Experiential Learning at the FreelanceHUB with Jamie Mustard.
OCT, 2019
Teaching & Learning


Jamie Mustard is the Director of DeakinTalent’s Freelancing HUB situated in the Graduate Employment Division.
The freelancing hub is a DeakinTALENT initiative designed to simulate real-world start-up environments. Students are brought together from different disciplines to generate new campaigns, ideas and strategies for a number of real-world clients who they regularly meet with and present findings to. In addition to the many typical skills students walk away with from their term at the freelance hub is the work experience associated with this consultancy styled professional context.
Left: Jamie greets staff, students and clients to the FreelanceHUB client presentation day.

Right: Students gather Downtown for their client presentations.

The program is an incredible opportunity for students to develop foundational skills crucial for the workforce. For students who have never worked in a Australian professional setting the HUB helps them establish an understanding of basic office collegiality and etiquette – for example, showing up at 9AM in work attire, negotiating and managing expectations as part of a team, or how to navigate roles and responsibilities while interfacing with other employees, project managers and clients.
Left: Students pass over their outputs to clients and recieve feedback.

Right: Students offering a token of appreciation to their clients.

The professional journey for student candidates begins as soon as they submit their applications. They are treated as prospective employees and are interviewed for roles in the various project teams. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants are provided feedback to help them improve and prepare for future applications. While there are a number of similar opportunities for work-integrated-learning embedded in the faculties, the FreelancingHUB offers a unique cross-disciplinary space for students to safely experiment with their professional practice while broadening their ability to work reflexively and with diversity.

Student reflections highlight the authentic and enjoyable nature of working in the FreelanceHUB:

“The most important part of the FreelancingHUB is working with a mixed disciplinary group of students, it really taught me what it was like to be in a professional work environment. We were so glad our work was able to make a positive change for the client.”

Matt Kloszynski, Bachelor of Media and Communications (Marketing)

“Having previously never worked with a client before, I have been challenged in ways that have enriched my studies and pushed me to work at gaining independence in a professional work environment.”

Sarah Young, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Animation and Motion Capture)

“I loved meeting new people, being challenged across the duration of the placement, meeting client needs and changing perspectives and research appropriately, as well as working as part of a likeminded team who produced something to be really proud of in the end!”

Rebecca, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Animation and Motion Capture)

For more on the FreelancingHUB:

Contact the FreelancingHUB or visit their website

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