The McKinnon Group intern - Thasmika Gokal

Over the 2017-2018 Summer break, I was very fortunate to participate in the Summer Industry Internship Program. It was easily one of the best experiences I’ve had during my time at UQ. I interned with The McKinnon Group, a multinational technology company which creates innovate solutions for various industries, such as the childcare industry.

Within the Australian childcare industry, it was found that overstaffing added a 3-12% additional cost to the industry – around an extra $200 million - $600 million! Hence, it makes reasonable sense to regulate and reduce overtime pay when possible. That’s where I came in. My project involved developing a model that would be able to proactively roster childcare staff. Each day I worked on site, extracting information from the data set using skills from my coursework. From the model, I found that the centre would be able to save approximately $40 000 to $50 000 per annum. This reduces costs and increases savings for the parents, staff and the business. In turn, this would positively enhance the education received by the children attending the centre.

Not only was it a brilliant opportunity to apply my skills learnt from my courses, it was incredibly rewarding to note the overall impact which the model would have within the childcare industry. I highly recommend the program to any enthusiastic student.

When selecting a project, make sure you select one in an industry that you are passionate about; only then will you give off your best work. It will challenge you to apply your coursework and you will learn new skills on-the-go. You will come out of the experience brighter, more knowledgeable and equipped with skills that no tutorial nor lecture would be able to provide. Take the opportunity and apply; you never know what you can learn and what impact you will have.