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Victoria EdTech Summit: Meet the exhibitors - InternMatch

They are committed to improving the employment outcomes of graduates through internships. Here's a quick Q+A for you to get to know them a little better.

Tell us about the company 

Gerard Holland and Domenic Saporito co-founded Outcome.Life in Melbourne in 2016 after years of experience in the world of chartered accounting, business innovation, entrepreneurship and armed with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by international students.

Outcome.Life is committed to improving the employment outcomes of graduates through internships, Work Readiness Programs and Work Integrated Learning experiences. We have helped thousands of students start their careers since our beginnings in 2016, and we are growing internationally.

Our new programs also provide remote internship experiences that better prepare students for the virtualized work driven by changes emerging from the COVID19 pandemic.

All programs provide access to a broad range of events, courses, mentoring sessions and networking experiences to help them start their career.

Our custom-built platforms are regarded as best practice in supporting internships and provide transparency and compliance to internship stakeholders. They continue to evolve with the trends that best support employability outcomes for our customers.

The head office is based in Melbourne with remote offices in Sydney, Adelaide, Darwin, the UK and South Africa.

What initiatives are you working on currently  

Like most other companies whose core business was significantly impacted by the challenges of a global pandemic, 2020 became a year of innovation and rising to those challenges in new and different ways. This included increased sophistication of the digital platforms, the establishment of remote/virtual internships, and with those innovations, a new round of international expansion.

This year, the Mandela Legacy Foundation (MLF) selected InternMatch International, a subsidiary of Outcome.Life, as their global partner to provide improved employment outcomes for African youth. The MLF Global Internship Challenge is already underway.

As we continue to innovate internships and their power to yield better employment outcomes, we are adding credentials, expressed as digital badges, to the suite of solutions. These credentials, based on standardised frameworks, will be the proof-points that enable our interns to demonstrate they applied their skills in real world contexts and that they are ready to start their career journey. Our credential program will be piloted in June.

What are the benefits for educational establishments using your product/s 

It has been widely recognized that in many areas the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for many of the transformations that were already evident in both education and work. This has been especially true for the stronger focus on both employability, and more importantly, employment of tertiary graduates.

At Outcome.Life we have a growing base of statistics that speak to the improved employment outcomes for our interns. These benefits result not only from the placement itself, but also from the range of support services provided to directly target student needs.

For the large majority of tertiary institutions, any form of work placement is a manual, time-consuming and costly process. Our experience with a broad range of internship and experiential learning models has enabled us to develop a specialised platform, InternMatch, to support all aspects of the process and its stakeholders.

InternMatch takes the hard work out of placements, provides high-levels of transparency, facilitates regulatory compliance and importantly, facilitates easier customisation of both internship and training plan requirements to meet the individualised needs of the key stakeholders; the interns and the host companies.

Our growing range of solutions include MentorMatch for streamlined and enhanced mentoring, and soon, our credentialing solution. The direct benefits to educational institutions will be demonstrable improvements in employability and employment, reduced effort in internship placements, better visibility of the outcomes of Work Integrated Learning activities, and a commitment to continuous innovation in the space.

What products/solutions are best suited for teachers/academics (schools or universities)? How will these products/solutions help educators become more effective? 

From an institutional perspective, the focus on getting graduates into work is a prime focus and a measure of success that is becoming increasingly important. Enabling this to work effectively is a challenge that is difficult and costly without the right technology and the right partner with deep experience in the space. We are able to bring both experience and our current platforms, InternMatch and MentorMatch to empower our partners to engage in internships and experiential learning more effectively.

Individual academics are often at the frontline of Work Integrated Learning projects, processes and execution. Our platforms can take a large amount of effort away from them and return time back into their day.

Our current emphasis is at the tertiary level, however, in many countries, including Australia, it is becoming increasingly important to provide traditional tertiary education, alternative pathways and articulation between them. We are happy to work with our institutional clients to realise these opportunities.

How has the current pandemic affected how you operate / what have you had to change? What lessons did you learn? 

While the weight of the negative impact of the pandemic has been keenly felt around the world, it has also catalysed some positive changes in the broader education sector. We know from the initial shock wave of disruption to the sector that there have been huge challenges, especially in the international education sector. At the same time, the push to online education has also spurred some continuing innovation and a stronger focus on quality outcomes. Many programs that were previously considered impossible or disadvantageous to shift into the virtual space, are now becoming normal alongside the normalisation of virtual and remote working. This is true for internships as well.

As a result of the pandemic many universities have initially been forced to do virtual/remote internships, and now, an increasing number of institutions are requesting them as a parallel and important enhancement to their employability initiatives. Institutions and employers are finding that there are many cases in which virtual internships are more fit for purpose in preparing students for the emerging real world of work.

We have embraced these changes in our processes, practices and platforms. There are significant differences between face-to-face learning and virtual learning.  Similarly, a virtual or remote internship is a different experience to a face-to-face, on premise internship. Our experience in crafting these experiences without losing the benefits of the internship, and being able to better prepare students for the new world of work, is a strong asset to our partners.

What do you think the top Edtech trends do you see emerging this year 

There is always an interplay between technology leading, and technology following, when it comes to emerging trends. Several reports have pointed to the growing significance of AI and Learning Analytics. They are both firmly on the near horizon when it comes to their application in more advanced ways.

One of the strongest growth trends is that of micro-credentialing and Alternative Credentialing. The technology has been available for a decade already, and now the usage scenarios are catching up. The dominant drive for traditional institutions is for “badging short courses”, which has only minor innovation that emerges from better recording and transportability of learning outcomes. Close behind, however, is the sort of experience-based credentialing that leads to significant innovation and changes in education business models.

The data from all of these trends will lead to even greater innovation in education and work and better alignments between the two.

We are building AI into the internship technology and are building credentialing into the internship programs. As a result, we are confident that we will partner well with institutions looking for new ways to fill the growing skill gaps that are major concerns of governments, industry, learners and institutions around the world.

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