Get Ready to Launch!

Build 21st-century skills, gain real experience and work with the leading agencies in Australia.

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The Upstart Agency goes live on the 20th of September. Apply now for your chance to be involved!

We’re a not-for-profit organisation set-up to bridge the gap between study and work. We’ve developed a 3-month intensive program designed to help Uni students transition to the workforce with confidence. This first of its kind program is free for students and is launching in Melbourne this September.
So what will you get? You’ll be able to work on real projects for real clients as you’re mentored by industry. As you build your experience you’ll have access to exclusive workshops to equip you with the insights and skills for long-term success. Finally, at the end of the program, you’ll be able to meet leading agencies for ongoing opportunities.

Who's It For?

This program is designed to cater for students from any background or experience and will help you explore these exciting career paths.

Melbourne based students are invited to take part in our Summer program running for three months from the 20th of September 2018. There is no cost to enter and spaces are limited to the top 100 applicants, scroll down for the complete program details.

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Submit your application before the 30th of August for your chance to be involved!

Joining the Upstart Agency gives you direct access to real projects from local startups so you can build your skills and experience. You’ll be able to choose projects that are most interesting to you as you’re supported by our online learning platform and industry experts. Our Agency is located at CoWorkMe in St Kilda, where you’ll have the opportunity to work for at least one day per week during the program. 
The results:
  • Develop your professional portfolio by working for exciting companies.
  • Learn new skills in a practical environment.
  • Build connections with like-minded students from around the country.
  • Discover what it’s like to work for a digital agency.
  • Make a real impact on the success of a local startup.
To compliment the technical skills you’ll be building at the Agency, you’ll also receive workshops from industry experts focused on essential soft skills. Employers actually view these skills as far more important than technical ability for new staff, which means they’re essential for allowing you find the right job when you graduate.
  • Mindfulness in the workplace: understanding the impact of your emotions on your performance.
  • Personal branding 101: how to craft a brand that represents what you stand for.
  • Constructive teams: how to challenge people to perform to the best of their ability.
  • Client liaison: how to communicate with clients to achieve outstanding results.
  • Why sales is not a dirty word: how to be effective in a modern sales environment regardless of your role.
*All events will be recorded and made available to everyone that applies
Whilst in the program you’ll have the chance to work on a brief from some of Australias leading digital agencies. These briefs will be available on our learning platform and have been created with the assistance of staff from the Agency. This means you’ll be able to understand what the industry benchmark is as you discover what it would be like to work for these agencies.
  • IE digital: aligning the customer experience with marketing goals.
  • Isobar: how to craft a compelling narrative across multiple marketing platforms
  • Clemenger BBDO: redefining a brand through advertising
  • Saatchi & Saatchi: standing out from the crowd, the value of being unique
  • Milkman: how to build digital tribes, the art of social media marketing
At the end of the program you’ll have the chance to meet leading employers to discuss ongoing opportunities. You’ll be able to showcase your portfolio of work and apply for any relevant roles. All our partner organisations have committed to hiring a number of students from the Upstart Agency.
  • IE digital: digtital producers and content managers.
  • Isobar: videographers, web designers and graphic designers.
  • Clemenger BBDO: search engine marketers and business development managers.
  • Saatchi & Saatchi: videographers, graphic designers and content managers.
  • Milkman: social media marketers and web designers.

Complete our quick 10-minute application form now for your chance to be involved!

Apply Now

Please apply before the 30th of August for your chance to be involved!

Program Structure

Month 1

  • Launch Event
  • Startup Meet & Greet
  • 3 x Workshops

Month 2

  • Isobar, Clemenger & Milkman Briefs
  • 2 x Workshops
  • Startup Pitch Event 

Month 3

  • Saatchi & IE Digital Briefs
  • Employer “Speed Dating” 
  • 2 x Workshops
  • Program “Wrap-Up” Event
Download Full Program

Got some questions?

We get asked a few common questions about this program. So we put them all in the one place to give you the answers.

