How to land a graduate role if you’re an international student

Students graduating in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic have a hard enough time trying to get a graduate role, but if you are an international student, this can feel like an impossible task. 

Does this sound familiar?

“Applicants must be Australian Citizens or an Australian Permanent Resident.”

Literally 95% of job ads.

Usually LDS publishes the list of vacation and summer internships as well as graduate programs that international students actually have a hope of landing. But this year, well, we’ve been a bit preoccupied (you know, the global pandemic and all that). Instead, we’ve put together a list of graduate programs that take on internationals, and either has a named data science stream or have a heavy focus on implementing big data analytics.

If you come across any more, please leave the link in the comments to add them to the list. At the bottom of this post is a list of companies that are known to hire International students. Remember, you have 12-24 months to apply after you graduate.

The information we have provided below is is a comprehensive but not complete summary of our views based on experience and discussions with many data science graduates. It should be viewed as opinion only.

Why don’t Australian companies want us?

This is a matter of economics rather than anything against international students themselves. It’s problematic the reasons that many Australian companies don’t take internationals are not made widely known. For example, we hear this a lot.

“They don’t take international students, that’s so racist.”


Don’t worry, they aren’t racist. Far from it in fact. This is a matter of money. Australian companies will opt not to take on International graduates because they are more expensive to hire than domestic graduates. If you notice, most require PR or citizenship, not for you to be born in Australia. 

In an interview from AFR, Coles communications manager Jasmine Zwiebel commented

“We have taken the position not to hire graduates on student or skilled visas because our intention is that the graduates stay with us for a long time, to build a great career with us.

Jasmine Zwiebel, Coles communications manager

Australian companies will invest a lot of time and money training their graduate hires, the prospect of those hires leaving in 2-3 years just doesn’t add up economically and is a huge risk to the business. Hence PR is needed as a sort of guarantor that you won’t bail after you are trained up. But it’s not as if they think that international students are inferior. Zwiebel went onto say

“There are many benefits of hiring international students, but for Coles, it’s not right for us today. We currently don’t hire graduates on student and skilled visas; however, we do make our vacation program available to students on these visas”.”

Jasmine Zwiebel, Coles communications manager

So while you’re valued, Australian business are not at the point where they can afford to take the risk, but are taking steps to secure quality graduates in the hopes that they will stay.

But I’ll stay in Australia. I want to get PR! 

Sure we get it, Australia is an amazing place to live. But the thing is that companies can’t really hold you your promise that you will stay. And they don’t need to when the domestic supply of data science graduates is on the rise. And while there may still be a shortage of domestic graduates, there definitely isn’t a shortage of international ones.

One of the main issues is that there are a lot of international graduates. In 2018, 50,000 international students were on a 485 visa.  That number has only gone up from then.

In fields such as data science, the vast majority of graduating students are international. This makes it super competitive for all who apply to those few companies that take on international students as graduate hires. This isn’t even including those studying overseas who apply for jobs here in Australia. 

The lesson is that you need to make yourself as competitive as possible. That’s on you, not the university you are at, or the company that you are applying to work at.

“P’s and C’s might get degrees. But only HD’s and a well-rounded resume with community work, sports or hobbies, scholarships and academic awards get a grad role.”


 Hmmm, we’ll workshop that saying.

How to give yourself the best chance of getting a job!

This is on you. Australian business culture is built on hard work, initiative and fairness. No one hands anything to anyone. And if you expect that, then you are going to be in for a rude shock.

Do your research

This article is a good start, but you need to treat this like a part-time job. Even for domestic students landing a graduate role takes time and effort work. There are many reports, academic articles, and government papers on the issue. Such as this one from the International Education Association of Australia. 

A word of warning, most of these are aimed at convincing Australian businesses why they should hire international students. Take them with a pinch of salt, but use them to understand the issues and the language. Honestly, it will help you in the long run. 

Boost your WAM

Most companies asking for a D average actually mean an HD. Again, you are competing with a huge number of graduates. That minimum WAM of 70% isn’t a hurdle. It’s a signal to say, “if you have a WAM below this, don’t bother applying.” 

