Peoplecorp’s pro bono HR Undergraduate program has been running for over 8 years now. In that time the business has placed over 100 undergrads into 3-month placements with our Clients to do meaningful paid work experience in the HR profession.
Through Covid and with the flip-flopping between working from home and the office, the volume of placements had decreased somewhat. In 2023, we would like to increase the numbers of pro bono placements we make in this space.
We caught up with one of our very first HR Interns, Julie Kha, to tell us a bit about her experience.
1. Can you tell me a bit about how you got involved in the HR Internship?
I believe I was part of the pilot group, so the first ever Peoplecorp Internship Program. I studied a Bachelor of Media and Communications and was in my final semester majoring in Psychology with a minor in HR. I came across a poster at University about the Peoplecorp Internship Program and the criteria was to be majoring in HR, and in your last semester. Despite not meeting the criteria, I applied and was successfully placed in an internship with Study Group for 3 months which then turned into me securing a permanent position with them as an HR Coordinator.
2. Has the Peoplecorp Intern Program assisted you with where you are now in your career?
Absolutely. It kick started all the opportunities that came after for me. The great thing about the internship opportunity for me, was that the role I was placed in wasn’t actually built yet which meant I had the opportunity and flexibility to get involved in all sorts of HR related tasks. I was lucky enough to have an amazing HR Director who supported my growth and interests.
3. Do you feel the internship provided you with a foundation to succeed in the industry?
100%. The challenge with University is that there’s all this theory but you can never see it being implemented practically whilst you’re studying. I was lucky enough to be studying my Masters degree in Commerce, majoring in HR at the time I was interning. This meant the internship gave me the opportunity to see HR theory in practice and implement my learnings in real time which I believe expedited my overall learning. It definitely gave me the experience, which led me to where I am today.
4. What were your initial thoughts on commencing an internship? Do you recall having any hesitations?
I felt really nervous about it. At the time, I didn’t have the full HR background that I was supposed to have, so I did have some reservations about whether or not I’d be a good fit. However, it was similar to securing a new job as I still went through the recruitment process with Peoplecorp and the company. On reflection, it almost didn’t feel like a rigid, process-driven program but more an experience, which I really appreciate. It gave me first-hand insight into interviewing practices, on-the job learning experiences and stakeholder management amongst many other things! My contacts at Peoplecorp were very supportive, they checked in regularly and then eventually, as I was made permanent, they “graduated” me from the program. It was definitely a great avenue to go down for a student that has no experience in corporate work or HR.
5. Would you recommend the HR Intern Program to other students starting their HR Career?
Yes definitely. I remember doing a presentation at USYD about kick starting your career and this was one of the things I talked about with the students. To this day, I still talk about my positive experience with Peoplecorp’s internship program to anyone looking to start their career in HR.
Julie is now a People & Culture Business Partner at Indue.