CareerTrackers: A 10-year commitment to nurturing future Indigenous leaders

Not quite content with just a university degree, the CareerTrackers interns are spending their holidays interning with IAG, putting into practice their studies at one of the largest companies in Australia.

“My experience at IAG has proven invaluable to my success at university and personally my confidence”, says Sam Rasmussen, an intern currently in his 5th spell at the company.

Sam, studying a Bachelor of Arts in History, Politics and Philosophy at the University of Wollongong, is currently in his final internship at IAG and, rather than using his holidays to take a break, makes the daily commute from Wollongong to the head office in Sydney.

ANdyCornishIndigenousScholarship_400x300The opportunity for Indigenous students like Sam to put into practice their university studies comes from IAG’s commitment to reconciliation.

In 2013, the company launched their first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and the second was launched in 2015. As part of the RAP, the company has committed to a minimum of 22 interns in 2016 and 2017.

In the July intake – where there are typically less interns than in the summer – the interns are working in 4 different cities across Australia, across the different areas of the company, getting valuable experience that will put them a step ahead of their fellow students when they go back to university.

“At the start of my internship I was really nervous as this is my first taste of the corporate environment and I didn’t really know what to expect. I quickly realised IAG has an extremely good culture which is due to the very talented and diverse employees,” says Mitchell Barbuto, a first time intern at the company.

Studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Wollongong, Mitchell has been working in the procurement team and says that the experience he is getting is invaluable. “I was lucky enough to work with the procurement team over these four weeks and the experience I gained working within this team was invaluable and directly relates to my Commerce degree.”

For interns like Sam and Mitchell, the opportunities provided with IAG are invaluable in their personal and professional development, and as beneficial as the program is for the interns, the program is equally beneficial for the company.

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The presence of the Indigenous interns in teams across the country allows employees to get a better understanding of Indigenous culture. The reciprocal nature of the program means the program will continue to grow and thrive, and the company and interns alike will continue to benefit from the program for many years to come.