From our friends at Absolute Internship comes this firsthand take on a great internship! Visit nscs.org for more ways to get involved.
About half a year ago, I was wondering just what I should do for the summer, since it would be my last official summer before graduating. A lot of my friends and classmates were already applying for local internships in Hong Kong; obviously, an internship would be beneficial for the last year of my Architecture course, but, somehow, I still wanted to have a “fun” summer. I thought that since I had already tried working in a small local firm, why shouldn’t I try something new, like interning abroad? Not only could I do some travelling, have fun, explore elsewhere, but I could also be working and gaining more experience internationally! So, like any normal person, I googled “Interning abroad for students” or something along those lines. Absolute Internship caught my attention, as there were different countries to choose from- including Singapore, a place I really enjoyed the last time I was there for holiday. The food is amazing, the shopping is good, the transport is convenient, the language wouldn’t be a barrier, and Architecture there is also fascinating! After all the procedures, I finally enrolled in the programme!
A month ago, I was already super excited to be enrolled in the Absolute programme, knowing not only that I would be interning abroad for the first time ever, but that it would also be in the industry I am currently studying. I knew I would be able to meet different people from all around the world who also would be in the programme. I honestly believe this was one of the best decisions I have made; I enjoy being able to meet so many amazing people here, as well as having such a good place to work, where I actually enjoy something related to “work” and what I do at school.
As an architecture student, we don’t exactly have to “study” a lot, in terms of doing a lot of reading and theory, but we mostly think, plan, design, and build, and everything we do is super time consuming.
Compared to the real world, the process is in fact quite similar in the practices of architecture firms: step-by-step procedures, going through design trials, making adjustments, and making sure the planning through engineering, building structures, and everything else in terms of needing to construct and complete the building is organized and set. Again, it is quite relatable to the things we actually learn in theory at school about the building procedures, documents, etc. that a company has to go through in terms of finalizing the design to be built.
After a month in Singapore, working here has been a whole new world to me, and connections and networking are very important. In Hong Kong, similar to Singapore, workers receive recognition from their company if they bid for a local project to work on, and if they win it, they get to design it. Otherwise, it is through connections and links with other companies which get the company an opportunity to design a certain building and thus continue to work on it. Not only in Architecture, but I am sure throughout the world nowadays, the networking system and making connections are very important, and there is also the assistance of social media, just like how I found out about this programme!
Finally, to all the people and students out there who are struggling to find an internship abroad, this is a good chance for you to go! Not only will you be able to enjoy your “holiday” through a different country, but you can also work and meet more new people! I believe that it is alright if you don’t especially enjoy what you are currently studying right now; the fact that you get to intern abroad can be a true experience in the real world! And maybe after that, you will get to like it more! After all, you have to get lost before you find yourself!