Have you ever wondered about what kind of internship programmes are secondary school students taking up?
Despite ranking at the top of OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Singaporean students have become good test takers instead of holistic innovators. As such, we need a change in our education mindset from a rigorous exam/test focused curriculum towards a experiential learning process. Recently, Ministry of Education (MOE) calls for removal of mid-year examinations for Secondary 1 and 3 and across all primary and secondary levels to have one weighted assessment per subject in a term. More secondary schools are going beyond the usual extra-curricular activities to open up opportunities for their students to be attached to a company fora shoer stint during their school holidays.
Good news! You no longer have to be in a polytechnic or university to explore your career interests. Today, a 14 year old secondary two student can benefit from the chance to learn from an actual working environment and gain their unique take on industries ranging from Hospitality to Business Start Ups.
Here comes the big question...
There are so many internships out there, how do you know which one to apply for?
At Make The Change (MTC), we have the privilege to host different groups of secondary school students for internship. We gathered insights from our past interns. This is the introductory guide to choosing the right secondary school internship:
Ever felt lost staring at job portals or overwhelmed by the list of options your school provide; don't fret! Here are some guidelines to help you with your search:
1. List down the top 3 internships closest to your ideal career/interests
If you already know exactly what are your interests and career choices, that's good. You can start preparing yourself and find your ideal internship. If not, keep calm and take time to reflect on your daily choices.
Start by asking yourself, what makes you tick. What are the hobbies and interests that energises you? During your conversation with friends, what topic do you find that you cannot stop talking about? While scrolling through the feeds on your social media, which type of posts will you stop for? What occupation best fits your aspiration? Once you identify your interests, you will be able to narrow down your options.
2. You can see yourself working for the company
No one wants to wake up dragging their feet to work everyday. You got to do your homework. For every internship you are applying to, google about them and read up on the company culture and values they represent. You have to ask yourself:
A) Do you identify with the values the company represent?
B) Is the internship an opportunity to make a greater impact or is it just another job?
C) Do you see yourself contributing to the company rather than just receiving from them?
3. Look for a company that is open and willing to share
Interviews are the best platforms for you to find out about the company. It is to your benefit when you ask related questions. This is a good litmus test to see if the company is willing to be open. Lucas, one of our interns, reflected Make The Change was transparent in showing him the workings of the company and appreciate the effort in giving the interns the full working experience.
4. Be open to learning from multiple perspectives
Every job has its own learning experience. Never belittle a job just because it may seem menial or physically demanding. Always stay humble and hungry to learn from the various tasks assigned to you. If you are managing well with your assigned work, seek out opportunities where you can contribute.
Now that you are well armed with these tips, what are you waiting for? Start seeking out your desired internship today!