Over the summer of 2016-17, three students from the Deakin University Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET) Virtual Reality (VR) Laboratory partnered with Deakin University’s Graduate Employment Division and SEW Eurodrive to develop a new VR tool designed to provide access and equity to an authentic job interview experience.

This was part of SummerTech LIVE, a Victorian Government initiative matching the digital technology needs of Victorian businesses with innovative tertiary students to solve problems over the summer. Study Melbourne caught up with some of the participants.

Putting skills into practice

'Interview situations are very stressful for students, particularly when they are trying to secure their first graduate role,' said Deakin University’s Director of the CADET Virtual Reality Laboratory Dr Ben Horan and Professor Dineli Mather, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Graduate Employment), Graduate Employment Division who each supervised students during the project.

'VR enabled us to create a learning tool that captures and conveys the dynamics of a real interview allows students to observe the body language and, the developing mood and tone of the interview as it progresses. Having a digital tool also gives us scale and ubiquity.'

'We observed the students’ excitement and eagerness to adopt new VR technologies and to learn how to put them into practice. This type of agility and responsiveness is important to future careers in technology.'

Gaining real world experience

Jenny Damcevksa was one of the three students participating in the project, while completing her Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering with Deakin University.

'My experience with the SummerTech LIVE has been extremely positive. It has allowed me to bring my theoretical academic learnings into a practical reality while working within a world leading Virtual Reality laboratory,' said Jenny.

'The SummerTech LIVE experience has further enhanced my passion for Mechatronics Engineering and allowed me to work with inspiring and talented individuals which I have viewed as mentors through this experience.'

Working with others

Masters of Engineering student Gokul Thirunavukkarasu, said the experience was “one of the most inspiring part of his time because it provides an environment conducive to learn a lot from other members of the team.”

'Collaborating within the team made the work so enjoyable and interesting. The process of continuous learning and the happiness in seeing the outcomes of our work is something that I am continually rewarded by. The SummerTech LIVE pilot provided me the opportunity to work collaboratively with a range of multicultural and highly talented individuals.'