Apply for vacation and summer internships

While many companies won’t hire international students without PR, they will take you on for paid internships while you are still studying. Landing an internship will go a long way to helping you get a role at a company that does hire international graduates. This is because a completed internship acts as a stamp of approval that says, ‘this kid knows their stuff and is a good worker.’ Head to our 2019 list of internships for international students to get an idea of where to apply.

Keep your nose clean

This means behave yourself. Particularly in the larger cities (Melbourne and Sydney), the academic world and the business world are interconnected. Many of your lecturers and tutors will have major connections to people at more prominent companies, and if they are asked about you, they will be honest about that the fact that you were repeatedly late or didn’t engage in class discussions, because that doesn’t look good for the way you would act in the workplace. No one wants a lazy, disinterested employee. Also, you will also need to provide an Australian referee, and your tutors and lecturers may be the only people you can ask. So it’s in your best interest to make a good impression. 

 Network network network

This is key. Groups like Data Science Melbourne, have great internship and job networking opportunities. . While COVID-19 may put a dampner on face-to-face meetings, this doesn’t stop you from attending one hosted online. 

Ok now to some graduate programs



Technology Graduate Program

“Each new employee is paired up with a guide and a coach to help with a smooth transition into Deloitte life. We provide the right kinds of tools and training to ensure all our graduates can achieve career success through mentoring, peer support and e-learning. Depending on your business unit, we offer the chance to develop further through professional study such as the Chartered Accountants Program and Masters of Tax.”

Closes: 17th Aug 2020, 11:59 pm

Location: Canberra, Paramatta, Sydney, Alice Springs, Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Perth

Internationals: Yes

More information.


PwC Graduate Program

“As one of Australia’s leading professional services firms, we have the opportunity to create meaningful societal change. From growing trust in food production to building hope in artificial intelligence, our people create trust in society and solve important problems each day. By creating a Graduate career with us, here you’ll be provided with the opportunities you need to contribute to a ‘bigger picture’.”

Closes: Already closed but reopens Feburary 2021  (Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane) 24th March 2019 (Adelaide, Canberra and Newcastle)

Location: Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Newcastle

Internationals: Yes

More information.


Graduate Program

“At KPMG, we want you to discover the path that excites you most. After all, when you find a practice area you love, you’ll reach your potential that much faster. It goes without saying that we’re looking for graduates who are passionate and curious – smart individuals who are seeking a challenging and rewarding career. Here, you’ll be part of an outstanding team working across a diverse client list. You’ll be dealing with complex issues that will stretch your thinking. And you’ll have opportunities to learn and grow unlike anywhere else.”

Closes: 21st August 20210 5:00pm

Location: Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide & Regions, Melbourne and Sydney.

Internationals: Yes

More information.


Telstra Graduate Program 

“The program offers you 12 months of challenging, hands-on and rewarding work that will give you the confidence and know-how to launch your career and achieve your goals. If you’re successful, you’ll work in an environment that’s embracing ways of working like Agile, DevOps, Human Centred Design and Lean. You’ll also be able to collaborate with the best people in their field and have the knowledge that your ideas will always be welcome.”

Closes: 24th March 2019, 12:55 pm

Location: Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Telstra also have applications for positions in Asia

Internationals: Yes

Starting: Applications are now closed but will open up again in early February 2021

More Information.


Technology graduate program

“Suncorp’s Graduate Program is a two-year accelerated development program designed to equip you with the tools you need to launch your career in the corporate world. We are ranked a Top 100 Graduate Employer in AU and NZ – Join us in 2021! Our graduates will experience the opportunity to work on diversified projects, be supported by a mentor and if interested, can rotate within their business area. “

The following business areas are on offer with multiple positions for the Suncorp 2021 Graduate intake. 

