With international students comprising almost a quarter of higher education places within Australian, one startup is making it their mission to give internationals a chance to step into the Australian workforce by breaking down misguided stereotypes and perceptions.
Funded by LaunchVic, Outcome.Life is all about empowerment and offering international students the independent advice and the help they need to plan for life after study, including assistance with internships, Professional Year Programs and collaborations with startups.
Outcome.Life Co-Founder Gerard Holland said that a lack of industry experience is one of the biggest barriers for international graduates looking to gain employment.
“The best way to get a foot in the door is through an internship, and it’s not just about the experience they gain but the confidence we see thrive in the individual; it’s an opportunity for internationals to let their skills and their personality come out.
“It also allows them to build their professional network, which can lead to more opportunities further down the track,” he said.
In 2015, 175,000 international students studied in Victoria, generating $5.6 billion for the state’s economy, but Gerard said many international students go back home after finishing their degree.
“We’re helping internationals gain permanent residency by placing them in Professional Year courses, which includes a 12 week internship and can often lead to employment.
“They make for fantastic employees as they are qualified, highly motivated, dedicated and keen to make a difference.
“In the last few months, we’ve shifted our focus to placing interns in to early stage, innovative businesses as startups are resource poor but have so much going on, the connection is a no brainer,” he said.
What success has Outcomes.Life achieved so far?
One of Outcomes.Life’s latest success stories was with Hina Kamran, a young woman from Pakistan, in her mid-20s with an eight-month old baby.
Although having graduated from Federation University Australia with a Masters in Information Systems, along with a Bachelor of Textile Engineering she completed in Pakistan, Hina was faced with the difficult task of finding employment.
Having not been placed by another internship provider, Hina’s case was passed on to Outcome.Life and the team were eager to get Hina where she wanted to go.
“We met with Hina to find out what she wanted to get out of her career, and we instantly identified that it was her interview skills that needed brushing up on,” said Gerard.
After tackling and working on this together, Hina was quick to get an internship and soon after, gained a permanent full-time position as a Data Manager & Key Accounts Support at Brown Trout Publishers.
“Despite the requirement of 5 years experience, Hina’s internship and overseas experience allowed her to get the job, and she even managed to grow the original role from casual to a full time position, after demonstrating how much of an asset she was to the company.”
The team at Outcome.Life didn’t just stop once they knew Hina had employment, but with a genuine care for her future and a commitment to her ongoing success, they follow up with her on a weekly basis, helping her overcome any difficult situations.
Alongside internships, Outcome.Life help their clients to choose the right Professional Year provider, ensuring that students not only kickstart their career, but also achieve permanent residency status where appropriate.
“Getting a degree within Australia is easy, but getting a job after university is quite difficult and even more so for internationals; we’ve found that startups are a lot more open to international interns as they think globally from day one,” said Gerard.
Also just opened is Outcome.Life’s innovation hub, a first of its kind co-working space where international students and graduates will be able to collaborate and engage with like minded peers, to get entrepreneurial projects off the ground.