Business investment in future CEOs recognised

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 13-6-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Cultivating two-way interpersonal relationships between business leaders and students is essential to enhancing a graduate’s theoretical and practical knowledge of the corporate world, according to Notre Dame Commerce/Arts student Gemma Thomson.

With the success of The University of Notre Dame Australia’s (UNDA) School of Business Internship Program dependent on support from local and national business leaders, Ms Thomson said the relationship offered students an opportunity to apply their “youthful knowledge” to diverse industries.

Ms Thomson spoke on behalf of Fremantle Business students at the inaugural Internship Appreciation Ceremony held on Friday, 9 June.

Guests included Notre Dame staff, alumni and members of the business community who helped shape the Internship Program.

Practical internships have been the heartbeat of the Fremantle’s School of Business in providing students with an invaluable avenue to explore and develop their understanding of business and not-for-profit organisation management in Western Australia.

A review of the School of Business courses in 2008 saw fresh initiatives introduced into the curriculum; including a unit about workplace fundamentals and a series of weekly interactive presentations from major organisations and entrepreneurs.

A highly regarded component of the program requires students to secure four weeks’ equivalent employment, generally unpaid, in a position aligned with his/her studies. These are provided by businesses in the community.

Ms Thomson completed her internship at resource giant Rio Tinto’s Perth office as part of their Human Resource Business Improvement and Remuneration Team.

Impressed with Ms Thomson’s knowledge of the business sector and her ability to collaborate information effectively for company use, Rio Tinto offered the 22-year-old a full-time position as a HR Graduate Advisor commencing in October.

Ms Thomson thanked business leaders and Notre Dame staff for their continued academic and practical support given to students.

“As students, we are consistently encouraged to link our theoretical knowledge that we learn in class to examples in the business environment and this is assisted by the wonderful personal and professional expertise of the School of Business faculty,” Ms Thomson said.

“It is through opportunities such as the Business Internship Program that Notre Dame can continue to send the best prepared business students in theory and practice into Australian and international business communities.”

Director of the Beneficial Financial Group, Mr John Casey, who spoke on behalf of the internship hosts, said the company enjoyed being part of the Notre Dame Internship program.

“From my own view, it is refreshing hearing our young graduates with their exciting ideas and thoughts on how to improve our business,” Mr Casey said.

“The Internship program is particularly satisfying because it helps us enact our culture of being a good corporate citizen while engaging with our CEO candidates of the future.”

Media Contact: Leigh Dawson (+61) 8 9433 0569, Mob (+61) 0405 441 093