Singapore's internship system & Nanyang Poly's TEP

I know I'm a little jet lag over here to speak about internship after the show has been out years ago! But what I'm going to say isn't about "the internship" but "your internship". I bet everyone has been through internship, be it during poly or uni days, and I could say everyone experience different stuffs. 

Disclaimer; this is not based on my internship experience, like what I mention in earlier post, it’s awesome!

Let's start the topic! 

Why Intern could not choose their internship path?

Firstly, I really cannot understand why some polytechnic (such as NYP) don't allow us to choose our internship location?! Yes, I do understand schools are afraid that we know some people and thus we might get gain a higher advantage during our internship period. But do you also know how sucky it will be if you decided to place us in a wrong company? For example, the school randomly decid to place as an intern in company A, which actually do not need any extra people, but since it's internship, they paying only allowances, "hey ! Why not right?" Thus, the poor student will be doing 99.99% sai gang (shitty job, such as filling).

Currently my workplace has an intern which is being transfer from department to department due to the lack of manpower, and I feel what she learn is totally 0%, or perhaps only 25%? She study accounting, but 99% what she did was data entry, chomping and scanning of documents, due to the job scope of the company. She has no choice, because she was placed in that company and her poly (not NYP) told her to tell her colleague she choose the company, how awesome right.

If school really want to treat us like adults, perhaps they could start by allowing us to choose our own internship location. I do know some poly allows their students to search and send in their resumes to companies they are interested in working. Some give the students a list of companies that the school work with, and the students could choose the top 5 they are most interested and their lecturer-in-charge, will send out their resumes to the companies. 

I do not believe a random arrangement means equal, or in some case, students with a better GPA, get into a better internship companies. Some people might be smart on papers, but when it comes to working, it might be totally opposite, likewise the other way round. If schools want to be fair, then allow students to choose their own path, because we do able to make choices when it comes to real working world. 

School will start saying, ya, that's why we have feedback form. But that won't make my internship better, but my juniors. What's worst, I could only blame the school. If it's our choice, we could at least learn how to choose the right path. 


Secondly, I freaking could not understand this allowances thing. Okay, it's only for us to pay off our transportation and food. But have anyone notice that everything is increasing but not the allowances? It's always the range from $450 to $800 or even higher for some other sector, which I heard could be up to $950. Currently, that poor intern friend of my company receives $500, when she is working in Bugis. The expenses there isn't cheap and she is Muslim, which means she could either pack food or eat find halal places which isn't that affordable in Bugis. Luckily the train concession for student now is $25, which is save quite a bit for students. But could allowances increase too? Right~?

You could never say NO

Yes, this is like the major part. But I guess this is relatable in the real working world too. As an intern, because you want to get good grades, you have to be a Yes-boss everyone 100% of the time. Since you are an intern, you are like a rank below everyone, and since you are an intern, 100% everyone will try in one way or another to use you, like seriously even in my internship place. Despite I told my boss like I'm busy and I rejected to help him to print, but he still continues speaking anyway. So yes, you could never reject your boss in anyway.

Anyway, since we are at the internship topic, let me just reveal something that perhaps not many people know about it. In NYP, there is something called Teaching Enterprise Project (TEP) for mainly business students, to put it simple, it's called school-internship and it's worst than internship.

I am one of the batches, where we head to internship before the TEP program, which is mend for students to get it right before heading out. Ya, to be really honest, it's useless for students who went for internship followed by TEP. TEP has a higher weightage than internship. So this is like help people who fail their internship, ya right, my TEP result is worst than internship....


Ya, I repeat, no allowance. Their excuse was… it is in the school environment, and we don't get pay if we go for normal academic semester right? They don't see TEP as internship; it's a learning centre...

This TEP is sucking our blood and soul, it is from 9am to 5pm every weekday and yes, it's like office hour. Yet, you are paying for our own transport and meals, even a $10 allowances per day will be appreciate, but nope, we getting none. There is once I talked to a lecturer regarding this issue, and he said the school is already making a loss for the TEP program. Then just close it and we could have a 6 months internship then. Some work in cheers and MSC, which is like a real full-time retail job man. He showed me news how advantage students received from TEP, but to be real honest I didn’t learn much.

How do they grade the students?

We did asked our first stopover lecturer in-charge, and she merely said, "We have our ways". This might be mainly based on our TEP report, which some students might lose out. What's worst is one of my stopovers; our group has totally nothing to do, except for a project, which is required for all groups to do. This makes us lose out from the other groups within that stopover, as we have so much time to do nothing and our TEP reports seems so empty. Our supervisor is a busy man; he came down to visit us for only 3 times, for the whole 7 weeks. What could be worst right? Yes, it could be, when you put in heart and soul in this one project, practice and practice for the presentation, last minute, you don't have to present, as your supervisor has something more important.

Is it really useful? 

For some, it might be useful. But for my team, the second stopover it's really a full day wasting of our time to play and slack. Because we have so so much time, and we always get scolded because when you have time and nothing to do what teenager will do? Watch video of course, and the other team lecturer seems to have some major issues and always catch us, as it is still an office environment. Thus, we end up having a 9.00am to 5.00pm break time, all day every weekday. Yup, what I learn, basically EQ, I bonded super well with my TEP friends, gotten some real good friends along the way. We laughed; we comfort one another and piggyback each other. 

We couldn't choose our stopover, as the lecturer mention it will become a choice and not a new skill, something along this line, couldn't really remember. But my second stopover is really wasting our time, if there is a choice, I would stay in my internship, which is a real world situation rather than TEP.