Tourism Programs - Work Integrated Learning

Work Integrated Learning

The Tourism Cluster provides a number of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities for students in our programs. WIL activities can help our students bridge the gap between theory and practice, increase their understanding of tourism, hospitality and event industries as well as increase their employability. WIL activities can also help students to understand possible career paths and help them to plan their careers strategically.

WIL activities can include in class guest lectures from industry, site visits to attractions, destinations and events, case studies and problem based learning activities with students working closely with industry on real problems. The Tourism Cluster offers placement opportunities for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students about to finish their degrees. For information on these opportunities please see our FAQs below.

Work Integrated Learning Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Work Integrated Learning Placement?
A Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement is a real-world experience providing opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge. WIL placements provide an opportunity for reflection, developing a deeper understanding of the relevant professions or related sectors. WIL is considered to be an integral part of an academic program, and a valued and rewarding experience for students as it helps them make links between what they learn and what they can do.

Students gain skills such as communication, negotiation and team work on WIL placements, along with learning about the workplace and the industry sectors.

How do placements work alongside my course?
For TOUR3009, placements are a mandatory component of the course. It gives students the opportunity to expand their professional and industry awareness, and informs an aspect of the overall professional development and career planning processes, that act as the foundation to these courses.

TOUR7040 Professional Experience course includes a compulsory Group Placement. The group placement is an industry focused/project based consultancy, the group project component will underpin the course objectives. TOUR7040 is restricted to students in their final semester of study.

TOUR7999 is a new postgraduate course that will be offered for the first time in semester 2, 2016. TOUR7999 will be an elective course for final semester Master of Tourism Hotel and Event Management students; entry is competitive and restricted to 15 students per semester. The course will involve an individual industry work placement.

There are two types of placements; individual and group placements, what is the difference?
The individual placement will provide an opportunity to work in an organisation within the tourism, hospitality and events sector.

For TOUR3009 students only:
There are four different streams available. They include Industry Placement (IP), Reflection of Current Employment (ROCE), and Executive Shadowing Program (ESP) and Group Placements.

Industry Placement (IP)
The individual placement will see you do entry level tasks within an organisation from the hospitality, events and tourism sector.

Reflection of Current Employment ROCE
To be eligible for ROCE, students are required to currently be working 15-20 hours per week in a relevant industry. You will need to complete your placement at higher duties, if completing a ROCE placement.  

Executive Shadowing Program (ESP)
The Executive Shadowing Program (ESP) provides a select group of high achieving students the unique opportunity to ‘shadow’ executives and to observe organisational functioning at a strategic level. This mentoring style program gives students the opportunity to observe organisational operations from a more senior viewpoint, and should serve as a major benefit in the students’ professional development, as they progress through their career.

Group Placements
The group placement gives you an opportunity to experience working in teams, similarly to real world jobs. You will be given a real industry issue to tackle as a group.

The group placement students will also attend a weekly group placement support session. The support session starts by week 3 or 4 and is designed to guide and support the effective implementation of the group placement outcomes.

To find out more about our Group Placements view our video

Before Placement

What is the process around WIL placements?
Once you have enrolled into the TOUR3009 Professional Development course, you will need to attend a one hour information session. The date and time will be confirmed. At the information session you will be given an interview date and time. You will need to bring your resume and a passport size photo of yourself to this interview. 

Within the first few weeks of the course starting you will be given an allocated placement into group placements or an interview will be arranged for an individual placement. 

It is expected that you will dress professionally for your interview.

What is expected of me during my WIL placement?
You are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours throughout your WIL placement. You will be expected to manage your time and negotiate your hours for placement in a professional manner, just as you would in any job. You will be expected to be flexible in negotiating your hours. At all times, you are representing UQ Business School, so all communication is to be of a professional standard, including emails.

Can I arrange my own WIL placement?
Yes. Please note, this will need to be approved by UQ Business School. This can be discussed further in your interview, where you will need to bring details of your own placement to discuss.
There are procedures and policies that need to be addressed, including insurance cover during your placement.  

Can I start my placement before the course begins?
Yes, firstly you will need to have arranged your interview with Debbie Hathaway or Nicky Scarvelis, interviews will be arranged at the information session. You will be matched with a host company once you have completed all the necessary paperwork before the course begins. You will need to be enrolled in the course and will need permission from the Undergraduate advisors. Please contact the Course Coordinator to start the process.

Can you look at my resume and provide me with feedback? 
During the first few weeks of TOUR3009, there will be a lecture about resume writing.

There are also supporting documents on Blackboard, the BEL Student Employability Team website, and also Student Services CareerHub. You should make yourself familiar with all these resources. Please understand resumes are a personal thing and there is no one answer, it is a personal preference.

How should I dress for my interview?
It is expected that you will dress professionally for your interview. Please see the following resources for hints and tips on dressing appropriately.

Watch the How to Dress for Career Success video.

There is also the Women’s Guide to Professional Dress for an Interview video.

What are the selection criteria for individual placements?
Students undertaking Individual Placement (IP) will be required to have:

  • Minimum of twelve (12) months paid work experience.
  • Currently working 15-20 hours per week to be eligible for Reflection of Current Employment (ROCE). You will need to complete your placement at higher duties, if completing a ROCE placement.
  • Extensive volunteering experience over a period of twelve (12) months.

Domestic experience will be regarded highly in the allocation of placement process.

When will I expect to hear which WIL placement I will be completing?
Our intention is for everyone to be placed before week 3 of the course.

I have been allocated an Individual placement, what do I do now?
Please wait, and you will be matched with a company as closely as possible to your degree and interests. You will receive by email the information needed to set up an interview with the host organisation. Please research the company and the role (a position description will be provided) prior to your interview. They do not have to take you in their business; you need to earn your internship.

