Jacky came to LA Services in 2019 and spent 18 months being mentored after hearing about the Big Picture Program from his principal at Liverpool Boys High School. Jacky had a passion for game design, which was a career path that wasn’t viable through regular schooling, so he saw LA Services as a viable option as somewhere to start. While spending his time at LA Services, Jacky worked alongside another student, David, and data scientist Ming Zhao, a former UTS student who possesses a master’s degree in IT. This was beneficial to both Ming and Jacky as it allowed Ming to gain experience mentoring and imparting his knowledge onto aspiring students and provided Jacky with sufficient knowledge to get engaged with university level discussions.
At the end of his experience with LA Services, Jacky was largely satisfied and believed that the internship was a suitable alternative to the regular school curriculum for his desired career path in game design. This was due to the more intimate mentor mentee relationship, which allowed him to foster his creativity, as well as developing his hard skills such as using the software efficiently and soft skills like effective communication with others.
Core Project and Skills Learnt
Jacky’s core project used the software UNITY to help in furthering his passion in game design. Through using this program, Jacky was able to gain a greater understanding of software programming through utilising practical thinking while working with Ming. This led to Jacky being able to engage in university conversations whilst having a sufficient understanding of what was being talked about. These skills were all learnt directly from Ming and without any type of outside course, demonstrating the effectiveness of the BP Program and the benefits of a one on one mentor-mentee relationship.
Image : Jacky working with another student intern David
Workplace Learning and Opportunities Presented
Like others before him, Jacky found that working at LA Services through the Big Picture Program much more effective than regular schooling as the one on one nature of the teaching made the process more effective and enjoyable. Another benefit was that it gave Jacky the opportunity to interact with others who weren’t his teachers or fellow students, giving him a different perspective on Industry 4.0 and an overall different learning experience. Ming also provided Jacky with weekly tasks to chart his progress, making for an effective learning environment for both mentor and mentee.
The Big Picture Program greatly benefited Jacky as it taught him many valuable skills that were relevant to his interests such as coding, that a regular school environment couldn’t provide. His experience at LA Services also led to university programs being offered, setting him up for early successes. He was able to connect with key stakeholders and eventually secure a spot in the Information Communication Technology course at Western Sydney University with the presentation of his portfolio, emphasising his hard work from a young age.