Landing a workplace internship with Landis+Gyr was an exciting prospect for Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Electrical) second-year student, Ignatius Widjaja. To be then offered a position while studying was more than unexpected.
It proved to be a testament to the character of Ignatius, the first student to secure a workplace internship with the industry leader and offered employment while continuing his studies, as well as the caliber of the University’s Leadership Scholars.
Internship placements are an important component in the development of well-rounded University of Sydney students and a requisite for all Leadership Scholarship recipients.
Over the span of their degree, scholarship recipients build skills in self-leadership, stakeholder and relationship management, team work and problem solving. These 'soft' skills and hands-on experience were identified as those most valued by industry leaders in a 2017 Pollinate research study.1
As a scholarship recipient, Ignatius underwent his internship placement with Landis+Gyr, a global leader in smart grid networking and the overall management of energy, at the end of his first year of study.
The 19-year-old was assigned to assist in the supervision of a next-generation satellite connectivity project for the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) applications, and the potential application to integrate this within co-existing Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) grid networks.
The outstanding student performed so well during his placement that he caught the eye of Landis+Gyr management, who offered him an Associate Engineer role immediately after his internship concluded. It is a role Widjaja gratefully accepted and undertook concurrently with his studies.
"I was excited to be the first intern accepted by Landis+Gyr, but to be offered a permanent role straight afterwards was something I never expected would happen", said Ignatius.
"The internship provided practical on-the-job training and enhanced my understanding of the dynamic nature engineers within the smart grid and telecommunications industry face while on the job, such as devising solutions to address social, commercial and economic challenges.
"My role as Associate Engineer allowed me to not only continue working on projects I was tasked with while interning, but also expanded my responsibilities to include liaising with stakeholders across the globe and pitching proposals for future projects.
"The experience was quite humbling and I am grateful for the opportunities I've been exposed to through the Leadership Scholarship and Landis+Gyr ANZ."
Mr Caleb Gordon, Project Manager Communications at Landis+Gyr notes that Ignatius' professional conduct and ability to complete set tasks throughout the placement did not go unnoticed.
"We were all very impressed with the professional nature and enthusiasm displayed by Ignatius throughout his internship which culminated with a very well received presentation to senior management," said Gordon.
"Based on the quality of the results displayed it was decided by Landis+Gyr to offer Ignatius a part-time contract which saw him responsible for a number of projects."
In addition to industry placement opportunities, Leadership Scholarship recipients receive ongoing academic mentorship, access to valuable industry networks including alumni, government and industry leaders and have the option to undertake project-based units of study.
"Leadership Scholarship recipients commence their placement already equipped with excellent leadership and communication skills, so they are able to work effectively within teams and clients from the onset," said Mr Keiran Passmore, Manager Education, Professional Industry and External Engagement from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.'
"The program itself is regarded as one of Australia's most valuable programs for both recipient and industry partner alike and I have no doubt there will be more stories like Ignatius' in the near future."
More women than ever are choosing to study engineering and computing undergraduate degrees at the University of Sydney.