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Athletes go virtual to develop post-athletic careers

21 October 2022

In an exciting first eight Australian high performance athletes will undertake virtual internships with companies based all around the world to help prepare them for their post-athletic careers.

The Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) commitment to help athletes with their career development continues to evolve with a new Virtual Internship (VI) program launched this month. The internship will provide athletes with exciting opportunities and a chance to engage in work experience placements that work around their demanding schedules.

Delivered through the AIS Professional Development Team, the VI program aims to provide athletes in high performance (HP) sport with a comprehensive, flexible and accessible suite of programs and resources to help them make successful transitions out of sport.

While athletes have been able to complete various forms of study around their demanding training and competition schedules, the ability to be immersed in a face-to-face internship is not always an option.

The new program will provide athletes with the flexibility to complete a placement in their preferred field across 18 career options, while also accessing personalised support and coaching with an Intern Experience Manager and Internship Coach.

The inaugural 2022 class will complete their placements in companies throughout the world including Australia, South Korea, South Africa, the USA and the United Kingdom, in the areas of Research, Business, Accounting, Law, Engineering and Sustainability.

Image shows a skeleton racer jumping into their sled. The racer is wearing a green and gold skinsuit.
Skeleton racer Jackie Narracott will begin her AIS virtual internship placement in early 2023.

For UK-based Australian skeleton racer Jackie Narracott who will begin her AIS virtual internship placement in early 2023, it’s provided the flexibility of engaging in a work placement while also continuing her training and competition schedule.

“I'm incredibly excited to be given this virtual internship scholarship opportunity. This internship is exactly the next step I was looking for in my post-sliding career progression and I'm incredibly grateful the AIS are helping make that happen,” said Narracott, who made history at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing by claimed Australia’s first ever Olympic sliding sport medal.

“Through COVID and the lead up to the Beijing Winter Olympics I discovered a dormant passion for Interior Design and found studying it alongside training and competing hugely beneficial. This internship will give me the opportunity to gain the real-world experience I'm lacking and begin to set up a network in the industry for when my sliding career finishes and hopefully create opportunities before that.

“The best part is that despite being based in the UK, I can work with designers back in Australia which will hopefully make the transition when we move back home that little bit easier.”

Image shows a water polo player leaping out of the water attempting to shoot the ball.
Australian Water Polo team member Jessica Zimmeran recently completed a ‘Sustainability Network and Business Development’ placement.

Australian Water Polo team member Jessica Zimmeran recently completed her ‘Sustainability Network and Business Development’ placement with an Australian based company LUP GLOBAL.

"I would like to pursue a career in sustainability and this company was the perfect place to start. It has provided me with an incredible opportunity to gain experience and insight into an incredible company that is in the sustainability business,” said Zimmerman.

“Due to my sporting career, my work career has been a little postponed, but this scholarship gave me an opportunity to learn a lot and build my experience. Being an online internship, it means that I was able to balance it with training, at any time, in any place around the world. I couldn't have asked for a better place to start my career and I have the AIS to thank for that!”

Interested in a Virtual Internship? If you are a high performance categorised athlete and would like more information, please email

2022 Virtual Internship Inaugural Class

  • Madeleine Steere - Water Polo
  • Marianna Tolo - Basketball
  • Nicholas Timmings - Skeleton
  • Jaclyn Narracott - Skeleton
  • Laura Peel - Freestyle Skiing
  • Genevieve Longman - Water Polo
  • Sofie Pontré - Water Polo
  • Jessica Zimmerman - Water Polo
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