By collaborating with the University of Newcastle (UON) Central Coast in research and by sharing knowledge with its students, accountant Matt Splinder says he is helping to secure a stronger future for his business.
The partner of MCS Partners at Tuggerah spoke to the benefit of harnessing the knowledge and expertise available to the community through the staff and students of the UON, at a special joint networking event.
“By leveraging from the shared knowledge gained through taking part in research and by hosting a business student, we have the opportunity to drive small business growth and innovation on the Central Coast,” Mr Splinder said.
“I believe if more businesses and industries on the Central Coast are committed to working with the UON, more momentum will be built for the Central Coast as a region.”
Building partnerships to grow the Central Coast was the focus of the event hosted by the UON Central Coast and the Central Coast Business Chamber, and was attended by business and industry leaders from across the region.
For the last two years researchers from the UON have engaged with businesses in on the Central Coast at the Collaborative Business Research Forum. The insights gained from attendees to the forum, which is supported by the NSW Business Chamber Central Coast, have contributed to the ongoing research into the strengths and weaknesses of business in the region.
By attending the Forum, Mr Splinder was introduced to the UON’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program, which places talented students in real-world career situations, to give them hands-on experience in their area of study.
“We have hosted our WIL business student Michelle Olofsson, and I think that we have learned more from her than she has from us,” he said at the event.
“The WIL program not only benefits the student, it also allows us business owners to tap into disciplines and knowledge that may be outside our area of expertise, and is a great way to access high-quality employees, who also have local knowledge.”
Michelle Olofsson said she gained great confidence, both professionally and personally from taking part in the WIL course.
“The WIL course has definitely challenged me, but has been extremely rewarding and satisfying in that I am gaining invaluable practical experience while simultaneously assisting a local business.”
To find out more about hosting a WIL business student on the Central Coast contact Dr Lisa Barnes at Lisa.Barnes@newcastle.edu.au