Second year student Matilda Moffitt is the latest to benefit from St Hilda’s dedicated career support after landing a paid internship.
Matilda, who is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts, was offered and has accepted a position with the Victorian Government in the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR).
What makes Matilda securing a position at DEDJTR notable and unique is that it was something she had not expected nor knew such opportunities existed.
When Matilda initially approached St Hilda’s Career Advisor Kym King, she had just hoped to get some advice and assistance in finding a casual job in hospitality or the service industry.
But after spending some time discussing Matilda’s study and career interests, King mentioned a program called ‘Stepping Into’, a paid internship scheme run by Australian Network on Disability (AND) that matches talented university students with disability with roles in leading Australian businesses. A new door had suddenly appeared for Matilda.
“It all started when I realized I needed money. I knew Kym (King) was trying to make herself available to students so one day at lunch I dropped by and told her I was trying to find a small time job at a café or a supermarket somewhere,” recalls Matilda.
“We talked and she proposed this program. At first I wasn’t quite sure if it was what I was looking for but I had a look and decided it was worth a shot.
“Then she walked me through the process and DEDJTR was part of this program. They had three positions posted and you could apply for all three so that’s what I did.”
“Granted I don’t have a huge disability but if they are offering it I thought, why not.”
Being interested was one thing, but in order to secure an internship with DEDJTR, Matilda was required to go through a thorough application process, a process she says she has King and her dad to thank for getting her through.
“Kym walked me through the process and gave me advice,” said Matilda.
“When I lived in Sydney, my dad had me interview for every residential college that would take me and in Sydney all of the colleges can interview you separately, so I was used to being interviewed.”
“I think that experience combined with Kym giving more targeted job interview advice helped me get through.”
King, who has been at the College since March and on a part time basis, paid credit to Matilda and was delighted to have been able to see an opportunity and recommendation come to fruition.
“Involving two applications and two interviews, this has been a very long process for Matilda to secure this internship, so it’s really well deserved,” said King.
“It's very exciting news and hopefully it will help her gain confidence and skills going forward.”
Matilda acknowledges that without King and the careers support St Hilda’s has is in place for its students, she would not be in the position she finds herself in.
“I really can’t recommend Kym enough. This is her victory as much as mine,” a grateful Matilda said.
“I would never have heard about the program, plus I think if I had of been on my own and I had somehow heard about the program, I would have dismissed it as not what I was looking for because I started essentially looking for a shelf stacking job.
“Hilda’s and Kym King have enabled this for me. I would never have done anything like this if I hadn’t been given the opportunity.”
An added benefit for Matilda of being at St Hilda’s is that the College remains open to students during the mid-year break, meaning she does not have to find alternate living arrangements or the hassle of preparing her own meals while she in working.
“If I wasn’t at Hilda’s, working during the break would have depended on what arrangements I had and I would have potentially had to arrange my accommodation which would have probably cost more than what it was here,” said Matilda.
So while the break provides a chance for many residential students to return home, work or take a well-deserved break after exams, Matilda will send much of the next month working as a Project Support Manager.
“To start off with it’s always a little bit vague about that they want you to do because they’re not sure about what type of person they are going to get and what they’re capable of, but the way it has been explained to me is that I’m going to be given a project that requires me to check in with multiple arms of the department and write a progress report,” said Matilda.
“I have been communicating with the woman running it and what we’re going to do is, because Hilda’s is open through the holidays and still puts on meals, I’m going to stay here and essentially try and do it all before next term starts.
“If I do a good job they might offer me something ongoing, so it’s going to happen during the holidays which is great and I’m glad Hilda’s allows me to do that.
While the position is set to run up until the end of July, Matilda acknowledges that you just don’t know what doors this could open for her in the future.
“It’s hard for me to know how things will turn out but this a great opportunity to make some good and versatile connections, and because it’s a government job I think it’s going to be quite valuable,” said Matilda.
“Down the track for any other industry or company I apply for a job with, I can point to this and say I worked for this government department and it’s all very official.
As she prepares to commence her internship, Matilda is really looking forward to getting her teeth into the tasks and challenges that lie ahead with DEDJTR.
“From what I’ve heard of the project and what they want me to do, it sounds really interesting and I think it will align really nicely with my degree.”
“I think it’s going to be a really useful experience as well as a really enjoyable experience.”
St Hilda's College is a living community and residential college on campus at the University of Melbourne.
We acknowledge and pay respect to the Wurrundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the Traditional Owners of the land upon which our college is situated. We pay our respect to all the Elders of Indigenous students who call St Hilda’s home. We also acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of our community, the University of Melbourne, and the wider world.