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Image: Louise Bardwell

Image: Louise Bardwell

Time to suit-up

13 August 2020

8 minute read

Last year, as a part of The Australian National University (ANU) exchange program, ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE) student, Hannah Green, studied at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. After finishing her studies, she went on a backpacking trip around Europe. While in Tuscany, Italy, she submitted short resume videos to participate in CBE’s flagship internship program.

“It was a little challenging to complete my application in a hostel room while backpacking, but it makes for a great story when I think of how I started my journey with the CBE Internship Program,” shares Hannah. She interned with the University’s Work Environment Group (WEG) and concluded her internship journey as the undergraduate recipient of the CBE Outstanding Intern of the Year award for Semester 1, 2020.

At WEG, which maintains a range of Work, Health and Safety (WHS) measures for ANU staff and students on-campus, Hannah was tasked with conducting a scoping project to investigate wellbeing programs in the workplace.

“The main aim of the report was to provide a clearer understanding of wellbeing in the workplace and its applicability to the Australian university sector. This goal was accomplished by defining and developing domains, elements, and key indicators, as well as identifying the gaps for further avenues of inquiry for the WEG,” explains Hannah, who is studying a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.

Following her literature review, she developed domains that will be used by the WEG to structure their wellbeing program in the future: Physical health, psychological health, work arrangements, social relationships and personal growth.

Studying at CBE and completing a CBE internship has reinforced and taught me strategies to constantly innovate. My problem-solving skills have improved, as well.

Having interned only once before with a Member of Parliament (MP), Hannah found her experience with the WEG very different and enriching for her professional development.

“My work experience with the MP involved drafting media releases and conducting administrative work, while my recent experience with the WEG involved a much larger project, which I enjoyed, and involved setting goals and achieving them in time. This internship experience not only improved my professional environment skills, but exposed me to the university sector beyond academia,” she explains.

According to Hannah, one of the biggest experiences that shaped her professionally was the shift to working from home due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

“It really changed how my day looked, from going into the office to figuring out how to work remotely and coordinate with my mentors and colleagues. I chose to see this as an opportunity to learn to use new technologies and push myself to deliver excellent work,” she asserts. 

During the course of her internship, she feels her presentation and communication skills improved significantly.

“I delivered my findings to senior management at WEG and to the Australasian University Safety Association. My report has been read by staff at other universities and will provide them greater clarity on the complex topic of wellbeing. Professionally, this internship has opened doors for further research opportunities and has improved both my technical and soft skills,” she notes.

Congratulating Hannah on her award, Associate Professor Vinh Lu says this recognition is well-deserved. 

“We’re very impressed by her talent and pursuit of excellence in this internship. In the new virtual internship environment, she was willing to go above and beyond to complete sophisticated tasks that were at the Honours-year level. I look forward to connecting Hannah with some CBE alumni currently working in HR, management consulting and FMCG, the areas that Hannah is exploring for her future careers,” says Vinh, who is CBE’s Associate Dean (Advancement and Engagement). 

Every summer, Hannah runs her business Green Frogs Swim School, which provides swimming classes for beginners as well as squad style lessons. She attributes her annual entrepreneurial rise to her CBE courses, but now also to her experience at WEG.

“Learning to run a business is challenging at times and requires you to look for creative solutions to problems you encounter. Studying at CBE and completing a CBE internship has reinforced and taught me strategies to constantly innovate. My problem-solving skills have improved, as well. My economics and international business classes have taught me to ensure my business has a strategy and organisational goals, and processes to maintain its success,” she shares candidly, adding that her marketing courses have helped her develop a creative social-media presence.

As one of the CBE Outstanding Interns of the Year, Hannah received a prize of A$500, which she used to purchase a blue suit that means more to her than just a new outfit.

“For me the suit symbolises how working hard really does pay off and how I can succeed in whatever field I choose to go into. I worked in a role that I did not have a lot of experience in, but was willing to give the project my best shot and accept feedback along the way,” shares Hannah, who will be wearing her new suit at an upcoming vacation program with the Federal Government, which she recently secured following her stint with WEG.

 

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.

 

Updated:   13 August 2020 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team