Bachelor of Arts student Josh Martelli is proof there’s plenty of opportunities around every corner at UWA. You just need to go for them.
Majoring in Political Science and International Relations, and Asian Studies, Josh has travelled to Washington DC, worked for the Defence Department, and liaised with local politicians, all in his last two years of university.
Last year, the third-year student was successful in gaining a spot in the Perth USAsia Centre Washington Placement Program through Career Hub. This saw him intern for 10 weeks and complete two intensive classes, while staying at the University of California Washington Center. He was even provided with a $1,000 travel grant from UWA, which went towards his airfares and travel costs.
“My internship was at the East-West Centre, an Asia-focused think-tank created by the US Congress. My two classes centred on technology policy and international development. Through this, I gained professional experience in the workplace as a research intern, while also building networks with colleagues and fellow classmates in Washington DC, which I have maintained to this day.”
Upon returning, Josh found himself another internship to get stuck into.
“In the midst of COVID lockdowns, I saw an opportunity to work for the Department of Defence on UWA’s CareerHub page and applied. After a long selection process and nervous video interview, I was the preferred candidate. I worked full time from November to February in Perth and was lucky enough to be sent to the Canberra HQ twice, with all flights, accommodation and meals covered.
“Through this opportunity I was able to gain invaluable experience in the Australian public service and further develop the skills necessary for my future career. I have also been fortunate enough to build strong networks across the organisation and learn many things from my colleagues and boss. Moreover, my contract was extended, so I will continue to work part-time in my team for another year, alongside my studies.”
Apart from these Career Hub opportunities, Josh has explored the benefits of Work Integrated Learning (WIL), which is available in every degree at UWA.
“Through WIL, I was able to apply for the Parliamentary Research Program as a third-year unit in my degree, adding a practical component to my degree. This sees me working with a Member of Parliament, a university supervisor and an academic mentor to complete a 3,000-word report. My topic is Innovation Capture, and specifically what policies and actions the WA Government can undertake to leverage and promote innovation in WA. This unit will greatly enhance my research and organisational skills, and will be a useful experience heading into my honours year.”
Want to follow in Josh’s footsteps? You’ll find a range of opportunities at UWA from the moment you arrive. Josh took up programs to boost his employability from his first year of study, like taking part in the Student Ambassador Leadership Program (SALP) and running as Freshman Representative of the UWA Politics Club.
“Through SALP, my public speaking skills improved by attending external events, such as school presentations and expos, and representing the university to a variety of stakeholders. I also gained confidence in my ability to effectively communicate across several mediums to a wide range of people.
“I would encourage other students to make the most of the various opportunities available at UWA to further their development and job prospects. By using these services and taking these opportunities, you’ll develop skills necessary for the workforce.”
To learn more about how UWA can prepare you for your first job, visit our Employability website.