Undertaking an internship or work placement at university is such an important way to start preparing yourself and taking the right steps towards your future career. Career Services recommends that you take every opportunity to build on your experience through undertaking placements for course credits. If this is not possible, finding a paid internship might be more appropriate for you. Regardless of which best suits you, the benefits of undertaking work experience are significant. 


Your reasons for undertaking a placement or internship may vary, but some of the benefits include:

  • Learning from professionals working in the industry and asking questions from those with first-hand knowledge
  • Developing valuable employability skills by observing daily occupational tasks through shadowing (observing tasks of employees)
  • Putting your studies into practice
  • Refining your understanding of your own workplace preferences by asking yourself if the organisation or industry sector is where you see yourself working 
  • Creating new professional connections and gaining referees to use in future job applications
  • Enabling you to inform your current and future Career Development Plan

Further information on engaging in work experience is available in CDL 2 – Building Work History through Practical Experience.

Sourcing Placements

Many programs now include the opportunity to undertake a placement as a compulsory or elective component, and these are excellent opportunities to build your experience. For more information on the options available to you, please review the UniSA Student Placements and Internships page.

If you need to source your own placement or internship, consider some of the following ideas.

  • Investigate opportunities advertised by employers through their websites
  • Research professional associations online as they generally have their own job boards (for more on Professional Associations - refer to CDL Module 10 - Professional Associations), and may have work experience programs
  • Network with friends, family, tutors and lecturers as they may be able to facilitate introductions or have heard of opportunities (for more on networking - refer to CDL Module 6 - Networking)
  • Consider opportunities currently on your UniSA Program page, or available through your Program Director or Course Coordinator
  • Proactively approach potential host organisations (cold calling)
  • Use popular job search sites to learn about various companies that may also consider hosting students for placements or internships. A number of these are available at the UniSA Finding Work page, including UniSA CareerHub
  • Use professional networking sites such as LinkedIn to network, and source suitable opportunities
  • If you need some tips to find your own internships or placements in your preferred discipline/s, please visit our Self-Help Career Resources for networking advice in the first instance
  • You may find some of Career Services' workshops helpful to attend. These are available through Events and Workshops
  • For individualised careers support and advice in this area, services are available on the Career Advice page

Applying for Internships and Placements

If you have found placements or internships of interest, you may be required to complete an application, which often involves having a resume and cover letter. Here are some things to consider: