Job Skills and Life Lessons: Year 11 Internship Programme
At Yew Chung International School of Beijing, the Student Support Services Department offers a comprehensive network of resources to help students both during their academic careers and in their lives beyond graduation. Nestled between the completion of IGCSE examinations and the summer holidays, the YCIS Beijing Y11 Internship Programme is one example, as it provides students with real-world work experience and connections that they can utilise later in life.
Yet though the internship placements will not take place until later this semester, preparations are already well-underway, as students have begun to create and refine their CVs and to practice their interview skills.
School Counselor Ron Drisner and IGCSE Coordinator Lianne Yu share more about the Internship Programme, including the valuable job skills and life lessons that students will learn during their experience
Preparation for the IBDP
The date of the internship placement was chosen deliberately to take place after students finish their IGCSE exams and before the summer holiday. On one hand, it’s an enjoyable activity to keep students engaged and energised before the holiday, and on the other hand, it’s beneficial in providing context to students before they enter the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. When studies become challenging during Years 12 and 13, it helps students to have an understanding of how their current coursework will prepare them for the future. That the Internship Programme takes place before the end of Year 11 helps to motivate and propel students through the IB Diploma Programme.
Though the internship placement lasts only two weeks, the Programme takes places over the course of the entire academic year, with students receiving support well before their placement begins. Student support is structured around the framework that students aren’t guaranteed to be placed in their first-choice company. They have to submit CVs and interview for their positions just as if they were trying to secure a real job after graduation. Students are coached in CV and cover letter writing, interview skills, how to write business emails, how to make and answer phone calls, and even reminded of the practicalities of getting the job, such as the logistics of getting to the interview on time.
The preparation and support given to students before the internship takes place are set up to mirror the real world as much as possible and to give students the skills they need to secure their chosen job when the time comes.
Learning Life Lessons
Finally, one of the most valuable takeaways for students is that it teaches them maturity and life lessons. Many students in an international setting don’t have the same opportunities to work at a young age that they may have had in their home countries. In their home countries, Secondary students often get jobs working in fast food restaurants or cutting lawns, but these opportunities aren’t available when living in a foreign country. The internship program also teaches students valuable life skills, because the employer-employee relationship is something that they may have never experienced and is a very different type of relationship than they have with their teachers or parents.
Through the internship program, students learn the soft skills they need to communicate with their employers, and after a successful work placement, the self-confidence required to better know what they want and how to achieve it.