FutureBrand Australia has launched an internship program exclusively for regional and rural students.
The program aims to remove the geographical barriers in front of regional and rural students who are interested in a career in branding or the creative sector but struggle to find support in what is typically a city-based career.
The internship comprises a seven-week paid immersive program spanning brand strategy, design, language, experience and brand management through a hybrid model of in-person and remote delivery.
FutureBrand Australia will also cover travel and accommodation expenses for each intern to help remove some of the financial hurdles that students can experience.
The program’s new intern, Ashleigh Freeman, has started today in FutureBrand Australia’s Melbourne office, joining from Federation University, Ballarat where she is studying Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design.
Freeman said of starting her internship: “It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to do an internship with the FutureBrand team. Coming from a course based in Ballarat in regional Victoria, it’s amazing to experience working in a studio like this.”
On the launch of the regional and rural internship program, FutureBrand Australia’s CEO Rich Curtis said: “Our internship program is designed to be a positive and productive learning experience for everyone involved. We know that diversity plays a pivotal role in fostering creativity and we believe that we can improve our creative industry by extending the pathways to learn to a broader, more diverse pool of emerging talent.”
“We need to make it easier for people to discover more about working in a creative industry like ours, no matter where they are studying or the background that brought them to where they are today. Over time, I hope we’ll learn what works and expand our remit and reach – quite literally – further into regional and rural Victoria.”
FutureBrand Australia’s creative director Josh McGregor added: “This initiative is close to my heart, being from the country and studying design at a regional university. At the time, I remember finding it a little daunting to make the move to Melbourne and, once I arrived, I had no idea how to crack into the industry.”
“If this internship program can help make the leap a little easier and a lot more enjoyable, as well as create more opportunities for more diverse talent, then I know we will have made a meaningful contribution to the growth of the creative sector. We’re all looking forward to getting to know Ashleigh and sharing the world of branding with her over the next seven weeks, as well as welcoming all the interns that will follow her in the months and years to come.”
FutureBrand Australia will host four to six interns each year, with the first student from Federation University in Ballarat, followed by the next wave of students joining from Deakin University’s Geelong campus in February 2023.
On Deakin University’s involvement in the program, senior lecturer in communication design Tonya Merrick said: “Deakin University, School of Communication & Creative Arts is thrilled to be working with FutureBrand on this initiative to develop an industry-based internship program targeting non-metropolitan students.
“The opportunity will allow students from our Bachelor of Design in Geelong with a rewarding pathway to engage directly with one of Australia’s leading creative organisations through work-integrated learning.
“This industry-led exchange supports regional students who may not otherwise have access to world-class practitioners as part of their degree program, and an initiative like this created by FutureBrand is critical for knowledge sharing, diversity and growth,” Merrick added.
The program is based on application and students are selected based on their CV, folio and answer to the question, ‘If you could rebrand any company, product or service in Australia, which one would you choose to rebrand and why?’
As the internship program rolls out, FutureBrand expects to extend its reach to more education providers in regional and rural Victoria.
Top image: Ashleigh Freeman with Josh McGregor