One of the biggest gripes of employers is that ICT graduates come out technically qualified, but lack the “soft” skills such as oral communication, ethical values, and interpersonal skills.

The University of Melbourne has teamed with the Australian Computer Society to introduce a two-semester elective in the Master of Information Systems (MIS) and Master of Information Technology (MIT).

As well as gaining technical skills, students learn soft skills to help them succeed in the workplace.

In the first semester, students are teamed with an ACS member who acts as their mentor, providing guidance and sharing their experience.

In the second semester, the students are placed in a 12-week internship to put their new skills and knowledge into practice. Some students even gain employment from their internship.

The focus of the program is on increasing the overall employability of the students and in return, it is hoped the students pay it forward and become mentors themselves upon graduation.

Abhijeet Madra

One student, Abhijeet Madra, was partnered with ACS member Joe Woodhouse.

“Joe not only gave me advice and guidance on searching for a job, but helped me understand the cultural differences, workplace expectations, and what professionalism means in the ICT industry in Australia,” said Madra.

“Being an international student, I doubt I would have found a job so quickly without his guidance. After graduation, I applied for the same mentor program run by the ACS for the University of Melbourne students to become a mentor.”

If you are interested in either being a mentor or would like to discuss an intern placement in your workplace, contact Derinda Smith at the ACS.