  • Data & Enterprise Tech: Data Analyst (Brisbane)
  • Insurance Tech: Software Engineers (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne); Business Analyst (Brisbane); Developers (Melbourne);
  • Banking & Wealth Tech: Software Engineers (Brisbane); Systems engineer (Brisbane); Developer (Brisbane); Business analyst (Brisbane)
  • Infrastructure: System Engineer (Brisbane)
  • Cyber Security & Risk: Developer (Brisbane / Sydney); Analyst (Brisbane / Sydney)
  • Automation: Developer (Brisbane)
  • Strategy & Transformation: Developer (Brisbane)

Closes: 23rd August 2020, 5:00pm

Location: Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne.

More information

This is what we have for now, but will update this page regularly. Alternatively, you may want to look at the following companies that are either known to take on international graduates, or have stated they intended to as of 2021. 

Good luck!

  • South32
  • Rio Tinto
  • REA
  • City West Water
  • Digital Alchemy
  • Atlassian
  • AstraZeneca
  • Carlton & United Breweries
  • EML
  • FDM Group
  • Grand Metal
  • Annalect
  • SAS
  • Schneider Electric
  • Tibra Capital
  • Strategy&
  • LEK
  • TAL
  • SIG
  • WPP Consulting
  • ThoughtWorks

Photo by Husna Miskandar on Unsplash

Are you in or out? Deadline draws closer for your My Health Record creation

The Australian Government’s new $2 billion AU health record information system, My Health Record is set to improve how medical practitioners to access, share and create information about your medical history. The initiative aims to improve the flow of accurate and timely information to GPs and other specialists in order to improve health outcomes for all Australians.

Here’s Dr Caroline Yates providing is a great summary of why medical practitioners will be able to improve their quality of care if their patients are using My Health Record.

My Health Record is a fantastic initiative and could change the meaning of continuity of Care in Australia, at least in theory.
But I, like many people, have some significant concerns over privacy, security and data access. And, as a data scientist, I’m concerned about data use, accuracy, integrity and completeness.

If you haven’t decided whether to opt out, you only have a few days from today. So let’s unpack the ins and outs of My Health Record before you make your mind up.

What are the benefits of having a My Health Record?

The official My Health Record website states that the benefits of creating a record are as follows.

Better Connected Care

Do you see one doctor all the time?

I don’t.

When I’m sick, with say a chest infection I can’t shake, I don’t care who I see at my local practice as long as it is ASAP. I know that doctors who work within that practice can access my previous doctor’s notes as long as my regular doctor entered them on the practice system.

My Health Record is said to be helpful to patients as it reduces their life admin including transferring medical records when they move. I’ve moved six times in 6 years and had to transfer practices a few times. It’s a simple process. I call my old GP and ask for my medical records to be released to my new GP, that’s it! My medical record follows me. But some people don’t do this, and that’s where the My Health Record would benefit them, as doctors at all practices will be able to see their medical history.

Where it may be of benefit is if I’m travelling interstate and I can’t see my regular GP. I mean, who transfers their records for a random one-off visit?

But the scenario where this would have the most impact is in the event of a life-threatening emergency. If you are unconscious, you can’t tell the doctors trying to help you what you think is wrong. Another instance My Health Record would have a critical impact in this scenario is to prevent catastrophic drug reactions.

I went into anaphylactic shock and then my blood pressure bottomed out because they didn’t know I was on beta blockers. If they had known they would have given me other drugs as well to stop that.

– Patient who had an adverse reaction when given treatment

This is where My Health Record is helpful for adults in general. But there are specific groups of people where My Health Record will be even more beneficial.


minutes is difficult for parents, I can’t even do it for my health history in that time, let alone for a sick child. My Health Record is aimed at providing a holistic picture of a child’s health for this reason. Many a diagnosis has been delayed or missed due to incomplete childhood records, and My Health Record could prevent this. The autonomy of the child has also been taken into consideration. I’m quite impressed by this and children will be able to take control of their record after the age of 14.

Older Australians

The older you get, the denser your medical record becomes. As we age, our bodies are more susceptible to acute infections and chronic disease. For older Australians, My Health Record affords connected care while easing the burden of remembering all of these details. In cases where the individual is suffering cognitive decline, most likely in older age, this system will be beneficial to them and their health care practitioners.

