Ambassador program links students to Gold Coast business community

A partnership between Study Gold Coast and Southport Sharks has resulted in an internship for Southern Cross University international student Diego Gomez Marcos.

One of the 2016 Mayor’s International Student Ambassadors, Diego, is leading the way after Southport Sharks came on board as a partner of the program.

Diego said his internship as a Financial Analyst has allowed him to strengthen his leadership skills, establish important connections in the community and have a taste of the promising career opportunities the Gold Coast offers.

“I get to study, work and live on the Gold Coast, it's a dream come true,” he said.

“It’s an honour to represent the Mayor’s International Student Ambassador Program and proof that hard work and dedication can make your dreams come true. Study Gold Coast talk about the city as being ‘Australia’s favourite classroom’ and it’s certainly the case for me.”

Study Gold Coast CEO Shannon Willoughby said creating pathways for students to gain real-world skills is critical in ensuring Gold Coast students are employable and work-ready.

“The issue around employability in the Gold Coast is without doubt one of the leading factors why students choose to study elsewhere in Australia, which is why enhancing employment opportunities for our students both during their studies and after, is vital to driving economic growth,” said Ms Willoughby. 

The new initiatives in the recently launched Queensland Government’s International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016-2020, have a heavy focus on boosting employment in the international education sector, which supports Study Gold Coast’s goal of making the education and training sector one of the top three employers on the Gold Coast.

Southport Sharks CEO Dean Bowtell said taking on student interns aligns well with Southport Sharks recent launch of two educational programs through the Gold Coast City Council and local universities to assist the city in becoming a destination for students from interstate and abroad.

“It introduces our club to future employees who come from diverse backgrounds. As the Commonwealth Games approaches and the Gold Coast Knowledge Precinct expands, this initiative will assist our club in transitioning into a venue that has a broader appeal for new and existing members,” said Mr Bowtell.

“As our city grows and evolves, the demand for services that we provide our members will change. The Gold Coast is on the cusp of a very exciting era.”

The Mayor’s International Student Ambassador Program is a collaboration between the City of Gold Coast and Study Gold Coast to build and strengthen relationships between the Gold Coast community and international students through cultural and social inclusion. 

The Mayor’s Student Ambassador Program is currently accepting applications for next year’s program. The program has some significant changes that will see triple the amount of student ambassadors, coming from both international and domestic streams. More students means more people telling their Gold Coast story – something truly invaluable for the sector and the city. 

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