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  • Writer's pictureJemima Nash

Professional Placements - Term 1 Update

This year Monash Tech School has employed three professional placement students, Steph Vella, Isa Ronald and myself, Jemima Nash. In term one, we all engaged in projects that have allowed us to expand our skill sets and adapt to our new roles at the Tech School. I sat down with my fellow placement students to talk about our experiences at Monash Tech School so far.

Pictured - Steph Vella using the resin printer.

Steph is studying a Bachelor of IT, majoring in Interactive Media and minoring in Web Development and Game Design at Monash University, and is a Technology Officer at Monash Tech School for Semester One. Steph said that her role has many different aspects and allows her to work with new technologies to develop different outcomes.

“It’s a lot of exploring new technologies. And one of the interesting things about it that I’ve really enjoyed is being able to share that technology with the high school students that come in and work on that knowledge transfer,” she said.

“It’s really quite a creative environment, and there’s always new technology to explore.”

Isa is studying a Bachelor of Computer Science majoring in Cyber Security at Swinburne University and is a Technology Officer at Monash Tech School this year. Isa said that their role as a Tech Officer at MTS is about finding solutions to problems in many forms.

“[The role involves] 3D printers, laser cutting, coding, developing, fixing things when they break, coordinating the technology side of programmes that we deliver, and finding an issue that doesn’t have an inherent solution and figuring out how to solve it,” they said.

“I love the open-endedness. Every day there is something new to be learning, there’s something new to be doing. Every day has new challenges.”

Like Isa, I study at Swinburne University doing a Bachelor of Media and Communications, majoring in Media Industries and Health Promotion. My role at Monash Tech School is as the Communications and Community Officer for 2022. I enjoy that my role changes almost every day and that I get to facilitate our communications through many different platforms.

All of us have found that we have used a combination of knowledge from our university degrees and on-the-job learning within our roles at Monash Tech School.

Steph was excited to utilise the skills that she had acquired in the Interactive Media aspects of her degree when she was asked to design 3D models for the Superspace program.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is modelling the 3D astronaut helmets for Superspace. I’m proud because it showed me in seeing the finished product that actually I can do this and reinforced the thought in my mind that you can do what you set your mind to, and the stuff you have learnt, you’re good at it,” she said.

Pictured - Isa Ronald using the laser cutter.

Isa said they enjoyed the creative development aspects of their role, which they put into practice when they saw an opportunity to reduce confusion amongst students in Superspace with a learning tool called the Exo Trait cards.

“Seeing [the Exo Trait cards] work, walking around and seeing the students using it and actively having fun using the product, and seeing them cognitively learning and understanding through this tool I made was the best thing. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that something you designed with that audience in mind has met its goal,” they said.

Within my degree, I have learnt Adobe programs and general communications ideas which have assisted me in my role at Monash Tech School. With this knowledge and concepts that I have picked up at the Tech School, I have learnt how to adapt to communicate with the voice of an organisation rather than my own voice.

I have found that I have learnt a lot of skills that are hard to be taught in a lecture hall, such as functioning in a professional work environment and working effectively in a collaborative workplace.

Isa said that industry placement has allowed them to learn how to manage their own time and workload within a team environment.

“[A benefit of industry placement is] learning how to collaborate in a team of people, where you may very well be the least knowledgeable. And learning how to work in a team where everyone is much more experienced than you and learning how you can utilise that team to help you move forward,” they said.

Currently, Steph is halfway through her six-month placement at Monash Tech School and wants to continue to expand her knowledge base in both technology and professional environments.

“One of the things I want to get out of it is being able to work on using new software, being a part of professional developments and learning new skills to better myself. Something that I’ve really enjoyed and hope to keep enjoying is teaching or helping kids learn through their programmes and transferring my knowledge to them,” she said.

Unlike Steph, Isa and I will remain in our roles at Monash Tech School all this year.

Isa said they wanted to continue learning new skills and utilising new technologies across the remainder of their placement.

“It’s all completely new to me, and I want to do my very best to develop the skills and get the experience that the Tech School is very unique in being able to provide,” they said.

Pictured - Jemima Nash using audio recording equipment.

There are many opportunities to develop my skills across the rest of my placement, including creating content for the Monash Tech School social media platforms. I hope to publish more posts (and articles, look out for more content from me!) and get an idea of how we can maximise these platforms for the benefit of Monash Tech School and our different audiences.

As we continue working at Monash Tech School, we are all excited about the innovative and creative projects we will be involved in and hope to continue to grow and develop our skills within both our teams and individual roles.

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