Expect to hear more of the name Viv Jayachandran in the future after he was named Student Entrepreneur of the Year at the University of Newcastle’s (UoN) Employability Excellence Awards.
The ceremony celebrated the achievements of students in their work placements and the invaluable contributions of staff and industry partners in creating meaningful career-ready roles.
Mr Jayachandran, who established his own software business Jaegersoft, was among six pupils recognised at Callaghan Campus.
Others included Amelia Young – PhD (Law), Imogen Reid – Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Honours)/Bachelor of Science (Earth Science), Hugh Marler – Bachelor of Aerospace Systems Engineering (Honours), Cameron Lord, Bachelor of Renewable Energy Engineering (Honours) and Samuel Clarke, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours).
A delighted Mr Jayachandran admitted he was inspired to launch Jaegersoft after undertaking a career-ready placement.
“As part of my degree, I undertook a 12-week placement at The Melt in Warners Bay and it was really the first introduction to what real-world businesses required,” he said.
“I then met some start-ups that needed help and saw the opportunity.
“So, I began to grow my network and launched my business.
“The mentorship during the internship was really important in guiding me.
“It allowed me to develop the skills I needed to launch my own start-up because they got you to work on real-world solutions to problems.
“It essentially threw me into the deep end and opened the door to the real world.”
Mr Jayachandran’s business now comprises of a team of mostly alumni or current students from the UoN and they design and develop innovative software products for businesses in the mining and heavy industry, advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors.
“I want to congratulate everyone who was nominated this year,” Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said.
“We had almost 170 nominations for the awards, which reflected the effort we have placed on creating the right kind of placements for students.
“Every pupil starting a degree at our university now undertakes a career-ready placement.
“It ensures graduates get the practical experience that makes them highly-competent and employable when they finish their degree.”
With 13 organisations – NGM Group, ResTech, Prince of Wales Hospital (Nuclear Medicine Department), Community Corrections Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, The University of Newcastle Justice Clinic, Recovery Station, Clarity Imaging, Redhead Public School, 4Tel, Catholic Schools Broken Bay, Hunter Community Legal Centre, Imagecloud and Boeing Defence Australia – inducted into the Hall of Fame, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Mark Hoffman said the career-ready placements benefited both industry and students.
“The industry partnerships we have are instrumental in allowing people to gain practical skills and seamlessly transition from university to the workforce,” he explained.
“For industry, the benefits are two-fold – it provides an opportunity for businesses to give back to the community and creates a pipeline where they can identify highly-employable graduates and attract them to their organisation, which is particularly beneficial in a tight labour market.
“Our students are also using the latest technology, which creates the chance for a two-way learning channel that means industry can learn about some of the new technologies available to them, while sharing their own experience with the students.”
Employability Excellence Awards winners
- Student Employability Achievement Award – Amelia Young – PhD (Law)
- Student Employability Achievement Award – Imogen Reid – Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Honours)/Bachelor of Science (Earth Science)
- Student Employee of the Year – Hugh Marler – Bachelor of Aerospace Systems Engineering (Honours)
- Student Entrepreneur of the Year – Viv Jayachandran – Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours)
- Work Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Cameron Lord, Bachelor of Renewable Energy Engineering (Honours)
- Work Integrated Learning Student of the Year – Samuel Clarke, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
Work Integrated Learning Staff Member of the Year
- College of Human and Social Futures – Dr Paul Stolk
- College of Engineering, Science and Environment – Associate Professor Karen Blackmore
- College of Health Medicine and Wellbeing – Dr Hayley Croft
- Employer Excellence in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award – Newcastle School
- New Partner in Employability Award – NeuroKind
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