelaide. While we are asking our students to find their own work placements, we also want to offer the opportunity for employers actively seek interns. It is a great opportunity for you to observe and encourage future potential employees or contribute to the development of your industry. Or your maybe your interest is to satisfy a temporary gap in your workforce; that works for us too.
So this page provides information about how you can get on our Employer Register, your considerations about payment and insurance, and requirements for participation.
Employer Register and Linking up with Students
By being listed on our Employer Register we will work to match the right student to your organization.
The full register of participating organizations will be made available to students. Students will then indicate their choices and reasons to the Internship Program Coordinator. If the student is deemed suitable for the position the contact names and details of the selected organization will be released.
After that it is the student's responsibility to make contact. We encourage (but do not require) participating organizations to undertake a formal interview with potential interns as a normal part of the process.
How to register?
Telephone: (08) 8313 0527
Mobile: 0421 144 671
Fax: (08) 8313 7109
We need to know as many of the following details as possible:
- Company Name and physical address
- Contact person and their email and / or phone number
- Nature of the type of work offered
- Period and/or frequency of work
- Whether the work is to be paid, unpaid or negotiated?
- Any requirements of the intern (e.g. driver's license)
How to seek out interns?
It is quite likely that there are specific times of year or tasks for which you can take on an intern. We can advertise specific intern opportunities on notice boards and student email lists. The contact details won't be posted, so students will still need to go through the Internship Coordinator, and you won't be flooded with unnecessary requests. Of course, the earlier the announcement goes out, the more likely you will attract a suitable intern.
Payment and insurance
Whether the internships are paid or unpaid will be an arrangement between the you and student. However, be aware that many students need paid employment to support their studies and will naturally be attracted to paid opportunities.
Provided the student has organised the signing of a Professional Experience form (see below), unpaid interns are covered by the University of Adelaide's insurance policy. Paid interns will be under the insurance policy of the employer.
Requirements for employers
Employers will be required to sign a Professional Experience form with the student outlining the nature of the work and whether it is paid or unpaid.
At the end of the internship, the employer will be asked to provide a brief assessment of the student's performance [Employer Assessment form]. The student should provide you with a copy of this assessment form along with a stamped postal enveloped addressed to the University of Adelaide. A faxed or emailed copy of this form is also quite acceptable.