UNSW Professional Development Program celebrates nomination for Study NSW award

International student career skills program marks 10-year anniversary with recognition for its role in helping students integrate into Australian workplace culture.

Professional Development Program Alumni Champions

A group of Alumni Champions were named as part of the UNSW Professional Development Program's 10-year anniversary celebrations.

UNSW Sydney’s Professional Development Program has been recognised with a nomination for a prestigious Study NSW Award.

The program, which helps international students gain essential workplace skills and undertake valuable work experience, was named one of three finalists in the Education Providers category of the NSW International Student Community Engagement Awards.

The UNSW Hero program, which focuses on entrepreneurship, industry exposure, and project development has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the same category.

The nomination comes as the Professional Development Program proudly celebrates its 10th anniversary at UNSW – with more than 1500 students participating to date.

The program introduces international students to the Australian workplace culture. It is designed to help develop workplace communication skills, gives students vital recruitment tips, teaches employer expectations, and provides the opportunity to gain essential employment skills through a 50-hour practical workplace experience on the UNSW campus.

A celebration event for the 10th anniversary of the PDP was held last week at UNSW, featuring a host of former students who benefited from taking part in the program and some of who who have now been named Alumni Champions for their ongoing participation in the program’s alumni panel.

Many current students were also in attendance and they heard UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs, explain the importance of the PDP.  

“As a university, we strive for excellence in teaching and research and through that we aim to have a positive global impact. Building your skills and knowledge and preparing you for your careers is part of that plan,” he said. “We also hope that you go away feeling that the badge of an education at UNSW is something that gives you an edge."

Ian Jacobs

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs, addresses current students and alumni of the Professional Development Program.

“We want you to come to UNSW and feel that you're getting the most out of every aspect of your time with us. Whether it's in your lectures or your labs, where you're doing your assignments in your interactions with teachers and other students here on campus, or in getting a head start in your careers.”

More than 70 professional offices around the UNSW campus now host PDP students as part of the 50-hour work placement component of the program.

And Wattle Hill Capital private equity associate Sean Xu, who completed the PDP during his time studying at UNSW, explained how vital it had been in his professional development.

“The Professional Development Program has really helped me set up the foundation for my career. Without UNSW, I wouldn't imagine myself having the chance to work at some of the top investment banks, commercial banks and now at a private equity fund,” he said.

“Without the PDP, I wouldn't have all the necessary skills to teach me how to survive in Australia workplace.”

Meanwhile, UNSW students Nayonika Debashish Bhattacharya and Divya Jagadeesh, both from India, have been named as finalists in the Higher Education category of the NSW International Student of the Year awards.