Students Secure Employment through Internship
Students Secure Employment through Internship
  • 김나현
  • 승인 2005.05.04 00:00
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▲ An intern helps a young patient with painting at a fund-raising festival supported by her company.

   Over the past few years, more and more college students have been attracted to internship programs by an increase in the unemployment rate and a resulting increase in competition in the job market. As industries demand grows for youth with "real-world" work experience, many students now believe that taking advantage of internships while still in college has a lot of rewards.
   Yet, when students start searching for internships, they are often not sure what internships will give them the tasks and opportunities they need. To help such problems, the Ewha Career Development Center (CDC) is taking an active role in introducing students to internships in companies and public agencies according to individual needs. For example, if a certain company puts in a request at the CDC for five interns who are skilled at graphic design, the CDC checks records submitted by students in its Internship II course, and recommends those who match. Usually most of the students recommended get internships after interviewing with company officials. Students may earn three credit hours for completing an internship after submitting attendance information and written reports of their internship experience, including details of their job duties and projects.
   Internships Abroad
   One way some students seek to differentiate themselves in the job market is by going overseas for their internship experience. Thus, students who successfully complete an international internship are actively recruited in the business world.
Students who wish to apply for international internships mostly contact their potential sponsors individually through private agencies. Yoon Mi-ja, a researcher at the CDC, states that the most favorable way to search for an internship abroad is to look for possible contacts during a stay abroad for language training. ?mong the students in our Internship Abroad course, there are several students who have found internships at overseas branches of Korean companies and international trade associations. Some of these companies also provide language courses for foreign students during their temporary absence from school.
   This May, a seminar with ten students who have returned from internships abroad will discuss which agency they found helpful, how much their expenses were for living abroad, and the merits and demerits of certain types of internships.
   Supporting Int'l Office Management Majors
   The Department of International Office Management has been raising funds for the development of international women professionals since 1998. Since then, a few selected students from the International Office Management major have been sent to various organizations and institutes abroad every year with scholarships. A few of the major places the students are sent to are the Business Professional Women International (BPW International) and the East Rock Institute at Yale University.
Yoon Ji-hyun (05, International Office Management), who is now a secretary at the Kim & Jang Law Firm, was one of the beneficiaries of the scholarship and had her internship experience at the President's Office of BPW International, in Zurich, Switzerland. BPW International is an organization that seeks advancement for women position in various professions worldwide and is one of the primary advisory organizations of the United Nations. During her six week internship stay, Yoon assisted the president of the organization and had a chance to use the skills and knowledge that she was taught in her major. "I don't know whether employers gave additional consideration to my internship experience abroad, but it surely helped me to develop a sense of responsibility and confidence in my abilities. And difficulties I went through and the mistakes I made then taught me many useful lessons and I was able to better myself by correcting the mistakes I made."
   Cautionary Tales
   Despite the high demand for internship experience in the business world, there are also many misuses of internships by students. Yoon Mi-ja of the CDC warns, "There are some students who take six months or a year off from school just to look for work as an intern. This is not something I recommend. Instead, I encourage students to make good use of their vacation time and try to find an optimal internship for themselves. Also, I hope Ewha students will start to show more motivation and better networking and communication skills at their workplaces, whether as interns or as full-time employees, because I hear from many companies that these are the weakest points of Ewhaians."

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