When Jodie Lee moved from South Australia to join one of the UNSW Co-op Scholarship Program's newest streams, Advanced Mathematics, she knew she was joining the largest and most prestigious program of its type in Australia.
The Co-op Program, which has celebrated 30 years of supporting Australia’s most employable graduates, has almost 150 industry partners sponsoring the program, including Westpac, PwC and Woodside Energy, collectively providing almost $7 million every year to support some of UNSW’s top students.
Miss Lee said she was excited to study at UNSW and gain industry experience in Sydney that would otherwise not be available to her.
“I am proud to be offered a place in this prestigious program and am determined to make the most of this opportunity by embracing all that the university and Co-op offers,” she said.
At the Program's 2018 induction to welcome this year's new scholars, Scott Farquhar, the co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian (and alumnus, Business Information Technology 1998), offered insights and echoed the keen industry support of the Program.
“Through the Co-op Program, students get their hands dirty and solve real world problems. It takes students beyond just the theory they learn in the classroom, and sponsoring gives us access to bright minds who will one day be the next generation of leaders,” Mr Farquhar said.
The UNSW Co-op Scholarship Program offers UNSW’s best students industry training, professional development, mentoring and financial assistance. The Advanced Maths and Data Science and Decision streams were added to the Co-op Program in 2016 and 2017, respectively, in response to industry demand for graduates in these disciplines.
Entrepreneur and Olympian, Jeremy Rolleston (alumnus, Business Information Technology 1991), epitomises the calibre of UNSW Co-op alumni. After studying Business and IT under a Co-op scholarship, he enjoyed a successful career in Australian financial markets. An all-round achiever, he also trained in the Australian Rugby Sevens squad and represented the country in bobsledding at two Olympic Games. Now a technology entrepreneur, he said: “You can’t get a better program that shows you in practice what working life is like.”
Speaking from the Al Jazeera studios in Doha, Qatar, where he is Head of Digital Growth and Business Development, Mohammed Zaoud (alumnus, Marketing 2006) said: “Co-op gave me exposure to pioneering companies and agencies ... I am currently working on what is seen as the fastest growing media brand in the Middle East.”
Program alumni enjoy an invaluable head start to their careers, often taking their first graduate role with a sponsor company. Many remain highly engaged in the Program, as mentors, sponsors and ultimately employers. As Kate Stone (alumna, Accounting 2001), Director at Credit Suisse, said: “Credit Suisse is now a sponsor of the Co-op Program and it gives me great delight watching the new Co-ops join us and be very successful in what they do.”
Scott Farquhar’s advice to scholars? “Be different, back yourself, and develop a lifelong love of learning.”
For more information on the UNSW Co-op Program, visit coop.unsw.edu.au.