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It has been a pleasure to have the professional support of Devika Solanki, Master’s student from Edith Cowan University (ECU) introduced to us through the partnership with ECU Women in Business. On her last day she was interviewed by a fellow ECU Master’s student, Dinusha Hemasiri who is volunteering with AfCAS. The interview questions and answers follow.
What Did You Expect To Achieve With This Internship?
I am completing a Masters in Finance and Banking at Edith Cowan University (ECU). The university runs a Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) program to provide postgraduate students with an opportunity to complete between 100- 150 hours of field work to gain experience and expertise in their field of study and prepare them for work in a corporate environment. This WIL programme is a perfect opportunity for graduating students to exercise their theoretical learning in real-world scenarios.
How Did You Find the Internship Experience at AfCAS?
This past semester, I completed an internship at the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services (AfCAS) and was intrigued by how the team analyzes the needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community organisations along with the aged care provider organisations who are members. From August to November, I worked with the organisation. Over the process of placement, there are some unforgettable interactions. Particularly noteworthy was that I had the chance to develop relations with professional people from various organisations. Although it was very difficult during this pandemic to visit organisations in person, I am glad I was given the opportunity to visit an ethnic specific aged care organisation and learn (as part of the field of study) about how they run their organisation including finances and administration.
What were your Learnings from the Internship?
I was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the Annual General Meeting of the Association, particularly to be involved with the financial planning and conduct of the event. Also, I participated in the preparation and conduct of an international webinar “Japanese and Australian migrant Aged Care Services and COVID-19 Response”. I also learned about financial systems including training on cyber security. I learned how to write a media release and be part of various promotional events, including Facebook and LInkedin posts, which helped develop my marketing skills, in addition to being able to meet the financial requirements of my course of study.
What were Some Highlights of the Experience?
Given the opportunity to be part of different activities, I was able to meet new people and develop contacts with seasoned staff. A perfect opportunity was to be part of an international event with speakers from Japan, Perth and Melbourne. The best part of the company is operating as a team. In reality, the company has a versatile and friendly working atmosphere that allowed me to have peace of mind. The working environment was harmonious and allowed me to be productive during working hours.
Any Other Comments?
I am very grateful to AfCAS, my supervisor Mary Gurgone, and the university, for giving me the chance to be part of the working team. Working with AfCAS has strengthened my expertise and interest in aged care and CALD organisations by gaining experience of work in a professional setting. Working with my fellow student from ECU as well as making new friends at work has been a pleasure. This is made possible by my supervisor, who is always polite and enthusiastic, on a personal level.
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