Innovation and Industry Partnership
Community & Industry Partners
- Engaging multiple disciplines
- Scalable and sustainable
- Coach or mentor elements
- Innovation and ideation process
built into WIL
- Strong commitment from the industry partner with a ‘champion’ at the senior management and decision making level.
- Students access to mid-level and senior managers at QSuper.
- Students access to data and business knowledge of QSuper.
- Interdisciplinary teams and strong team building activities, with associated assessment
- A dedicated space for students to meet on campus at allocated times, paired with regular workshops and meetings at offices of industry partner.
- Setting a capacity restriction of a maximum of five groups, each containing five students, working with a single industry partner. This ensures industry partners are not over-burdened.
For more information
The QUT Business School Innovation Project is a credit-bearing WIL experience that supports Master of Business Students to work in multi-disciplinary and diverse groups responding to real-world business issues and challenges. The model was developed in partnership with QSuper as the Qlaboration pilot and has now extended most recently to partnership with RACQ. The model developed and tested with these partners is now being expanded to other similar large organisations, providing an innovative and sustainable model for postgraduate WIL.
This experience is based on real and complex problems experienced by the partner organisations. A brief is provided to the students, much like that which might be presented to members of internal innovation or research and development teams, or external consultants. Teams are challenged to interrogate the presented brief, research the sector and business, and present a business proposal. To achieve these outcomes students are supported through innovation and ideation processes with several workshops exploring key aspects of innovation and innovative thinking.
Each industry partner provides staff as mentors to coach student teams. The industry partners often use this WIL experience as a professional development opportunity for their staff to build their mentoring and coaching skills. This development is supported by workshops led by QUT Business School academic staff.
The student teams are deliberately inter-disciplinary across the different postgraduate majors currently in Master of Business course (e.g. accountancy, applied finance, behavioural economics, human resource management, integrated marketing communication, international business, management, marketing, public relations, strategic advertising). The unit is open to postgraduate students across QUT, and is now attracting students from beyond Business disciplines. It is also attempted to ensure teams have a mix of student ethnicities with a strong focus on intercultural communication and developing an understanding of different perspectives.
Impact / outcomes
Students: gain strong learning outcomes through the challenges and value working in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams. Additionally, they are applying knowledge and skills to real world, real time challenges and opportunities for business, with the dynamics and at times, unpredictability of operating environments. Students also build strong professional networks with staff from the industry partner, with many staying connected and regularly in touch, well after the unit has concluded.
Industry Partner: the program is a key component of QSuper’s Innovation Strategy in embedding a culture of innovation. QSuper has engaged several students from the program in part-time roles, and full-time graduate positions.
Academic Staff: this model of WIL, after piloting, testing, and refining, presents an effective and scalable model of WIL for postgraduate students with diverse backgrounds and professional experience. The model has become an attractive and valuable partnership to collaborate with industry.
Students present a business proposal and pitch it to an industry panel at the conclusion of the WIL experience.
This assessment is supported with several reflective and team development pieces, commencing with a re-interpretation of the brief and preliminary research and mapping.
Several learnings have been taken from evaluation data collected at the pilot phase of implementation. More detailed evaluation and review will occur in the near future as the numbers of students within the unit grows. Evaluation data is collated using university student feedback systems and data is also collated from industry partners.