Ms Sharon Smith1, Ms Brooke Young1, Ms Anna McLeod2, Ms Manorani Guy3
1Monash College, Melbourne, Australia, 2Navitas, Melbourne, Australia, 3Asian Student Accommodation
Graduate employability continues to be a hot topic across the education sector. Research shows that international students choose study destinations based on work rights, expected job outcomes and global portability of degrees. However, international students face challenges in securing work during their studies and following graduation. These challenges are becoming more pronounced given the growth across the sector. This is placing increased pressure on student and careers services and impacts on the overall student experience.
The Victorian Working Group on International Student Employability (VicWISE) was formed in May 2016. It is a collaboration between the International Student Advisory Network of Australia (ISANA), National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS), Council of International Students Australia (CISA), as well as the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne. Along with these groups, interested university representatives and higher education providers have joined forces to help raise awareness and take action to improve international student employability support and outcomes.
This interactive session will provide an overview of the challenges international students are experiencing and discuss the imperative for professionals to extend the capacity of the sector and community to help international students secure employment. Examples of cross-sector leadership, advocacy and communication to key stakeholders on the benefits of employing and making work-based experiences available to Victorian international students will be discussed. Participants will share resources available, employer feedback, and ways that organisations have worked successfully with international students to develop solutions. Ideas and actions that help increase access to volunteer, paid work and for-credit internships will be explored. Finally, workshop participants will be able to share best practice examples that exist in their own institutions.
Sharon Smith is currently the WIL Service Manager at Monash College, managing the delivery of over 1200 work integrated learning placements for Monash University Arts and Business Faculties. She has worked in the international education sector since 2001 and have extensive knowledge and experience in policy and program development and delivery, as well as research for international students at the City of Melbourne and the National Union of Students. Sharon has led collaborative programs, such as the Student Welcome Desk at Melbourne Airport, and worked in partnership delivering research, programs and events with universities, peak bodies and student associations to address challenges and issues faced by international students and the education sector. Sharon was the VicTas ISANA president from 2012-2015 and has been involved in delivery of ISANA national and state conferences, events and program, government submissions and reports since 2005.
Manorani Guy was born in Malaysia with Chinese/Indian heritage. She is the founder and director of “Asian Student Accommodation” (ASA) and “Asian Student Education” (ASE) in Melbourne and holds a degree in Psychology, Business Management and a Diploma in International Education. She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in student accommodation/welfare and has developed her own in-house program to cater to the needs of international students in the 21st century within her business. She began her journey as an international student herself in India at the age of 14 and migrated to Melbourne in 1987.Coming from a multicultural family background and having studied in another country, she brings deep direct cultural experience that has been one of the primary shapers to her life. Mano shares a deep passion for all aspects of international education and during her spare time volunteers for the International Student Advisers’ Network of Australia (ISANA) a non-profit organisation. She is currently the ISANA VIC/TAS President and leads a team of 12 professionals who are volunteers on the ISANA committee. These members represent major divisions of international education. She sits on several committees and is involved in numerous projects/activities relating to international education in Victoria and Tasmania. Mano believes collaboration is the key to effective use of resources and strives to connect people and organisations with the primary goal of improving the international student experience and to improve research in international education sector. Cooking, eating out, live shows, leadership development, intercultural communication, living a sustainable and healthy lifestyle– these are her passions. She enjoys being with people and learning new things about the amazing world around her.