The harsh competition to get a job these days has lead many college students to participate in various types of extracurricular activities to build their resumes. Such extracurricular activities include volunteer work, part-time jobs, internships and contests which are helpful for employment after graduation.
Meanwhile, companies and organizations offer diverse programs for college students to participate to get new ideas and scout capable individuals. However, what is supposed to be a win-win exchange can sometimes be used to exploit overly trusting students.
“My friend worked as a supervisor for a children’s English camp. The contract stated that she would receive 3,000,000 won. All she received was 1,000,000 in the end,” said Kang sel-gi (International Studies 2).
Kang's friend who wanted to remain anonymous also had hoped to receive a certificate that would prove her experience as a teacher. However, the company gave her nothing.
“In my case, I worked for an entertainment company as a part time job for a month during summer. Before I received my wage, the company suddenly disappeared,” said Kim Hye-mi, a student who eventually solved her problem by contacting the Ministry of Labor.
But an officer of the Ministry of Labor (MOL) continued that the MOL will not always have a sufficient solution. “The student may visit the local MOL office and sue the company,” said the officer who wanted to remain anonymous. “But it is hard to help students when the company is no longer contactable.”
In January 16, an Internet blogger named FandO posted a complaint suggesting suspicions against a company that had recruited students offering that they will provide scholarship for qualified students. The company claiming to seek participants, required students to translate their resumes into French by using a particular Internet site. The translation service cost 60,000 won. Later it turned out that the translating service was run by the company.
Jang Shin-hye, a researcher at the Ewha Career Development Center (CDC) says that sometimes students are too desperate or hurried and recklessly apply for the programs. This kind of physiology can be easily misused by companies.
"Sometimes students do not look into the information of the program very carefully, which can lead to their own disadvantage,” said Jang. “Students should check what kind of organization is sponsoring the activities. Also, students should utilize official sites to gain information. The CDC generally offers opportunities that are safer.”
When there is such deception, a student may also contact the Ministry of Labor (MOL) in his or her local district. If the organization is confirmed to have defrauded the student, and it refused to correct its actions, it may be given a criminal punishment.
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