How to further your career aspirations through internships

Final year student and intern Genia Ong on how working for the British Council (Singapore) is opening up new opportunities
Singapore-based current student Genia Ong
Genia Ong: "Working with the British Council has been an eye-opening experience."
My time with the British Council to date has been immensely fulfilling and fruitful, as it has provided me with a better understanding of my future directions and options

An internship serves to bridge the gap between your studies and the working world. It is one of the best methods to get your feet in the door of a company or sector that you are keen to delve into for your future career.

Having volunteered and worked as a tuition teacher for the past number of years, education has always been a topic close to my heart. Thus, ever since embarking on my undergraduate journey with the University of London at SIM Global Education (SIM GE), I have always planned to explore the education sector.

My first interaction with the British Council (Singapore) happened during an information session conducted by their education department at SIM GE, when I was a first year undergraduate student.

As a student on the University of London programme, this session sparked an interest within me relating to the United Kingdom’s education sector. It drove me to apply for an internship programme with the British Council and, subsequently, I was accepted into their education department.

Working with the British Council has been an eye-opening experience. With the education team, I organised events which included pre-departure briefings for students heading to the UK for their studies. This has been my most memorable experience so far. We hosted over 800 guests, 36 Singapore Societies (SingSoc) and alumni from various UK universities including the University of Oxford, King’s College London and University College London. An official from the UK Visa and Immigration was also invited to talk about the visa application process.

British Council Singapore event

I also helped to organise a series of lectures, ‘Knowledge is GREAT’, where we invited experts from various fields to share their thoughts and findings.

Through these events and experiences, my horizon has widened considerably. I gained valuable insights into the UK’s education system and institutions. I also interacted with academics, representatives and students from different UK universities. This improved my understanding of the considerations involved in choosing a school which is useful as I plan to further my studies abroad, preferably in the UK.

"The internship provided me with valuable opportunities to apply my knowledge and skills."

My two main takeaways from this internship were the people I met, especially my colleagues and mentors, and the experiences gained through organising the events and activities. My colleagues were nothing short of wonderful!

The internship provided me with valuable opportunities to apply my knowledge and skills learnt in school through my studies and co-curricular activities. I understood that the gap between studies and work can only be bridged through actual work experience. To understand corporate practices and gain applicable work experience, you have to start accumulating practical exposure.

My time with the British Council to date has been immensely fulfilling and fruitful, as it has provided me with a better understanding of my future directions and options. I strongly recommend students who are looking to broaden their horizon and understand their career aspirations to undertake internships.

These experiences will help students relate their knowledge to the required skill set of the industry and possible areas of improvements. With a greater understanding of themselves, students are able to better manage their expectations and start making headway towards their goals.

  • Genia Ong is starting the final year of the BSc Business and Management degree at SIM Global Education in September 2017.
  • SIM Global Education is an Affiliate Centre for the University of London International Programmes.
  • Find out more about studying for a University of London degree in Singapore.