Kevin took advantage of the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program to gain a year of industry experience at GSK during his studies.
Here he shares his story aiming to inspire like-minded students.
How did you decide what course you wanted to study during high school?
I had the pre-requisites for either engineering or science but I’d also studied commerce in Year 10 which had really interested me. In the end my brother, who was already studying undergraduate, gave me some really good advice about business and introduced me to information systems which helped me make my final decision.
What aspects of studying Information Systems have you enjoyed most?
In my second year I started to break out of my comfort zone a bit by going to networking events and different types of extracurricular activities which really added to my university experience. My coursework also included activities like developing an app, working on assignments that mimicked a real life working environment, writing up business reports and industry proposals which I really enjoyed.
Tell me about your volunteering experiences.
During my first year I was given an opportunity to appy for the role of a School Network Access Program (SNAP) Champion. As my high school was a partner with RMIT I had benefited from this program as a high school student, so I wanted to give back.
I was lucky to score a job with the team where for the first two years, my role was to talk about my study experiences and guide and facilitate workshops. I am now back with the team working whilst I finish my final year.
I was also very fortunate to go to Vancouver in February to compete in an international competition called CaseIT, which was hosted at Simon Fraser University. All these experiences have definitely given me an edge and helped me make the most of my time at RMIT.
Tell me about your work integrated learning (WIL) year at GSK.
I was extremely lucky to secure a 12 month placement working at GSK, a science led global healthcare company based in Abbotsford which I loved. I worked as an IT associate and looked after project based work. It was a great opportunity to apply what I had been learning in the classroom in a real life business.
A great highlight was a big project I worked on which involved producing a digital metric system for the Australian Executive Team to track KPIs in their weekly meetings. They were previously using a print based system and our job was to transform it into a digital interactive project. I learned recently that this project has been implemented across other departments as well as in global teams. It was really rewarding to see the roll out.
How has your program prepared you for life and work?
I’m in my final year and I have been lucky enough to secure a graduate role with PwC working in their Technology Consulting service line which is perfect as it’s what I wanted to do.
I enjoy working with people developing IT strategies, delivering digital solutions and creating value. I’m still trying to process it all – it’s been a pretty exciting time and definitely it’s been quite a rollercoaster.
Do you have a last piece of advice for students considering Information Systems?
My advice is that you will get rejected quite a bit for graduate jobs, that’s where being resilient comes into play. Push forward and don’t be disheartened, it is very competitive. You just have to keep trying and you eventually will get the opportunity. You’ll get to where you want to be.
Story: Rita Truong