19 January 2018: University of Canberra student Andrew Duck will spend a month in North America training for a prestigious graduate role with IP Australia, the Federal Government’s intellectual property agency.
Mr Duck is bound for Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he will spend a few weeks honing his newly-learned IT skills at software company Pegasystems Inc before returning to Canberra to take up a 12-month position at IP Australia.
The opportunity is the result of a partnership the University struck with IP Australia and Pegasystems last year.
The program was designed to provide ICT students with the key skills and opportunities required for the next generation of IT professionals.
The initiative saw the University embed Pega’s University Academic Program (UAP) curriculum, created to help meet increasing professional demands and improve job opportunities for graduating students, into its ICT courses.
It means University of Canberra students develop skills demanded by some of the world’s largest global companies and help ensure they are well-prepared for professional IT certification. The program was delivered to 22 students last year and due to its success, will continue this year.
Mr Duck, who completed a Bachelor of Engineering in Network and Software Engineering (Honours) in 2017, described the trip and job as an exciting opportunity.
“It’s not every day you get offered a graduate position,” he said. “I’m treating it as a golden opportunity to see what I can do and to extend my skills in the workplace.”
Mr Duck attended Trinity Christian School before applying to study at the University of Canberra in 2014. He said going straight from school to University was a big change, but one he relished.
“I really enjoyed my classes and learning from my lecturers, in particular Robert Cox, Dat Tran and Kumudu Munasinghe,” he said.
Mr Duck said he also enjoyed the flexibility the University offered. He completed an internship at XTEK’s Canberra office as part of a Defence Engineering Internship program, which connects third and fourth year engineering students with defence industry SMEs. He was able to continue working on the project during his final year of study.
“This internship also helped me land this position as I presented the results of my project at my interview with Pega,” he said.
Acting Dean of the University’s Faculty of Science and Technology Professor Elisa Martinez-Marroquin said the partnership meant graduates were ready to hit the ground running.
“Graduates will be exposed to a variety of real-world settings that will let them practice what they’ve learned in the classroom and develop critical skills,” she said.
“I’d like to congratulate Andrew on securing the inaugural placement with IP Australia and wish him well for his career in the IT industry.”
Vice President of Pegasystems Asia Pacific Luke McCormack said he was looking forward to working with Mr Duck.
“With mentoring from senior staff, international travel and the opportunity to develop his expertise implementing real digital transformation projects, the program will equip him with the skills we believe are essential for our growing workforce in this field,” Mr McCormack said.