What is the Upstart Agency?
We’re a not-for-profit organisation set up by recent University graduates and industry veterans to help bridge the gap between study and work for Australian students. Our mission is to give you access to all the tools and experience you need to make the transition from study to the world of work with confidence.
We established the Upstart Agency to help prevent young people from falling through the cracks after graduating. We know that leaving University can be a stressful experience so we wanted to create a program that could be accessible to all students to address some of the common issues we saw.
Check out our story if you want to know more
Who can apply?
Our Melbourne program is open to all students of Australian Universities and Tafes who are currently studying or have graduated within the last two years. Applicants will need to be available to attend the program from the 20th of September until the 20th of December for at least one half-day per week during this time.
Students from all disciplines can apply and there is no requirement for any previous skills and experience. However, the application process will preference students with skills in relevant areas (listed above).
How does the selection process for the applications work?
The application process consists of two simple stages. The first stage involves a short questionnaire about your motivation for joining the program plus a review of CV and portfolio of work. Whilst previous experience is not necessary, any relevant work that you’ve completed either whilst studying or working will improve your chances of success.
The next stage involves a phone interview with our program mentors. This interview will be focused on your soft skills such as collaboration, communication and organisation. These interviews will all take place in the week beginning Monday the 3rd of September and you’ll be notified of the result the week after.
We have places available for approximately 100 students to take part in the program depending on the quality of the applications. Everyone who applies will receive access to our online learning material, event recordings and Facebook communities once the program commences.
How much time will I need to commit to the program?
That’s up to you! This program is designed to fit flexibly around your existing commitments, allowing you to construct a schedule that works best for you. You’ll be able to come into the Agency to work remotely by connecting with your team through our video conferencing and messenger tools.
Whilst the program is flexible, we do suggest that you budget for spending at least one half-day on program-related activities. We also ask that you make an effort to attend all workshops and events during the program so you can get the most out of it!
What will be the working arrangement during the program?
As part of the program you’ll have the opportunity to work on real projects for local startups to build your experience. For the purpose of these projects you’ll be working as a volunteer supervised by one of our expert mentors the whole time.
As a volunteer, you’ll be able to choose when and how you’d like to work. This means you can be involved by coming into the Agency or by connecting with your team online (or both). You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in multiple projects throughout the program if you’d like.
These projects are designed as a practical learning experience to help you build your professional skills. You’ll have access to our learning platform as well as a range of leading digital tools to help you deliver impressive results. For more information, please check out the Fair Work Website.
How will the teams for the projects be decided?
When the program starts you’ll be able to apply for projects through our project dashboard as they become available, simply by selecting the projects that you’re interested in.
Our team of mentors will then form teams of 3-5 people for each project by matching groups with complimentary skills. Project preferences are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, which is why you should keep an eye on the dashboard for new opportunities as they become available.
What level of access will I have to the mentors?
Each project team will have a dedicated mentor to help you along the way. Your mentor will be available at all times to answer any questions that you and your team may have. Your mentor will also schedule regular feedback sessions with the startup you’re working with to make sure you’re on the right track!
As well as your project mentor, you’ll also be able to connect with industry experts through our series of workshops. These events will be hosted at the Agency and they’ll be time available at the end of each for you to ask direct questions of the presenter.
How will I be able to work on the agency briefs?
Our agency briefs will be released through the learning platform during the program. Each brief comes with a range of agency-specific learning material and insights to give you an idea of what it’s like to work for these organisations.
As these briefs go live on the learning platform you’ll be able to follow along, completing the work in stages. They’ll be scheduled sessions for feedback, where you can ask questions of the mentors to understand the approach for each task. This material will also be available for all students who apply for the program.
What's involved with the employer "speed dating" event?
This event will allow you the chance to connect with leading employers who are looking to hire people with your skills to showcase your work and discuss your future plans.
On the night, you’ll be rotating between the employers giving you the chance to have a 10-minute conversation with each one that interests you. Our employers will also be giving a short presentation about the opportunities available at their organisation and what they’re looking for in new staff.
How many days will I be able to work from the Agency?
During the program, we’ll have a dedicated space at the CoWorkMe offices with space for 20 people. This space is available for all people participating in the program on a shared basis.
To book a desk, you’ll simply need to reserve a seat prior to coming in. Each participant will receive 12 days worth of coworking credits when they join the program, which you can use anytime you like. If you can’t secure a seat for the day you’d like there are also meeting rooms and break-out stations available on a flexible schedule.
Do I need to bring my own equipment?
You will need to provide your own computer for the program. We will provide access to a range of online tools and software that you can use on your projects.
Will there be another program next year?
Absolutely! We’ll be running another program in 2019 in both Sydney and Melbourne so if you miss out/ are not available for this year stay tuned for more updates. If you cannot attend programs in these cities please get in contact so we can discuss ways how we can still help you.
What if I have another question?
If we still haven’t resolved your querry, please shoot us an email via our contact page so we can answer it directly.