Humans of RMIT: Akshay Jose
I’m Akshay, the President of the RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) for 2021.
My journey at RMIT started as a student and soon developed into becoming an advocate for creating better experiences for students.
Being a social work student, the mental health and wellbeing of individuals is something I am extremely passionate about. It has absolutely been a challenging year for a lot of students, especially studying from home. The impact isolation can have on one’s mental health is significant. Moving forward in a post-covid learning environment I want to make sure students are feeling supported in their university life.
My ambition for RMIT is to make improvements on the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement arrangement.
When it comes to education, I believe that hands-on experience is one of the most valuable skills students can gain from a university.
It gives students an idea about how the industry operates and allows them to gain exceptional networks and relationships that they can build on from their university studies. So it is essential that we look at ways on how we can improve the structures and systems in the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement area so that RMIT can provide better placements and better internships for our students.
More than ever, students need industry relationships and networks to get a head start in their future careers once they graduate, and this in an important issue especially now that COVID has disrupted a lot of placement opportunities and the way we operate our internships and placements. This is where I think the University needs to focus on building those connections and relationships and ensuring that students have the highest quality when it comes to the placements that they get from University.
By consulting the students, before and after placement, can help with future learning and the design of placements. We can do this by inquiring about what their expectations are and what they hope to get out of placement before they go into their chosen industry and asking them about their experience once the placement has concluded.
Providing students with support before they embark on their placements is also extremely important. Educating students about their work rights and the support networks that are available for students.
While RMIT’s Industry partners also play a big role in placements, it is important that RMIT calls out its commitment to offering this experience.
Students need to be prioritised and at the forefront of consultation when it comes to learning experiences so that we can create much bigger, more creative and more student-led experiences for our learners.