New Australians

Non-English or non-fluent individuals may use My Health Record to overcome the issues stemming from the language barrier that could significantly impair their quality of care. This is all well and good, but I question the integrity of the data in instances where there may be information that is lost in translation but still entered. Additionally, I want to know how this information is made accessible to these patients online. Is it translated into their language?

People with Chronic disease

Up to 21% of drug-related hospital admissions are due to drug interactions in Australia. That’s pretty high. I have a family member with a fairly serious set of chronic diseases. They are meticulous with the information they give to their doctors and keep great track of the large volume of medications they have to take. But for them, their history and medications being accessible to all specialists would have saved them the pain of having to deal with the fallout from drug interactions as they have had various specialists prescribed counter-indicated drugs at the same time.

Can I control my own My Health Record?

Yep, you control your record. This means that you can choose what to delete and who can see your information. If you don’t want a doctor seeing this, you can change your access settings, but that still makes for an awkward conversion in an appointment. You can check who has accessed your record and even get automated notifications via email or SMS. Be aware that in an emergency your access controls may be overridden to you know, save your life. This is the interface you would see if you were tailoring your My Health Record to your preferred level of access control.

Setting up a My Health Record through MyGov

Is it secure?

Depends on who you ask. The system is said to have:

A multi-layered and strong safeguards in place to protect your information including encryption, firewalls, secure login, authentication mechanisms and audit logging.

– My Health Record website

I’m beyond sceptical of this statement.

In 2018 there were 35 breaches of the My Health Record system, which rose to 42 violations in 2018. The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) said that none of these was malicious….ah?

The ADHA insists that these breachers were the result of situations such as the wrong parent having access to a child’s record when they do not have custody of the child and fraud against the Medicare system through individuals accessing records which are not theirs. I’m pretty sure these could be seen as malicious. Most concerningly the majority of breachers were where the Department of Human Services used the same record as Medicare which is a data integrity issue. In summary, there are system integrity and access control problems to overcome.

ADHA may say that My Health Record is secure, but this doesn’t mean all integrated systems are. The healthcare sector in Australia has a pretty shocking history of poor record management. For example, Family Planning NSW, a service that offers reproductive and sexual health services was hacked in April 2018. Up to 8,000 records were held captive under ransomware, and the agency only became aware of this after clients contacted them and journalist Lauren Ingram notified people via twitter.

Would you want your last STD check made publically available?

Lauren Ingram’s Twitter post

Given the sensitivity of this data, I’m not sure I would be forgiving of such a scenario.

Who can access my health Record?

People who can access your record include

  • GPs
  • pharmacies
  • pathology laboratories
  • hospitals
  • specialists
  • allied professionals
  • secondary providers

That’s not vague at all.

At this point, your brain should be blaring, Danger, Danger! Abort, abort!

Not all employees are as ethical as they should be. Even though there are safeguards which flag when a hospital employee accesses a family record or a specific record too frequently, people can easily override this, and they do. One way this happens is because departments don’t adopt their EMR software or lack training in how to use it, making circumnavigating the system much more attractive.

I have seen thousands of records be transferred into excel spreadsheets and become accessible by all in a department. This meant that to get to one record, the practitioners would scroll through the thousands of others and be able to read that sensitive information with no safeguards in place. The one password to the file, located on a shared drive wasn’t changed in 2 years. In small country towns, this becomes problematic as you learn information about your neighbours or even colleagues, that they would have never divulged to you. Friday night at the pub just became 100% more interesting (or awkward depending on how you see it).

Insurance agencies and employers are legally not allowed to access information on your My Health Record. One reason that the last deadline was extended was to allow for this legislation to pass through the Australian Parliament under the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018. Unauthorised civic access may result in a fine of $315,000, criminal conviction and up to 5 years jail time. Big woop, people do it all the time. Again, a systems issue.

