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Local students woo potential employers

Antony Perry

1 September 2017: It’s speed dating, but not as you know it.

More than 100 local and international university students flocked to the University of Canberra on Thursday night intoxicated by the prospect of finding their perfect professional match.

Get Connected @ UC saw Canberra-based students woo representatives from local businesses in the hope of securing an internship or, better yet, employment.

The program is part of the ACT Government’s ACT Student Exchange program. It is a partnership between CSIRO-Data61’s student job platform, the University of Canberra, and the Canberra Innovation Network.

Students from the University of Canberra, the Australian National University and Canberra Institute of Technology courted 40 companies and startups.

Between rendezvouses, students also met government and industry mentors to gain feedback and learn how they could improve their interview and presentation skills.

Glenn Hassett, Senior Manager of Innovate Canberra, said the need to connect local students with industry was greater than ever.

“The ACT Student Exchange initiative plays a vital role in providing industry connections for the students who are underpinning Canberra’s $2.7 billion education and research sector,” Mr Hassett said.

“The speed dating events are a great way to meet the future talent pipeline and give students a chance to work with businesses.

“The students participating in Get Connected events are a strong example of the quality, diversity and talent available right here on our doorstep.”

The event was well received by local students, with nearly 300 people signing up for the opportunity to meet their match. Almost 150 students made the shortlist to attend the event last night.

Businesses in attendance included those which are part of the Canberra Innovation Network, co-working space provider Entry29, Engineers Australia, and CollabIT, a company helping individuals create new business partnerships.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Deep Saini said he was delighted to host the event on campus.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to pitch their skills to local startups and industry leaders, gain a potential job, and practice what they’ve learned in the classroom,” Professor Saini said.