CareerTrackers program sets students up for real world success

Two Indigenous students from the University of Wollongong (UOW) have made their mark in the corporate world after completing paid internships at two high-profile organisations where they’ve made a lasting contribution.

Sam Brown and April McMillan received their internship opportunities as part of the CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program which partners with UOW’s Woolyungah Indigenous Centre.

Studying a Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance, Sam recently completed his third internship at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), where he assisted with significant high-level analytical projects, exposing him to the corporate sector and adding great value to his studies and career aspirations.

Originally from Cowra and more recently Merimbula, the 20-year-old High Distinction student received a Dean’s Merit Award from the Engineering Faculty in June, 2017, placing him in the top 5 per cent of students for the faculty at UOW. He says the Internship program has given him a great competitive advantage.

“It’s given me a great opportunity to see a lot of the economics and maths that I’m studying put into practice and provides me with more in-depth knowledge than other students.

“They (RBA) task you with relevant research that they want to know; it’s new, no one’s been down that road before, so when you work there you really are contributing to their work, you’re not just a novel intern.

“It takes a lot of work but the opportunities are always there if you go looking for them,” Sam affirmed.

April McMillan, a first year Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies student majoring in Digital Media recently completed her first internship as a videographer at QantasLink.

She took initiative during her internship to enhance her understanding of how corporations use animation in video content. This led to her animations developed during the experience to be included in the airline’s image library for future use.

The 19-year-old Tamworth student moved to Wollongong to undertake her university studies and says the Internship Program opened up an opportunity she otherwise wouldn’t have had.

“The CareerTrackers team taught us how to do a corporate interview, what to wear, what to say and they told us how to create our own personal brand, really sell ourselves as a personal brand and how to be in a corporate position,” April said.

She made a significant contribution to the airline after flying to Cairns and Horn Island in Queensland to film an Indigenous community for a NAIDOC Week video.

“In those trips we would go out and film the standard operating procedures within the manual using that footage from those regional ports and I would go and turn those into training videos for the manual. They’re going to be releasing their newest manual in October, which will have my videos in it as QR codes.

“It’s definitely a unique experience, I never would’ve got this job like this if it wasn’t for CareerTrackers. I didn’t know there were jobs in the corporate world for digital media students and I would definitely recommend this to other Indigenous students,” April said.

Both students will be doing another paid internship in their respective companies over the summer holidays, further enhancing their industry experience and setting them up for prospective longer term employment opportunities.

Currently there are 30 UOW students participating in the CareerTrackers Program. Students have previously interned at Qantas, Westpac, Telstra, Lendlease, Clifford Chance, Indigenous Business Australia, IAG and QBE.

For more information, or to register for the program, visit

About CareerTrackers
CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program is a national non-profit organisation that partners with the University of Wollongong’s Woolyungah Indigenous Centre to create structured internships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The Program aims to prepare students for leadership in the workplace and community, whilst also increasing the representation of Indigenous people in the corporate sector.

Students participating in the CareerTrackers Program have the opportunity to complete paid internships, helping them gain insight into the corporate sector and develop skills related to their degree. The Program continues to grow, with over 1354 students involved in 2017.

Words by Sarah Vickery. Originally published on UOW Newsroom