FORMER Sale student Grace Benson is living her dream working as a people and culture officer at the Richmond Football Club, partly made possible though a university internship she completed while at Swinburne University.
Coming from a family with strong ties to sport and business undoubtedly gave the former Sale City netballer a good grounding in both, and allowed her to combine those passions with her appetite for building relationships.
But Grace firmly credits her success in securing a job at Richmond with the skills she learned during internships at Linfox’s Thailand office and at the football club, and has since been honing her people skills and refining her knowledge of project management.
Since completing Year 12 at Catholic College Sale in 2015 and studying business and human relations at Swinburne University of Technology, Grace’s career has gone from strength to strength, and she says she will feel eternally thankful for the opportunities she received and the skills they helped her acquire.
“It’s been an amazing journey for me, pretty crazy really, being from a regional town, and it may not have happened this way if I had not had those opportunities,” she said.
“I think some of it was being in the right place at the right time, and I’m very glad I chose the paths I did after school.”
Opportunity is one thing, but Grace’s focus and positive personality played their part.
“One of my bosses did say that my initiative was seen as a really good thing, and probably secured the position for me,” she said.
“It’s something I’ve always thought was important, from my job at Cosmosis in Sale when I was at school, to school and university, and to now — just offering to help and being willing to do more.”
A country girl at heart, Grace said she was loving being immersed in the Melbourne lifestyle but was happy to get back “home” to Gippsland when she could, and during lockdown periods when she was able to and didn’t have to go into the office.
With Victorian universities soon accepting mid-year intakes, Grace said it was a good time for students and their parents to try to make informed decisions on prospective courses and career paths.
As of this year, Swinburne University of Technology has rolled out its 2021 Work Integrated Learning program, offering students enrolled in all undergraduate degrees real industry experience (made up of industry or community projects, professional placements or internships).
The initiative aims to give students the opportunity to be involved in genuine industry experiences as a core study component during their courses, ultimately helping them develop job-ready skills that enhance their confidence and prepare them to succeed in the future workforce.