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Dream of Interning on an Island? Behind the Scenes on Beautiful Hayman Island

Dream of Interning on an Island? Behind the Scenes on Beautiful Hayman Island

June 24, 2021

Have you ever dreamed of interning on an island? ICMS Bachelor of Event Management student Sophie Burgess was lucky enough to make this dream a reality, securing an internship on Hayman Island. This tropical Australian island in the Whitsunday archipelago is home to the Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort and now also temporary home to Sophie, as she completes her compulsory ICMS Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Placement.

Sophie found her placement with help from the ICMS WIL team. At ICMS 100% of degree students complete two trimesters of internship experience – as an integral part of their course. This can usually mean up to nine months of real-world experience, which sets ICMS graduates apart from others when it comes to seeking full-time employment. The WIL team help students prepare for their placements with guidance on important career building skills such as: how to create a professional resume; presentation tips; and interview practice sessions. They also work alongside students to help them find their desired company in which to complete their internship.

Internships can be city-based or exotic and, in Sophie’s case, can even mean interning on an island. Some students have, in pre-COVID years, completed their placements overseas. Disney in the USA has been a popular choice for ICMS students!

After receiving the news that she would be doing her internship on beautiful Hayman Island, Sophie packed her bags and prepared for the move.

“I was very excited to move and intern on an island but was also nervous to leave Sydney and think about what was to come…I had a lot of different emotions, sad to be leaving my friends from back home, but overall excited or a new experience,” said Sophie. “Everyone on the island is so nice and welcoming…I kept meeting so many new people from all different backgrounds and departments which made settling in a whole lot easier”.

Sophie found ICMS through her high school career teacher and was impressed by ICMS’ focus on specific industries. She was drawn to the Bachelor of Event Management degree.

“The events industry interested me, and I really wanted to learn more,” said Sophie.

Her main role as an intern on the island is to work on events, including:

  • Weddings
  • Family dinners
  • Birthdays
  • Travel groups

Sophie says that her favourite tasked from her internship on an island has been the setting up and styling of the events.

“I have the opportunity to interact with guests everyday, I’ve met and served some really wonderful people including Aria Award winner Anthony Callea and Tim Campbell, who are such lovely people”.

As COVID-19 continues to impact the hospitality events and tourism sectors, many Australians have found that travelling regionally has become much more attractive then ever before.

“It (COVID-19) has definitely made me aware of how quickly everything can change and how we have to adapt. The events industry has changed so much and we now have new events and ways to communicate through the internet in a larger way than before, which I think is remarkable,” said Sophie.

Sophie’s advice for interning on an island or anywhere in the events sector is: ‘just go for it!’.

“The experience is so worth it, islands are always looking for staff to take on the challenge…island life is different to the mainland, but the lifestyle and view is definitely worthwhile”.


See yourself interning on an island?

Undergraduate students complete two (2) consecutive Work Integrated Learning subjects during their placement. This equates to approximately 26 weeks, excluding term breaks. Students may continue their placement during breaks, which is usually undertaken with the one industry partner, subject to agreement with partners. No other subjects are usually completed during these study periods and tuition fees are not payable for WIL subjects.

This subject provides students with the opportunity to apply theory and skills gained during their course of study while gaining professional experience to enhance their employability and to apply the theory and skills learnt while studying in a professional setting.

On placement, students are engaged with an industry and community partner on a continuing basis throughout the study period, with the student partaking in and contributing to the company’s day to day activities and projects.

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