Indian Business Leaders Visit to Expand Internship Opportunities


Leaders of India’s largest business and industry body, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), visited Deakin as part of an innovative new student internship initiative aimed at increasing relationships bilateral relations between Australia and India.

The initiative comes at a good time with the signing of the India-Australia Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement in early April.

FICCI Deputy Secretary General Manish Singhal and FICCI Director Mr Gaurav Vats met Deakin Business School Senior Professor Dr Ameeta Jain who heads the internship program at alongside team members Professor Alex Newman and Associate Professor Harsh Suri.

The initiative – funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) under the auspices of the Australia-India Council – aims to foster industry-academia partnerships in Australia and India by offering “virtual internships” in both country.

Students are matched with organizations and undertake cross-cultural work focused on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, developing skills in the growing field of corporate social responsibility.

So far, 32 students have completed internships in India and Australia, working on projects at NGOs in both countries, including the United Nations Association of Australia and the Center for Social Sensitivity and Action at the Goa Institute of Management in India.

FICCI is a major supporter of the initiative, which includes online masterclasses for its 250,000 member organizations to learn more about the internship program and how it can help them integrate the Sustainable Development Goals in their business models.

The long-term goal is to expand internship opportunities for students with more member organisations.

Dr Jain, who is of Indian descent, said she was delighted to facilitate better connections between Australia, her adopted country, and India, her country of birth.

“Our goal is to create pathways for students to study and work in both countries, to develop and share professional skills,” she said.

“By offering the internships virtually, students have access to a wider range of opportunities, and flexibility in delivery is essential for students looking to gain meaningful work experience in a post-pandemic world.

“Students also learn valuable skills in cultural awareness and development, how to speak and work with people with backgrounds different from their own.”

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