Last update 10/22/2010 4:49:21 PM (GMT+7)

What do students do during internship?

VietNamNet Bridge – Many university students complain that they do not have the opportunities to gain practical experience within companies and that they are not welcomed there.

Internships and work placements are compulsory requirement for students in order to finish universities.

Just sitting or running errands

According to Phu nu Thanh pho HCM newspaper, there are 3000 vocational schools nationwide and 500 universities and junior colleges. However, the number of students who find an internship or a work placement remains very modest. Schools can only introduce 20-30 percent of students to companies, while the remaining 70-80 percent have to look for one on their own.

Even those students, who find an internship opportunity do not feel happy. Many complain that they cannot access the information and database at the divisions they work in, and they find it hard to understand the working procedures. Instead of doing the jobs in their trained fields, they have to run little errands such as photocopying documents or working as receptionists.

NAK, a fourth year student of the HCM City Economics University, said she learned how to make a financial report when she was a second year student. However, when when she was interning, she was asked to work as a receptionist for one month before she could start doing her actual work.

Meanwhile, students from tourism schools said they began working as tour guides since they were second year students. However, during the internship period, they still had to pay normal tourists’ fees.

According to TH, a student of International Tourism School, some private tourist companies, knowing work placements are compulsory for students create various difficulties for students.

“Tourist companies, on one hand, force students to pay tourist fees, on the other hand, use students as tour guides. As the result, students have to work for travel agencies and have to pay them money at the same time,” she said.

Forty four students from Cao Dang Polytechnique Junior College related that during the work placement, they had to take the job of porters, though they are qualified workers.

Twelve students from Lilama 2 Vocational Junior College have come from Dong Nai province to HCM City to practice working at a construction site.
The students study how to manufacture mechanical engineering equipments, but here they have to do simple tasks and get 75,000 dong per day. Many students have given up after 3-15 days of working.

Foreign companies hunting for outstanding students

Meanwhile, foreign companies, which understand that qualified employees play a very important role in the development of businesses, have been trying to “hunt” for students who need internships and work placements.

Unilever, L&G, Colgate Palmolive and Ikea, Electrolux, BP and Ericsson, Mercedes-Benz and Cargill, have been regularly launching the campaigns to hunt for interns. Over the last five years, Nhan Viet Company has found hundreds of outstanding students.

In particular, the students in the scholarship programme organized by the US Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (who must show excellent results in the past three consecutive years) are regularly invited to intern at big companies.

They have to go through rounds of difficult interviews to be accepted into the internship programme. These students are selected from thousands of candidates.

Nguyen Hai Dang, a student of RMIT University, said he was very happy with the 6-month internship at L’Oréal, a cosmetics firm. “I did different kinds of works, I met a lot of people and I gained much experience. Now I feel confident when meeting employers,” he said.

Source: Phu nu Vietnam