UQ students in the heart of Queensland resource management

14 Apr 2021
Caitlin Losee
UQ graduate Caitlin Losee, who was swiftly employed in the Queensland Government after her placement in 2018

Environmental management students are seizing the opportunity to be placed in the heart of the state’s resource management, through a partnership with the Queensland Government.

University of Queensland Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) students have been working on significant projects within the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, kick-starting their careers through a sought-after student placement program.

Graduate Caitlin Losee completed her placement in 2018, with the Queensland Government’s then-Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME).

“I gained more out of the program than I could have ever imagined,” Ms Losee said.

“Originally, I decided to get involved with UQ’s industry placement program as the projects on offer connected so well with my favourite university courses.

“Working on-the-ground with the key planners and decision-makers, I had the opportunity to foster a diverse network of professionals, who were all willing to share their learnings and experiences with me, and offering to improve my skills.

“I gained so much more confidence in my abilities – I finished the program feeling ready and prepared to graduate and begin my professional career.”

She didn’t have to wait long, with Ms Losee’s placement soon leading to a paid position.

Caitlin Losee“The program ultimately led to me securing a position in the Queensland Government Greater Graduate Program,” Ms Losee said.

“And I continue to work for the Queensland Government today, having received a permanent role as an Environmental Officer in the Department of Environment and Science.

“There’s no way I would have had these opportunities if it weren’t for undertaking this extremely valuable industry placement program.”

After a positive placement experience, Ms Losee hopes that incoming UQ students take every opportunity to connect with government and industry through their studies.

“The experience, knowledge and skills I gained from the program were invaluable and have led me to the career I’m in now.

“The staff were so welcoming, and would always go above and beyond to make sure you gain the most out of your placement experience.

“The program was without a doubt the highlight of my degree and I would highly recommend the opportunity to anyone considering it.

“So if you’re considering an industry placement program – go for it!”

Alicia Lam from the Department of Regional Development Manufacturing and Water has coordinated students from SEES Environmental Management discipline for the past four years.

“The quality of students from UQ always impresses us,” Ms Lam said.

“We have an idea of what they can do but what they end up achieving in the time they are with us is incredible.”

Ms Lam, who is a UQ environmental management alumni and was a 2016 UQ Futures Leader recipient, started the program as she knew as a past student herself what value and insight students could add whist having a positive learning experience in a professional environment.

“We pride ourselves on developing mutually beneficial experiences for both the students and the teams they work in.

“My goal is to alter the perception of a ‘student intern’ to reflect the immense value students can have in the workplace.”

More information about placement opportunities in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences can be found on the SEES student placements website.