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Double win for employability program for international students

10 June 2020
Job Smart recognised for innovation in higher education
The University of Sydney Business School's employability program, Job Smart, has been recognised as one of the best in the world.

Developed by the University of Sydney Business School, Job Smart helps international students develop employability skills and provides local work experience in Sydney.

The program has been recognised by The Educator in their inaugural Higher Education Innovative Universities 2020  list and was announced as a finalist in the global EdTech Awards 2020 in May this year. Last year, the program received the Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Awards.

Dean of the Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell said, “We are committed to providing our students with a truly transformative education. The skills they learn putting knowledge into practice will be critical to succeeding in the rapidly evolving future of work.”

Two students at Thread Together, a not-for-profit based in in Sydney during Semester 1, 2019.

Two students at Thread Together, a not-for-profit based in in Sydney during Semester 1, 2019.

The three-phase program provides career coaching, networking events and local work experience to international students to accelerate their readiness for global recruitment markets.

This semester international students from 33 countries including China, India and Canada participated in the program. The program was run through technology platform Practera for the first time with job interviews and assessments all online.

Many students were unable to travel to campus but continued the program from their home countries. Students based in China visited the platform over 3,000 times this year.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus, this semester there was a new development with more students actively participating in the program from China than onshore in Australia.

Lucinda Crossley-Meates, Career Services Manager (Education), said, “I’m so proud our award-winning program continued to deliver genuine skill-building opportunities and community connection to peers and industry for our students who are in all parts of the world during COVID-19.”

[COVID-19] has been a real stress test of the program framework, the result being one of the highest engagement rates we’ve had yet.
Lucinda Crossley-Meates

"This has been a real stress test of the program framework, the result being one of the highest engagement rates we’ve had yet.

"This is an immense achievement for our international students, in a year when meaningful professional skill development in Australia is the most challenging it will ever be."

The three-phase program:

  • Assists students with developing CVs and building LinkedIn profiles;
  • Asks students to work in teams to perform a range of tasks for a hypothetical company, providing feedback from industry professionals;
  • Offers online coaching on all stages of the job application process including interviews and aptitude tests.

"The beauty of Job Smart is that students can complete their employability skills development from anywhere in the world through our online learning platform," said Hashendra Wijesinha, Job Smart Program Manager.

Since 2016 when the program was established, 7,952 international students have completed Job Smart.

According to the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, University of Sydney graduates were the fourth most sought-after in the world.

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