Industry-based projects are generally conducted in the context of a course devoted to Work Integrated Learning. They may range from market or other business research projects; analyses of business problems and proposed solutions; suggested improvements and reviews of business procedures or any other form of substantial project in which the student works in close liaison with industry. Considerably shorter in length than the co-op experience, these projects nevertheless expose students to real life industry situations and call upon students to apply their academic skills to these situations.
Deloitte Innovation Fasttrack Program (IFP)
One very successful industry based project is the Deloitte Innovation Fasttrack Program (IFP) which has been running for four years. This collaborative project and allows RMIT Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) students to assist with the development and commercialisation of live projects for the Deloitte Innovation Team.
Solve Actual Problems
Industry projects are designed to help solve actual problems or achieve goals desired by individual organisations. This requires students to be able to work with the company to identify the problem or goal, conduct research into possible solutions and assess the feasibility of each before selecting the best. Students may also be asked to design an implementation plan. Examples of projects include: improving work processes and thus productivity by 40% in a government department; increasing customers at a local restaurant by 25% and developing a new marketing plan for a retailer who was facing increased competition.
Employers participating in these projects have praised students for the thoroughness of their work, the financial benefit of the proposed solution and the freshness of students’ ideas. The projects provide strong evidence of the students’ ability to utilise their academic knowledge and skills to add value to an organisation.
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