The Development Victoria Intern Program provides students with an interest in property development, project management or urban renewal the opportunity to work alongside an experienced team of industry professionals and gain exposure to a diverse range of projects across the full project lifecycle.
We caught up with our interns as they hit the halfway mark of their 12-month internship with Development Victoria.
What have you enjoyed about your internship so far?
Dillon: I’ve really enjoyed the exposure to different types of projects across the commercial and residential space. The culture at DV is supportive so you are always encouraged to develop your training and skills.
Sophie: I’ve had exposure to both the front end and delivery stages of development. The buddy and mentor program has been fantastic. It’s great to know you can seek advice from an ex-intern and established manager in the development industry.
Meg: So far at DV I have worked on Melbourne Park redevelopment with Civic Projects and am now placed in the Precincts team working on Docklands. I have enjoyed the unique exposure to high-profile, complex public projects in Melbourne and am grateful for the opportunity to work on such projects as this exposure is not something I could find at many other internships. I’ve also enjoyed learning about the complexities of the public sector and additional layers of process this adds to a project. Finally, the privilege of observing senior project managers and directors as they lead a project teams and manage stakeholders.
Lexie: Firstly, the incredible projects I have been able to work on so far! I feel very lucky to have been involved in the Etihad Stadium project in Precincts during my first rotation. It was a privilege to be exposed to such a high-profile development project supporting the continued Docklands revitalisation effort.
I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed working in (very patient) teams which have taken the time to introduce me to unfamiliar development concepts, which will inform my work in planning and development moving forward.
Kate: I have really enjoyed the exposure to the type of projects that Development Victoria are involved in delivering. They are projects that are truly city shaping for Melbourne. The working environment of DV is another thing I have really enjoyed - people are motivated to achieve project success and policy outcomes and this makes it a great place to work. I have also enjoyed getting to know the people working in my project teams, as well as the wider DV community. Everyone is always keen to share their knowledge, help your professional development and make it an enjoyable environment to work in.
Biggest lesson learnt?
Kate: Always ask questions when you are not sure about something, as there is always someone willing to help. The people at DV go out of their way to help you tackle a problem and succeed, even if you do not work with them directly. This spirit of collaboration is deeply embedded in the company at all levels.
Sophie: The importance of taking initiative – this internship really is what you make it. I’ve also learnt how diverse a development team is, and how each member contributes their own slice of wisdom and perspective.
Dillon: Studies don’t quite prepare you for the day to day realities of the working world! Stay focused, ask questions, make sure you use the buddy and mentor program, people you can bounce off and get support from.
Lexie: Collaboration and initiative is key. My most successful pieces of work so far have been a result of close collaboration across teams and divisions. Taking the initiative to ask questions knowing that everyone is always happy to offer help and support my learning has been an essential element of my continued success at DV.
Meg: My two biggest learnings to date would be that project management theory does not always translate in the real world and the importance of a collaborative working environment.
What are you looking forward to in the second half of your internship?
Sophie: I’ve recently joined the new DV Sustainability Working Group (SWG). One of the SWG’s most recent activities was a waste audit that showed we have room for improvement in the percentage of waste our tenancy recycles. The organisation is already doing some fantastic things in this space and I’m excited to see what’s to come.
Meg: The exposure to multiple projects – all are quite different in nature and size which keeps things interesting!
Kate: I am excited to continue to develop my project management skills and gain further understanding of which direction I would like my career to head in. Also the project I am currently working on (Melbourne Arts Precinct Redevelopment) is at a really interesting stage as it is just beginning, so I am excited to see how it progresses and changes over the next few months.
Dillon: I’m looking forward to getting involved with the Development Victoria Young Professionals group. It’s a great initiative where you can learn industry knowledge from the wider property industry and senior colleagues about the journey that led them into leadership.