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LODE of crap

Illustration by Elizabeth Bridges

Get Job Ready with an Internship Today from LODE!”

 

No doubt you’ve seen these bad boys plastered all over your Facebook page. Maybe you’ve even been tagged in one by a mate or an over zealous parent. I was, which is why I filled out an an application.

 

Silly, silly me.

 

These things always come at a price, something I wish I had remembered as I started giving them my personal details and wasting time thinking up a witty 100 character response to “How will your colleagues remember you after you have completed your internship?”.

 

The real answer is they won’t, because I won’t be doing one. At least not through a third party company. Which is exactly what those ads are for.

 

So I got a call at 11:00 in the morning, bleary eyed and non-functioning until I got put on hold long enough to pour myself a coffee. It was from the internship people—hurrah! I had succeeded! Or not. But kind of.

 

They loved me. They loved me so much they wanted me to do a Business Administration and Management double diploma on top of my Science and Journalism double degree (yay!). All so I could get a 3 month unpaid internship. It’s all going on my HECS anyway, right? So I persisted with almost an hour of questions and career coaching, which was all very helpful. But then the wonderful lady on the other side of the receiver said those magical words (or rather, numbers).

 

“Fourteen thousand dollars.”

 

$14k. On HECS, but—geez! Fourteen thousand dollars. For a 12-month online course. Through a college called “Ivy”? Sounds super legit.

 

So I hopped on Google and found some alternatives that are all less than $3000 for almost the same thing. While the lady over the phone seemed to think that the extra $11k was well worth it just for the coaching and the internship, I’m not going to pay that much so I can not get paid for three months.

 

According to LODE’s Facebook reviews, I’m not the only one either. Their single star reviews cite a myriad of false advertising, misleading sales tactics and unsolicited calls in order to get people to pay up to $16000.

 

But it gets worse. It turns out their “winners” don’t even get an internship.

 

One of these winners, who would rather remain anonymous, said that they only received a referral to another company, Navitas. Though they weren’t talked into paying for a diploma they didn’t need, the company was so hopeless at placing them into an internship, the entrant took another one in the meantime.

 

So if you’re looking for an internship, or to improve your employability by completing a short course, do yourself a favour and shop around. Do your research and know your consumer rights.

 

For instance, if you have just read this and are now amidst a panic attack because you yourself have accepted a course through one of these organisations, know that you are entitled to a 10-day cooling off period. At any time during this period you may cancel your purchase with a full-refund, even if it was loaned against your HECS. And if the business mislead you about their services, or coerced you into signing a contract, that contract is void.

 

See? Research is your friend.

And if you can’t be bothered doing the research yourself, here’s some I whipped up earlier.

 

Certificate III in Business Administration at Monash.

Government Funded

Full: $1600

Concession: $320

While it’s not online, a bonus is that it involves real actual human beings teaching you. Neato! There are even courses specific to education and medical admin which are cheaper.

 

Diploma of Leadership and Management at Monash.

Government Funded

Full: $2300

Concession: $2100

That’s right, this two day a week course is still a seventh of the cost of Ivy’s online option. And again, there are flesh and bone people involved. And if that’s too much of a commitment for you, how about a measly $600 for the Certificate IV?

 

Dual Diploma of Business Administration + Diploma of Leadership & Management at the CAE

12-16 month course.

Full fee of $2995

Payment plan of $44/week available, although total course fees increase due to banking charges.

If you want the full package but don’t want to be an extra $14k in debt, how about the exact same thing for less than a third of the price? While it is upfront, it’s nothing a part-time gig over the summer holidays can’t pay for. Plus, it’s online if you decide to complete it while also working or studying full time.

 

Career Connect at Monash

Offered across all campuses, Career Connect assists students with career planning, course advice and practicing interview skills. While there’s no promise of an internship, they do provide free help to both current Monash students and recent graduates by polishing the skills required to get one.

 

Individual Faculty Programs

If you’re feeling really lost, contact your faculty. Most Monash faculties offer subjects or help services based around locating and completing industry experience. So call them up and discuss your options!

 

Now you have no excuse—so get searching!

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Ruby Muller

The author Ruby Muller

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