Computer Science Internship program

students

Key points

Applications for 2021 are currently paused. Watch this space for more information when the internship program resumes.

The ANU invites organisations to host a computing student intern in Semester 2, 2021. 

To meet current mandated social distancing requirements the program in Semester 2 will be delivered virtually and students will “work from home”. All academic coursework and professional mentoring will also be delivered through online channels.

The program is offered to ANU students located in Canberra, and other locations in Australia and overseas. Hosts participating in this program will need to be capable of implementing “working from home” arrangements where supervision and project management can be provided via online tools, such as Zoom or Teamwork, Slack, and other collaboration platforms.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Penny Kyburz

Background

The ANU is committed to the academic and professional development of its students and ongoing engagement with government and industry.

One way we do this is by facilitating a range of valuable, real-world professional and practical student internship opportunities in partnership with local, interstate and international industry and government organisations. 

The Computing Student Intern Program provides Masters, as well as penultimate and final year undergraduate students the opportunity to undertake an internship online in a business technology environment to apply technical skills and build professional skills.  This work is an assessable part of the student’s degree.

Students participating in the Computing Student Intern Program are seeking an opportunity to work with industry and apply knowledge and skills learnt in their courses to solve real world challenges.  This is valuable in providing work experience that helps with future job prospects.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss hosting an ANU Computing intern, please don't hesitate to contact Penny Kyburz.

Coding for the climate

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

 

What are the learning outcomes for the course?

On completion of the internship, students will have:

  • delivered a software-enabled project to respond to a business problem, which could be a proof of concept or business solution, and
  • developed a range of professional skills, demonstrated initiative and adaptability, and grown communication and networking skills.

The course assessment is based on three components:

  • feedback from the host supervisor and peers throughout the project
  • technical evaluation of the solution, and
  • the intern’s own self-reflection.

What sort of business technology projects are considered?

The project outcomes should be of value to the business, have a technical component, and can be in one of more of the following areas:

  • design, build and deliver a proof of concept or system enhancement for new capability
  • system optimisation challenges, and
  • other negotiated projects.

Suitable projects need to meet the following criteria:

  • A clearly framed business problem and requirements statement, with a technical computing component and some degree of complexity that requires problem solving skills;
  • The project is standalone (that is, not on a critical path) and can reasonably be undertaken by an individual within approximately 180 hours of effort over an elapsed time of 12 weeks; and,
  • The project can be undertaken offsite from the host organisation.

Examples of successful projects include:

  • Proof of concepts for chat bots, facial recognition and voice recognition
  • New features for existing software products
  • Data analytics and visualisation to inform improved compliance activities; and, provide insights into complex policy problems.

What does the host organisation need to provide?

Before the Internship:

  • A Project Brief detailing a project with a technical component and some degree of complexity that is not on a critical path and can be undertaken within 180-200 hours of effort; and,
  • A completed Student Placement Risk Assessment form.

When the Internship commences:

  • A signed ANU Student Project Industry Client Agreement;
     
  • A supervisor to oversee the technical project work and provide on the job technical guidance and training, and access to business knowledge when needed;
     
  • Capability, including processes and tools, to support a virtual internship where the student will be “working from home”.  This may include and is not limited to:
    • Webex, Zoom or any other suitable AV interaction, and
    • Workstation hardware and other technology that is required for the project.  For example,
      • a powerful workstation will be needed for machine learning projects,
      • a second monitor would be useful for software development projects,
      • internet access to provide sufficient bandwidth
  • Feedback into student assessment processes, including contributions to 2 project reviews in the middle and at the end of the semester; and,
     
  • Access to the student’s work for assessment processes.

How many intern projects can a host offer?

Hosts can offer up to 4 intern projects. Subject to demand, the ANU’s preference is to place at least two students with a host organisation, provided they can be assigned to separate projects with different business problems to solve.

What are the requirements for being a supervisor?

Supervisors need to have an understanding of the business as well as relevant software technical skills (and access to other technical resources as required) to be able to support and guide the intern as the project evolves.

How much time is the student expected to work on the project?

The students are available to work on a project (i.e. a defined piece (or pieces) of work) for between 15 and 20 hours a week during a 12-week semester (not including the 2 weeks semester break). 

The course requirements for the internship are approximately 20 hours a week for a twelve week semester, of which a minimum of 15 hours a week are actually working off site on the project, with access to their supervisor. The remaining 5 hours a week is allocated to lectures, tutorials and other academic activities.  This means that the effort available to deliver the project is approximately 180 hours.

What technological skills do the students have?

Students in the Professional Connect Program will have a specialist interest and technical skills (at Credit level or above) in one or more of the following areas:

  • software development
  • data science
  • artificial intelligence, and
  • machine learning.

How are students selected and matched to host companies?

Internships are available to Masters of Computing, as well as penultimate and final year Computing undergraduate students. Only students with a Credit average or above will be considered for this opportunity. Students will have completed technical computing units, including software coding as well as specialist subjects such as data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Following an expression of interest for the internship placement, students will be shortlisted by the ANU. Shortlisted students will be matched to several candidate intern projects that match their specialist interests and technical skills. 

Hosts will be invited to conduct an online interview with students matched to their intern project proposals in prior to commencement of the internship, and advise of preferences. Following this the ANU will formally assign students to host organisations.

How is the student project assessed?

The Internship is graded by the ANU. Students are assessed across:

  • professional skills development, including communication, team-work, time management and project management; and,
  • demonstration of technical skills, including designing technical solutions, programming, analysing and solving technical problems.

What feedback is expected from supervisors?

Supervisors are required to submit feedback three times in the semester. Supervisors will receive an email from the ANU asking for feedback to be submitted online. Supervisors will be asked to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement on a range of topics, including:

  • project outputs
  • decision making
  • communication
  • teamwork, and
  • reflection.

What professional support is available to students?

Professional mentoring is provided to students online to assist them to adapt to the business culture they are working in and to successfully complete the project.  The support is delivered through Workshops and small peer mentoring Circles. One-on-one online support is also available. Mentors are also available to hosts to assist with resolving issues as they arise, and to act as the first point of escalation. Mentors are provided by Xperience Works.

What are the legal and payment requirements for the program?

As the internship is part of the student’s academic course, there is no payment required, consistent with relevant Fair Work advice [PDF]. Should a host organisation wish to provide payment, a non-ongoing/temporary employment contract will need to be negotiated between the host organisation and the student.*  

The host organisation and their interns are required to complete a Student Placement Risk Assessment Form, and sign the ANU Student Project Industry Client Agreement which, among other things, deals with Intellectual Property (IP), confidentiality, insurance and obligations of all parties.  These agreements will be forwarded to new host organisations as they engage in the Internship Program.

For organisations hosting an international student visa holder, an official placement that is being completed as part of a student’s academic program does not count towards their 40 hour/fortnight work entitlement limit. However, if the student is paid for some or all of their placement (and/or additional work they have agreed to do with the host organsiation), the Department of Home Affairs may consider this to be a breach of the visa conditions if the student is accumulating more than 40 hours per fortnight in paid work. More informaiton: Check visa details and conditions

*Note: Where a student is employed for the duration of their placement, a slightly different ANU Student Project Industry Client Agreement which clarifies the obligations of all parties in terms of access to Project IP for the purposes of academic assessment will be required in order to accurately reflect the student's role within the organisation. 

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Webmaster