19 July 2017

Industry Placement Program Q&A with Fernando Alves

Name: Fernando Alves
Degree: Master of Commerce
Major(s): Project Management
Industry Placement Program (IPP) Company: Business France

1. Tell us about what you worked on during your placement. Any exciting projects?

After an exciting and challenging interview process, I was given an internship with the Tech and Services department at the French Trade Commission here in Sydney, a great experience which combined consulting, lobbying and business development. Since the beginning, I was put on two different projects and directly worked alongside and reported to the Trade Advisor.

The first project was to assist a FinTech company who was seeking to enter and increase their activities across the Australian and New Zealand market through local partnerships. The second project was helping a major French port with their market entry strategy and B2B meetings in Australia.

2. What was the best thing about your IPP experience?

Exposure to a different range of projects, client led discussions, interviews, report writing and best practice market assessments.

3. What was your biggest achievement during the placement?

It was a challenging placement at first, having to juggle the three days a week of work and four units of study. However, it was well worth the investment as I was exposed to international consulting, a plethora of projects and cross cultural work ethics.

This experience allowed me to increase my ability to deal efficiently with a wide range of external contacts. It also allowed me to improve my communication and influencing skills and gain good knowledge of industry and business issues in both Australia and France.

4. What are your career goals and how did the IPP help you get closer to them?

The IPP allowed me to discover my passion and career path, and it allowed me to learn a lot about the industry I would like to work in. It also provided me with professional connections and career skills.

5. What was the biggest learning from your IPP experience?

My biggest learning from the IPP was a set of new skills, from new software program to different types of analysis to project management techniques. These in turn helped me with my university units as they complemented each other.

6. Why would you recommend the IPP to other students?

The IPP was a journey which provided me industry exposure and experience which allowed to be offered a trade advisory job. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to gain real work experience and improve their resume and references. The IPP is an excellent opportunity to build professional connections and to learn new skills.

The Industry Placement Program provides Business School students the opportunity to work for leading firms as part of their degree. To find out more and apply, click here.

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