Intern on track for career in sports
WHEN Taaj Khatkar enters the workforce she'll be one step ahead of the rest.
In January Taaj, a third-year Bachelor of Business student at Southern Cross University, began an internship with the Coffs Harbour City Council's Sports Unit as part of the Work Integrated Learning program (WIL).
It's an opportunity that's seen her working full time in managing a diverse range of sporting events ranging from the National Junior Oztag Championships, which catered to 4000 people, to the NAB Challenge Sydney Swans versus Brisbane Lions AFL match.
"It's awesome seeing an event through from start to finish. Until you see it in action and are involved at a hands-on level you don't realise how much goes into planning and running a sporting event," Taaj said.
"There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes and hiccups happen. This experience has taught me how to deal with problems that arise and given me a lot of confidence in my own ability."
The internship has also given Taaj an insight into the rigorous recruitment process - she had to apply formally and then undertake two job interviews before she was selected.
As a result she has also been employed by the council until June.
Before undertaking the internship Taaj thought she wanted to work as a functions planner, but has now reassessed that goal and admits she's hooked on sport.
"Sporting events are such a diverse and interesting area and I love the energy and excitement surrounding them. I can definitely see myself pursuing a career down this path," she said.
WIL co-ordinator Julia Caldicott said the university had enjoyed a 10-year internship partnership with the Coff's Sports Unit, providing great opportunities for students.
"These internships provide 'hands-on' experience, which cannot be fully replicated in the classroom and tests the students' career choices against the realities of the workplace," Ms Caldicott said.
"This allows students to develop workplace competencies before entering the job market, giving them a competitive edge, and ensures greater awareness of employer expectations."