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On work experience and internships

[ 2009-02-23 17:18]     字号 [] [] []  
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Growing up as a 16-year old in Australia, I was blessed to attend a well disciplined school. At the time though I hated it and compared it to a prison. It was 'boys only' and we had to wear a suit and tie, polished black shoes and boring grey trousers.

One of the finer moments though was the opportunity to do "work experience". This was a fortnight where the school gave students the chance to enter the real world to try and get a taste of the type of work they may want to do after they graduate.

If there is one thing I have learnt, be it here in China or anywhere else for that matter, it's that many people have absolutely no idea what they want to do in life or what it is they were meant to be.

As a result many of us end up floating around and drifting from one subject to the next or one job to the next.

So if you get a chance to do any work experience or internship, I feel it is extremely valuable. Go for it!

I understand life and study here in China is super-competitive and teachers and parents do not allow students much room at all for anything but study.

I hope this will change with time if possible because it is tough to talk to students who tell me they have never had a job before, never studied what they were interested in and never really had a chance to try and do what they loved.

It's even heavier on the heart when students at senior high school or at university say that they have no idea what they feel passionate about, "I only studied this cos' my parents wanted me to".

I wonder within our education system, within our families and within our society if there is room to give young minds a chance to experiment, to loosen up, to try and find themselves and their place in the world?

I know at present it is a real tough job market. After years of studying young minds in their early 20's are finding that after so much hard learning they cannot find employment.

Then the lucky ones if they can find a job are getting paid very small salaries barely enough to survive on.

The more fortunate ones who can depend on their families may be able to go to study abroad in another country but in these tough times this is no guarantee of a better life either.

Many who have studied abroad and were hoping to work in the US or UK or Australia are now realizing that it is difficult or almost impossible to get a work visa or sponsorship at the moment thanks to the global economic crisis.

So I just wanted to say, if you have a chance to do any job, be it in a factory, in a farm, at KFC or supermarket, take it.

I know you think you deserve better and you are right. But we all need to start somewhere and at the moment anything is better than nothing.

Furthermore the experience is very good for you. You get to meet people, get to learn a bit about yourself and it gets you out of the house and apartment and into society.

So don't be sad people!

You need your energy and enthusiasm and bright attitude to show your best to the world.

Things go up then down, around and around. That is life and that is the economy.

So focus on what you want, and how to get it – and have faith that in time over the years you should get there.

Till then – if someone offers you a chance at doing anything, no matter how horrid or unattractive it may be, give it another thought, who knows, it just may open up to a whole new world.



About the author:

On work experience and internships

About the author: Brendan has taught at universities, high schools and primary schools in Japan,the UK, Australia and China. He is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor and has extensive experience with International English Language Examinations. In the field of writing Brendan has been published in The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, Inflight magazines and the Asia News Network. He can be contacted at brendanjohnworrell@hotmail.com.