These days, obtaining relevant industry experience is a vital part of a student’s education. It gives you a snapshot of what it is like working in your future career, and prepares you for a more seamless transition once you graduate.
Master of Geoscience student, Abhijith Harikumar, credits an internship at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, via UWA’s Work Integrated Learning program, with giving him the opportunity to put into practice everything that he’s learnt throughout his degree in a real-world environment.
“Working as a State Land Officer, I honed my teamwork skills, interpersonal skills, technical reviewing skills and organisational skills. I had a wonderful opportunity to experience the way in which the Australian government departments worked as well as the work itself.”
Abhijith says that apart from the important practical experience he gained, he also expanded his skillset in a different area of Geoscience by working with the department’s Contaminated Sites Team:
"I got to learn the basics of how to assess a potentially contaminated site, specifically checking for health and ecological risks, and how such contaminated sites are managed. I visited sites and took samples to check if contamination, such as asbestos exposure, was present at the site. I also analysed water for contamination at MINIM Cove in Fremantle, where the sampling work was carried out by members of the RPS Group who are local environmental management experts."
Abhijith says he choose to pursue his master’s degree at UWA because of its “unique study plan” and vibrant campus life. Studying Geoscience means he has been able to extend his studies in the classroom out into the field, conducting his research on various field trips.
"Field trips are mandatory for all students studying Earth Sciences because you improve your practical skills in analysing and interpreting real-life geological resources in order to solve geological problems."
Having completed his master’s degree, Abhijith is currently applying for graduate-level positions within the Contaminated Sites/Environmental Science sector as well as geological jobs within Australia. He recommends all students do an internship or work experience of some sort to round out their qualifications:
"Being able to add work experience or an internship to your resume is always an added bonus. It makes your application stand out from the rest of the cohort."
Are you interested to see where studies in geoscience could take you? Find out more about the Master of Geoscience at UWA.