Work experience is crucial

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 May, 2012, 12:00am


Work experience not only makes your resume more impressive; it also helps you gain the skills you need for the future. It doesn't matter whether you gain work experience through part-time jobs or internships.

You should consider short-term jobs even if they're not directly related to a career path you want to take. What's more, such jobs are a good way to earn extra money.

Jobs like working in restaurants, babysitting or taking care of people's pets can be rewarding: they can teach us how to be responsible.

An internship, meanwhile, pays very little (or none at all). Yet being an intern allows you to see from the inside how an organisation works and what skills you need to get a job done. Internships offer a taste of the kind of work ethic that will be required of you later on.

Li Chui-yi, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Chui-yi. Many students leave school, or even university, without ever having stepped into a place of work. When they eventually get a job, they can feel overwhelmed - not by the work, but by the dynamics, office politics, rules and expectations.

Finding work experience while you're a student shows you what awaits you once you enter the workplace. As an intern, you'll probably be given assignments which are fun or challenging, rather than the everyday (often boring) tasks. Companies often have structured internship programmes, which expose you to different tasks.

With a summer job, you'll often be plunged straight into tasks, and expected to contribute towards the day-to-day running of the business, as a regular employee is. Although this may seem a little daunting, it can be a better reflection of working life.

Try to find something that suits your temperament, as well as your interests - although getting work experience in an industry you have little interest in allows you to see a different side of life. Good luck!

Karly, Deputy Editor