The Bicycles Create Change 8-week Summer Program for 2016 is complete!!
Hooray!! After a very intense and rewarding 8 weeks, the Bicycles Create Change Summer Program has concluded! Congratulations to Sachie, Gabriel, Juliet and Mauricio for all their hard work, dedication and collaboration. So this completes the official structured course of our innovative 8-week Pilot Internship Program – which means we all get our Saturdays back!!
This Program was unique from other internships in many ways, primarily because the core program principles and design features were tailored to specifically meet the individual needs of each of the participants who have no prior Australian workplace experience. Fundamental to this program was developing more effective intercultural communication skills and competencies through collaboratively working with an array of professionals and locals so that students have a more authentic and meaningful experience of living and working in Australia. As we wrap up and reflect on the experience, the team has come up with eight key insights that they have identified as the main skill areas that they best connected with and improved throughout the program.
We learned a lot about ourselves, vocation skills and working in teams, with each member co-creating their own experience and unveiling differing outcomes, acuity and competencies. Today we discussed the valuable learnings and provided feedback for consideration regarding the impacts and challenges personally and those that are experienced by international students navigating connection and interaction in Australian workplaces. We came up with a number of suggestions to be more responsive to the helpful and hindering factors which international students encounter during their work – either at university or in the workplace.
It was very interesting hearing what the team had to say, saw how the internship was designed to highlight the importance and necessity of connections and working with experts/mentors. We discussed the usefulness and magnitude that working alone, in pairs and/or as a team of four had for the interns. With this understanding, they had a collective realization that collaboratively working with others was more than just a skill, but was also a powerful learning process and required co-creation. This was a revelation and (a now) imperative for a number of the students.
Each week different tasks were set for the interns, which to complete successfully, relied on them to discern, practise and then reflect on the significance of effective team organisation, ability to spontaneously interactions with strangers, relating to clients, building rapport, running meetings, networking and partnerships.
We still have some outstanding tasks like our public ART BIKE PRESENTATION held on Sunday 13th March at 10.30am at the Bethania Community Garden, Lota, Brisbane. Please come on down and join us if you are in the area! At this informal event, the team will each present their Art Bikes and discuss the social issue that it represents. We are looking forward to seeing some of the lovely people who donated the bike for this project there and it will be a great way to practice all the skills we have been working throughout the program.
Team Member Guest Blog Posts
As part of the Summer Program, each team member has also been researching 5 blog posts to be published on this blog. The content for each of these posts need to be sourced in their first-language – which means we can access information about bicycles project in other countries that we might not otherwise have access if they are not in English. These posts will be published later this year so keep an eye out for them!
For today – it is with relief and happiness that we conclude our official contact hours for this program. I am very proud of all the team members, mentors, supporters of this program and, of course the community who have helped and contributed as we progressed – Well done to all!!