The following are a few useful videos you may like to watch:

How to Ace an Interview

Preparing for your client interview

What if I am not successful in the interview process with a client?
It depends on the reasons. You will receive feedback on why you were unsuccessful and alternative arrangements will then be made with you.

What are the photo consent and code of conduct for?
This means that if your photo is taken on your placement or at the MILE event, that we can use it in our marketing materials etc.

As a UQ Business School representative, we expect that you will provide a high standard of excellence to our industry partners. By turning up late, or not completing tasks, or respecting the manager’s direction, you are not representing UQ Business School to our expectations. The code of conduct should be downloaded from BlackBoard, signed and handed in at class before placements begin.

What do I need to do to be covered for insurance?
Once you are approved for placement, UQ will secure this for you.

What insurance am I covered for?
Please see the attachment under insurance here

During Placement

What if I don’t like my placement?
You are not able to negotiate either individual or group placements. We work hard to take your interests into account, and we appreciate your understanding in this matter. All placements provide valuable professional development opportunities and we recommend maximising these experiences.

Can I change to another internship or project?
No, once this has been confirmed in your interview, it cannot be changed, unless in extreme circumstances.

What happens if I’m having problems with my placement?
If you have concerns about your placement, above and beyond changing your placement or time management, please contact your placement coordinator.

I don’t want to work in food and beverage, I want to work in front office, why can’t I?
Most front office roles take more than the time of your internship to train you. With this in mind, most companies are unwilling to offer placements in front office. This also applies to a number of other areas in the hotel and event roles offered.

My friend is working in a place that I want to, can I go there?
This is not possible unless there is availability. This may be the perfect opportunity to learn independently and be your own person.

I am sick, what should I do?
Similar to a normal job, please call the industry host and alert them to your illness. If you are running late, please also notify your industry host.

I am critically ill and can’t return to my placement, what should I do?
Please let your Course Coordinator know, and we will discuss with the industry partner, your health is very important. You will need to provide a medical certificate.

If I have been physically or verbally abused, what should I do?
Report this immediately to your Course Coordinator. This is not acceptable and UQ Business School is here to support you in this situation.

I am not learning what was discussed in the host agreement, and I feel like free labour, what should I do?
Please let your Course Coordinator know.

The client has stopped my shifts and I have not completed my 80-100 hours, what should I do?
Please let your Course Coordinator know.

If your host is unable to give you the full 80 hours, they must state this on your timesheet when they sign off on your placement hours.

The client wants me to sign forms that I don’t understand, what should I do?
You should not have to sign any forms as part of your course, outside of the UQ Business School internal forms (these include the code of conduct and photo consent). If this occurs please let your Course Coordinator know.

Who should I contact if I have a question?
In the first instance, you need to check these FAQ’s and Blackboard for supporting documentation. 
The Course Coordinator will address all other enquiries in class. If you have a question, often others will have this same question. This will save multiple students asking the same question. Key contact details are provided at the end of the FAQs and on Blackboard.

The other members in the group are not pulling their weight, what can I do?
Part of working on your project is learning how to manage working with other people. It is expected that you manage your group’s problems in a professional way, by having meetings and discussing any problems that arise. However, if things get out of hand, please notify your tutor (group placement support) or Course Coordinator.

After Placement

Where do I source a timesheet? Does it need to be signed by a manager? At the beginning, weekly or the end?
Source a timesheet on the course Blackboard site. The timesheet needs to be filled out by students throughout the placement and signed by your supervisor. It is also required to be submitted as an appendix in your final assignment.

How can I find more details about my assessments?
There are full details of your assignments on your blackboard site (under the assignment heading on the left margin). This includes FAQs about your assessments.

What is the reflective process that I need to record and where?
Please refer to assessment section of your course Blackboard site.

For TOUR3009, I don’t think I’ve experienced a critical incident. What do you mean by ‘critical incident’?
A critical incident can be positive or negative. These are events or ‘light bulb moments’ which occurred during (or as a result of) your work placement, and have impacted you in an important (critical) way. Essentially, a critical incident makes you ‘stop and think’ and question further; it has significance for you and/or has an impact on you. Most importantly, it’s personal – this is something you need to feel and experience for yourself. For example, assisting someone with a task or project would not be considered a critical incident. However, if as a result of this interaction/experience you change your personal opinion about something (eg, career choice, management style, attitude to work), then this event could certainly have significance for you and be classed as a critical or important incident.

What type of writing style should I adopt for the reflective portfolio for TOUR3009?
For most parts of your reflective portfolio, you can write in ‘first person’ because you are reflecting on what has happened to you. However, it does not mean you can completely ignore an academic writing style, nor be overly judgemental.

Why do I have to attend MILE for TOUR3009 when I am from another country and not looking for a job here?
There are quite a few reasons. Firstly, it will give you the opportunity to converse with the type of people who may be interviewing you for a job. Learning to be at ease with those people is very important when applying for jobs. It will also give you an idea of the type of jobs available, and you will be able to discuss in detail what the job entails and what the employer’s requirements are. Some of the companies represented will be multinational and may be able to assist you in your search for employment in your own country.

How do placements work alongside my course?
For TOUR3009 placements are a mandatory component of the course. It gives students the opportunity to expand their professional and industry awareness and informs an aspect of the overall professional development and career planning processes, that act as the foundation to these courses.

Key Contact Information

  • BEL Student Employability Team client liaison is Debbie Hathaway. Email: Phone 3346 0629
  • Group placements coordinator is Nicky Scarvelis. Email: Phone 3346 7094
  • TOUR3009 Course Coordinator is Dr Rosemary Adsett. Email: Phone 3346 7092
  • TOUR7040 Course Coordinator is Dr Jie Wang. Email: Phone 3346 0758


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