The term “internship” seems daunting to many: images of young adults dressed prim and proper in office wear; heels checked, make up checked, and off to work. Well, internships are actually essential for us before we step out into the working world - apart from the fact that we all have to fulfil a minimum of 10 weeks during our precious summer break to fulfil this compulsory graduation requirement!
I’m no expert and am in no position to give any guidance, but here are my two cents worth – speaking from experience as a current third year SMU undergraduate. Hopefully these will help you have a clearer idea of what internships are really about.
Why is internship important?
There are plenty of benefits when we are actually doing an internship. Just to name a few: hands-on experience in the real world, finding out more about ourselves, and building our professional network. We can find out more about the industry through the responsibilities and tasks assigned to us, and if we want to embark on this as a career path. If we don’t like what we are doing, we can still “switch course” and find out more about other industries through the different platforms that SMU provides. We also get the opportunity to meet seniors who can provide us with different perspectives and guide us along our career path.
How do I find out more?
SMU has plenty of platforms for us to find out more about internships and our career options. Here are some that you can tap on:
Finishing Touch Programme (FT)
This is a compulsory workshop that SMU students have to undertake, and to expose students to up-to-date employment trends. FT workshop has three different series, where FT100 and FT200 are compulsory for all students. To get a full list of what the FT programme is all about, click here to find out more! FT workshops allow us to better prepare for our career, such as building up our resume and writing a cover letter.
Meet your career coach
Career coaches from DKHMCC come from different backgrounds and possess different skills. Our career coach are like mentors guiding us through our career options in SMU. Do feel free to book an appointment with them through Ontrac and share with them what you want to do!
Various companies will drop their openings for internships into this school portal. Do remember to check OnTRac regularly and check for these internship opportunities!
Check your emails
Yes, check your email. It is definitely essential now that we’re about to enter adulthood! Almost EVERY message from school will be communicated through this platform, so turn on your notifications to not miss out on anything. For me, I’ve subscribed to emails regarding events from DHKMCC, so that I can be in sync with various events such as career talks, networking sessions with companies and even alumnus.
How to be efficient
Alright, so now you understand why internships are important and what some platforms that SMU provide for students are. I’m no perfect intern, but here are just some tips from me speaking from experience!
Have an open mind. Many companies have different ways of doing things. Keep an open mind and be flexible when it comes to learning new things.
Ask for help or feedback. The only way to improve is only when we become more efficient. Asking for feedback and taking conscious effort to produce quality work shows that we are serious and keen to learn.
Stay happy, and enjoy. Last but not least, enjoy your work!