Benefits of Internship – Look Beyond Just Good Grades

Internship opportunities offer secondary school and junior college/international baccalaureate students a valuable gateway into the professional world, providing a hands-on learning experience that complements theoretical knowledge gained in their field of study. 

How does an internship benefit? In today’s competitive job market, these internships not only grant students the chance to gain practical skills and real-world problem-solving experience but also help them shape their future careers. 

Unlike traditional vacation jobs, internships allow students to immerse themselves in a professional environment, building a professional network and paving the way for potential full-time employment opportunities. As Singaporean students increasingly recognize the significance of gaining early career exposure, internships emerge as an essential avenue for honing skills, exploring career paths, and standing out in the competitive job market.


Internships Can Start Early

While internships are commonplace for university students, the practice has slowly been catching up with the younger set who are keen to be exposed to diverse internship opportunities, offering them the opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable work experience. 

This early internship exposure provides secondary and JC/IB  students with an opportunity to explore various career paths and develop a clearer understanding of their future aspirations. With the job market becoming increasingly competitive, students are realizing the importance of gaining early internship experience to enhance their future career prospects. 

Straight As and an impressive extracurricular and leadership background, coupled with relevant internship experience, not only bolster their university admissions but also equip them with the necessary skills and professional network for navigating the challenges of the “real world” and more importantly gain insights into what the working world offers.


Citadel Search Partners With Schools For Internship Opportunities

Miss Sherry Low and Miss Annie Lee – students of CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School – are part of this upward trend. Both girls interned with Citadel Search, an Executive Search firm in Singapore that specialises in human capital partnering. The opportunity materialised after a joint endeavour between the company and the school administration. The experience allowed the duo to apply “classroom learning skills to the real world and gain hands-on work experience that we were unable to experience within a classroom”. The schoolgirls were given individual short projects, as well as tasks that were similar to those done by the firm’s employees. Citadel Search was featured in the above Straits Times article. See the above pic. 


Providing an Eye-Opening Internship Experience

Miss Low says: “It was definitely an eye-opener for us and we learned many things. We completed the respective projects successfully and felt a sense of accomplishment. We also picked up essential time-management and organisational skills.”

Ms Cindy Yeo, Managing Director of Citadel Search, believes that the internship experience is equally fruitful for the firm. She plans on building a rigorous internship programme that caters to pre-university students, placing two to three candidates every school break. Says Ms Yeo: “I see the value of exposing young students early to various industries. It will play a huge part in their career decision-making and will help them discover what they truly want to commit to. In the end, it also helps companies gain valuable and steadfast employees.”


Encouraging Companies to Advocate Early Internships

Indeed, companies are keener on taking in younger interns. After all, as much as it is important for students to prepare themselves early, companies also gain from grooming future employees when they are most impressionable. Further, young interns add vigour to the working environment with their fresh ideas and interesting takes on otherwise old topics. Ultimately, these interns also help in the companies’ thrust to evaluate their own practices and improve their own student programmes.

Educational institutions are also beginning to advocate early internships. Some secondary schools and junior colleges have already made it part of their curricula or have alternatively offered either course credits or an extra-curricular distinction to students who engage in such on-the-job training.

School guidance counsellors have also taken on the role of connector between students and companies to locate possible internships for their students. Some of the more proactive learners create their own internship experience, either through leveraging the network provided by family and friends or exploring neighbourhood businesses and SMEs, such as the community clinic or the local bank.


How Early Internships benefit you 

Regardless of whether it’s an A-level/IB internship or a secondary school internship, the advantages are countless Internship experiences at an early stage not only provide a glimpse into potential career paths but also offer invaluable opportunities to learn and gain practical experience. 

These internships expose you to different work environments, helping you step out of your comfort zone and develop crucial problem-solving skills applicable in your chosen career. 

By immersing yourself in internships, you not only navigate the competitive job market more effectively but also increase your chances of securing future job offers in your field of study. 

Moreover, early internships pave the way for building a professional network, connecting you with mentors and peers who can guide you towards achieving your career goals. Whether you’re a secondary school student or a college student, seizing internship offers early on sets a strong foundation for your future full-time job prospects and overall career success.


Internships Promote Lesser Job Hopping

Certainly, the greater hope is that with the rising trend of students gaining internship experiences early, the employment landscape will see an eventual increase in more resolute employees, with fewer young workers job-hopping or switching careers often. Miss Lee says: “Being exposed to the realities of the working world also allows us to test a potential career without commitment, and enables us to find out if a certain type of job really suits us.

At a fundamental level, even if these internships do not lead to life-changing decisions for the students, the communication, time management and networking skills afforded by these internships are beneficial to them.

If you are a school looking for partnerships with Citadel Search for internship opportunities, come talk to us. Or, if you are keen to take on an internship, contact us here. 

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