Undertaking an internship is a significant step for students. It’s a great opportunity to see what your future career might be like! You can also look forward to the chance to apply your knowledge from the classroom in a professional context. The lessons you find yourself learning on the job are oftentimes those that help you grow the most.
City University of Hong Kong (CityU) believes that sometimes it’s best to learn outside of the classroom. Here are some advantages that Rebecca, a Marketing student at CityU, has gained from learning on the job.
Receiving valuable professional advice
Rebecca and her team handled the creation of proposals to help improve business. They had two semesters to work on their projects. A shopping mall in Mongkok tasked them with attracting more passers-by and bringing in a younger market of consumers in their first semester. An online agent tasked the team with finding new ways to draw in more clients for their second semester.
The company representatives that they worked with during both projects provided them with valuable advice for their studies over the course of both projects.
“We learned from the company representative that we should not stray too far from the original topic during a focus group interview, and that we should manage the group properly and summarize in a timely fashion whenever necessary so that we can start a fresh line of enquiry.”
Improving current skills while learning new ones
Another perk of learning on the job is being able to improve the skills you already have by adjusting to the demands of professional situations. You might even pick up some new skills along the way!
Rebecca and her team applied what they had initially learned in their classes by conducting surveys. By making small adjustments to their questionnaire, Rebecca and her team were able to received precise input from survey-takers.
The second change they made was to the method of conducting the surveys. Getting people to fill out questionnaires online might be more convenient, but holding face-to-face interviews yielded clearer opinions and plenty of additional input.
“This more conventional way of administering surveys on occasions may be better than online platforms. We need to choose wisely.”
Gaining a mentor while learning on the job
You can learn a lot by yourself but sometimes you just need someone to steer you in the right direction. Another great perk of going on an internship is being able to meet potential mentors. Mentors are people who you can openly talk to about your goals. They’re a great source of guidance and support as you make your way through the path that leads to your goals.
Rebecca learned a lot from both CityU’s Senior Teaching Fellow of the Department of Marketing, Mr. Alex Tham Koy-siong, and the corporation representatives that she worked with. Apart from the necessary skills, her internship also taught her core disciplines expected of any professional.
“[They] made us appreciate the importance of thorough preparation since any error could undermine our efforts.”
Overall, the internship experience was positive for Rebecca. It prepared her for life as a professional and gave her the confidence boost she needs to begin her professional career after graduation.