Rebecca, early 20s
"There are a lot more opportunities out there than most people imagine – I’ve discovered that ICT has helped open up doors to careers that I never thought existed."
Rebecca, what do you do?
I’m a second year student at Deakin University, studying a Double Degree – Bachelor of Business Information Systems/Bachelor of Information Technology.
As part of a scholarship program, I recently completed the first half of an internship with Target, which I’ll complete next summer. For the most part, I worked on web development, which complements my studies, but I have also gained some exposure to other business areas, like marketing, which was great.
What did you do during your internship?
I was involved in two major web projects – one was setting up a website for Target’s suppliers, and the other was the planning an update to Target’s main website.
I also did a lot of work developing a stocktake page on the Target intranet. I worked with the web developer to introduce functionality like notification of stocktake dates and procedures, a countdown timer, and links to other areas of the Target intranet.
This hands-on experience in web development gave me a good insight into the work involved in a website before it goes live. This involves testing the basic wireframe of a website to ensure the finished site is easy and intuitive for visitors to navigate. We also analysed how visitors interact with the Target website – which pages they visit, how often, which areas they visit on a certain page, and which pages attract repeat visits.
What did you get out of your time in the workplace?
Right from the start everyone treated me as one of the employees, not as ‘the work experience student’.It was great to be “hands-on in a real workplace - right from the start I was involved in staff meetings
Working with the marketing and IT departments helped me get a much better idea of how ICT fits into the bigger picture within a large company.
As an added bonus, I found that when I got back to uni I had more direction and I was more focused on my studies. Lectures are a lot more interesting when you can see how they apply in the real world!
Did you always expect ICT would play a role in your career?
While I loved the IT subjects I studied in Year 12, I was planning on studying nursing after high school. But I attended Deakin Uni Open Day and I really liked the look of the Business Information Systems/Information Technology course. I thought it provided a balance of subjects – it didn’t concentrate on just programming or business. It seemed a well-rounded course, so I applied.
I found the course challenging at first, as I didn’t have any programming experience, and I wasn’t coming from a web development background, but I stuck at it!
Finally, where do you see ICT taking you in the future?
I can really see myself working in marketing in the future, especially in e-commerce space where I can use my skills in both business and ICT/systems. And it’s great to be able to say that I’m definitely in the right course to get me where I want to go.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying or working in ICT?
I think if you enjoy what you do, you will do it well. Thinking of ICT careers specifically, I would say there are a lot more opportunities out there than most people imagine – I’ve discovered that ICT has helped open up doors to careers that I never thought existed!
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).