Work-integrated learning—or WIL—is a modern approach to education where students apply their academic skills and knowledge to real-world environments.
WIL placements can include internships, fieldwork, long-term projects, work placements, simulations, entrepreneurship, and much more. Each of these opportunities will prepare you with vital skills for your future career.
For example, if you’re undertaking an engineering degree, you might have the opportunity to work side-by-side with industry professionals in an internship position. During your internship, you might help staff plan and prepare for a building project.
You’ll Develop Crucial Hard and Soft Skills
Throughout your WIL experience, you’ll pick up important skills—including those closely relevant to your future career and those that could apply to multiple career paths.
For example, during a clinical placement, you will learn skills highly applicable to medicine, nursing, or midwifery, such as performing patient-centred care or taking a patient’s blood pressure.
You’ll also pick up soft skills that will prepare you well if you decide to change your career path—such as problem-solving, project management, interpersonal skills, and much more.
You’ll Enjoy Direct Mentoring from Industry Leaders
Your WIL opportunity will put you in touch with industry leaders who can offer specific guidance and support as you work towards your future career.
Some of the role models you build relationships with may eventually become an employer or guide you towards other exciting employment opportunities.
You’ll Learn More About Your Future Career
Gaining real-world experience in your industry of choice will provide you with invaluable insights about your future career. These insights may help you decide whether the industry is right for you—and whether or not you’d like to change your path.
For example, if you’re studying law, you might practice in a simulated courtroom environment. Through this experience, you may learn if the pressure of the courts excites you—or if you’d rather redirect your goals.
You’ll Enhance Your Resume
Adding your WIL experience to your resume will show future employers that you are dedicated to and knowledgeable about your industry.
Your enhanced resume will also prove that you have real industry experience—placing you well above several other applicants. This single addition to your resume will bring you far closer to securing the job.
You’ll Create a Usable Portfolio
Along with an enhanced resume, your WIL experience will allow you to begin building—or expand upon—your portfolio of work.
Portfolio pieces created in a real-world setting (and potentially for real clients) will hold much greater value to a potential employer than school projects.
Let’s say you’re a graphic design student and have enrolled in a placement at a local studio. During your placement, you’ll likely assist with or create a design for a real client—a design that will become an invaluable addition to your portfolio.
Work-integrated learning involves developing job-ready skills within a relevant setting, through internships, simulations, work placements, and other hands-on environments.
Enrolling in a WIL program will prepare you for your future career by helping you develop hard and soft skills, form connections with industry experts, and build a portfolio to use in job interviews.