This legislation also prevents privatisation of the My Health Record system. In saying that there seem to be some fair dodgy dealings going on that indicate some commercial conflicts of interest.

Law enforcement and government agencies access are a little less clear with the official My Health Record website stating

To date, the Agency’s official operating policy has been that no information within My Health Record can be released without an order from a judicial officer. The Agency has never received such a request and has never released information. Under new laws, no information can be released to  law enforcement or a government agency without your consent or an order from a judicial officer

– My Health Record

So I guess law enforcement can access your record.

The My Health Record website states that researchers are currently unable to access this data, but policies and frameworks are being drawn up to oversee this. It is likely that data will be used for public research after de-identification as early as 2020. However, media reports state that secondary use for research “and other purposes” is going ahead as well.

My Health Record information can be used for research and public health purposes in either a de-identified form, or in an identified form if the use is expressly consented to by the consumer

Department of Health spokesperson

The most concerning aspect of this is the “other purposes” part. This is actually a code for organisations such as pharmaceutical agencies. You need to make your mind up about how you feel about that. And no, this is not a conspiracy theory. Think about the 2017 Melbourne Datathon where 3 million rows of Pharmaceutical sales via banner pharmacies was given to participants. There is nothing wrong with this but in reality, you could do a lot of damage with this if you really wanted to.

Why did they delay the deadline?

The opt-out period, where you can choose not to have a record generated, was initially set to end in November 2018 but Federal Health minister Greg Hunt postponed this deadline until the 31st of January 2019 among concerns about Data Privacy and Security. Minister Hunt sought to reassure the public that all was well with the system and that even if they missed the deadline, they could still opt-out at any point. What Minister Hunt neglects to mention here is that a record would be created for you after the 31st of January, although you can permanently delete this at any time.

The decision came after legislation strengthening privacy protections for the electronic health record system was amended in the Senate to include the extension.

SBS News

There have also been rumblings that a ‘small’ technical glitch from 2016 that has not yet been fixed. This bug could leave patients information inaccessible or out of date. If it’s still around, and I’m not saying it is, then it needs fixing.

Then there’s that ‘small’ matter of two total system crashes in November 2018. The media attention prompted people to try and opt out on the deadline in November 2018, and the unprecedented surge in website traffic crashed the system. Given the Federal Government’s failure to load test this and other previous initiatives, shout out to #CensusFail, it is likely we’ll see this issue again on the 31st of January. I don’t think #MyRecordFail has the same ring to it through.

Get in early to avoid this

Is my information accurate?

This is probably my biggest issue with the My Health Record system. It’s not the system itself but the users. The sad reality is that some doctors are just bad at their job. Because of this, the accuracy of the information could be quite low. If another doctor is using it, then there could be severe implications for a patients health. Fortunately, the Australian Medical Association is treating My Health Record with a healthy dose “professional scepticism” stating that doctors would likely be handling the records the same way as hospital discharge notes, by planning for a 10% margin of error. Because that’s not concerning at all.

How do I opt out?

If you want to opt out, you need to visit the My Health Record page. It’s actually a pretty easy process. You’ll need your Medicare card and drivers licence (or passport). Here is a helpful video to guide you through.

Trials of nationally accessible EMRs began in 2015 when the system was called the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), and the eHealth record. Unfortunately, Australians didn’t respond well to this and location-specific trials recommenced in October 2016 with the system being renamed My Health Record. A little under 1 million Aussies registered in the opt-out participation trials. So if you lived in the Nepean region of the NSW Blue Mountains or Northern Queensland be aware that you may already have a My Health Record.

Hopefully, you have a little more understanding of some of the ins and outs of the My Health Record. I have opted out, but that may not be the best choice for you. Seek out further reading and make your mind up for yourself. You have two days.

Subscribe to LDS for more data related joy. Retweet us on Twitter and tag @data_little for happy recordkeeping times. Yes, recordkeeping is one word.

As always LDS cannot absolutely guarantee the correctness of this information and you should seek out further details through the many links in this article to the official My Health Record website.