Here to stay: How Stepping Into Internships led Bethany to the job she loves
Wed 14 February 2018
Bethany Miller was studying for a Bachelor of Media when her university placement coordinator told her about Stepping Into internships – a paid internship scheme that matches talented university students with disability to roles in leading Australian businesses.
As a hard-working, dedicated student who is profoundly deaf, Bethany would appear to be an ideal candidate for the program but she admits that at first she wasn’t sure it was for her. She’d had negative experiences before and was reluctant to put herself in that position again.
"Prior to the internship I was reminded every time I went for an interview that I was competing against people who could hear normally. I could have every qualification and skill required for the job, yet still miss out. Over time that can really affect your self-esteem."
Thankfully Bethany bit the bullet and successfully applied for an internship with Stockland, which meant moving from South Australia to Brisbane for a month. It was here that she realised not all companies are the same. In a working environment where diversity and inclusion are valued, Bethany’s talents were able to shine.
Knowing she was supported, she found the confidence to self-advocate and ask for the adjustments she needed to help her work best. They were only small, but important, like having a desk in an area of the office where she could easily communicate with the rest of the team.
In the space of a month Bethany had the opportunity to demonstrate her skills and talents, become immersed in meaningful work and learn about office environments. Her confidence grew and she came away from the internship with a fresh new outlook on what the future could hold for her.
Stockland was equally positive about the success of the internship. They invited Bethany back the following summer, and she’s been working for them ever since. Now Marketing Assistant, as well part-time Masters student, she’s set her sights on a more specialist role in the future and Stockland is ever supportive.
"I’m here to stay. Stockland has backed me, embracing my talents and interests, and it’s paid off for both of us," she said.
When asked what advice she’d give to anyone considering participating in Stepping Into Internships, Bethany said:
"Just do it. Don’t think it’s not for you, it’s for everyone and can set you up for life."
"It’s thanks to the internship that I have these great moments when I walk to work and think to myself I have a job I love, in a new city I adore."