RMIT’s work integrated learning partnerships gaining national success

RMIT’s work integrated learning partnerships gaining national success

RMIT’s multifaceted work integrated learning program with marketing agency DataSauce has gained national recognition for building graduate success.


  • RMIT worked with DataSauce, a digital marketing agency, to scaffold an award-winning, multifaceted industry partnered learning program to build career ready graduates.  
  • In the almost four years RMIT has partnered with DataSauce, students have gained exposure to industry through WIL partnered projects, internships and guest lectures.  
  • Students praised RMIT and DataSauce for these WIL opportunities for the strong benefits it had on their learning journey – building their professional skills, experience and network and reducing the gap between university and industry.  


Work integrated learning (WIL) is a term for learning activity that encompasses a range of practical activities where students use their academic learning in a real-world context to gain practical experience. This helps to bridge the gap between university and industry.

One example of RMIT’s WIL industry engagement is with DataSauce, a digital marketing agency who worked with RMIT’s Kristy Moore, Team Leader, Work Integrated Learning, to scaffold a WIL industry engagement program within the media, advertising and business degrees that recently saw DataSauce win the national Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) Local Hero Award. 

RMIT’s collaboration with DataSauce is a case study in multifaceted industry engagement to build career ready graduates.


RMIT and DataSauce’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program

In the almost four years the School of Design and School of Media and Communication’s WIL team have worked with DataSauce, they have created a WIL program that aims to challenge, excite and mentor students in a supportive environment across marketing, design and data analysis. This is achieved through implementing several WIL projects with DataSauce that encompasses internships, WIL partnered projects and guest lectures. 

"Our students benefit from a range of industry engagement activities which enable knowledge and skills to be applied in a work-based setting, feedback to be received from experienced professionals in the same field and networks to be established that are aligned to their career aspirations. Students tell us these experiences and insights ensure that they are more prepared and more confident when making the transition from their studies to their chosen professions." explained Kristy. 

three people smiling Kristy Moore, Team Leader, Work Integrated Learning; Poppy Andrews, former DataSauce intern; Laetitia Shand, Manager L&T Partnerships and WIL

Since DataSauce's time at RMIT, 10 students in the communication, design and business disciplines have interned with them in high demand areas of digital marketing, design and data analysis. This is a higher-than-average number of internships for an industry partner and an organisation of their size (32 employees).

The internship program includes a 20-day intensive WIL DataSauce Academy Program that provides students with the opportunity to learn and experiment with every aspect of digital marketing through hypothetical briefs. This results in students gaining highly sought-after skills in customer relationship management, Google and social media with a creative thinking lens.

Siann Nutting, Media and Communication alumni and former DataSauce intern. Siann Nutting, Media and Communication alumni and former DataSauce intern
This internship took a very strategic approach to building my practical knowledge. Starting with having me practice on mock briefs took some of the pressure off and allowed me to build confidence in a safe supportive learning environment

Jonty Richardson, a former Business student, praised RMIT and his course for presenting him with the opportunity to undertake such a comprehensive internship program that left him with a wealth of valuable skills in strategic thinking and creativity. Upon returning to his classes, Jonty was able to apply his knew found knowledge and skillset to his assessments which saw him achieve stronger results.

I was taught the strategic approach for media buying [and] within two weeks I was building ad campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands, which was an opportunity I didn't think I’d ever get while still studying

Undertaking WIL activities also presents students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge by learning new professional skills as well as industry and disciplinary expertise.

Sian Nutting, a former DataSauce intern and alumni Media and Communication student, explained the internship experience put the pieces of her knowledge gained at university together and presented her with professional skills. This resulted in a growth of confidence in herself and her abilities. 

"From the beginning [of the internship] we hit the ground running, learning all the ins and outs of digital channels, how to form strategies and communicate with clients," said Sian Nutting. 

From these WIL opportunities RMIT created with DataSauce, eight of the students in the internship program have gone on to gain graduate employment with DataSauce and two were able to gain employment straight out of university. 

Recently, the Bachelor of Advertising degree has partnered with DataSauce to introduce a WIL partnered project where students work in teams to create and present a comprehensive campaign that includes three stages: a creative brief campaign, a campaign rationale and an evaluation plan for a DataSauce client of their choice.

RMIT’s partnership with DataSauce in creating a multifaceted WIL program is an excellent example of the scope of WIL and involvement with industry a program can utilise as part of their pedagogy.


Student testimonials on the benefits of WIL

WIL activities that give students the opportunity to work on real-world campaigns with clients allows students to put theory into practice. Jonty praised the great foundation of knowledge he had gained in his course, but explained the internship was when his knowledge and skills expanded. 

The exposure to industry also enriches students with practical knowledge and understanding of work culture and critical skills in problem solving, teamwork and professional judgement. 

Daniel Nolan, Business (Marketing) alumni, can attest to this as he gained valuable career skills around managing clients, budgets, strategies and revenue targets and improved his time management and scheduling skills over his time in the internship program. 

Research into WIL has shown undertaking tasks in the workplace gives student work self-efficacy and enhances their knowledge and skills. It also gives students an understanding of the key elements of success and a greater sense of self-confidence which results in reduced anxiety around graduating and stepping into industry.  

Jonty says prior to his internship he had a lot of stress around his future and was unsure if he would gain employment as junior marketing roles required experience. Thankfully, on top of the personal and professional development, the internship gave the experience needed to put on his CV and get his foot in the door of industry. “By having the internship on my resume, I knew I had a slight edge over other applicants.”

Another former RMIT student, Poppy Andrews praises DataSauce for providing her with a vast range of in demand skills as it made her well prepared to find employment and transition into industry. 

Jonty Richardson, alumni Business student and former DataSauce intern Jonty Richardson, alumni Business student and former DataSauce intern

This exposure to work environments coupled with industry skills and soft skills gained from WIL makes it one of the strongest methods of learning to create career ready graduates.


Story by Khanya Sibeko, Communications Coordinator

18 November 2022


18 November 2022


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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.