By LIU Xiang, Jack (Joceky Club Academy Hall)

From May to September, there are almost 4 months of summer holiday for a CityU student. It would be a pity to waste this period of time, which is as long as a third of our university life. Besides travelling and spending time with my family, I did a lot of internships. Here are their benefits.

Having room to make mistakes

I was told to attach labels to hundreds of books in my first internship and I made a big mistake: I attached the labels in the wrong direction. In the end, I spent the rest of that day peeling off all those wrongly attached labels and had to do the work all over again. That day I learned a hard lesson: that you need to treat simple tasks seriously.

From then on I have never made similar mistakes. We cannot just say we will not make mistakes. It is from trials and errors that we grow and do things better and better.

One more thing: We should of course avoid making mistakes. But if we are to make mistakes, we may as well make mistakes in internships, when we will worry less than in real jobs if we are fired :)

Finding what you want to do

My experience in a student publication started my interest in media. Then an internship in a TV station made me realise that I am more suitable for print media. And finally a part-time job in a non-profit organisation set my goal toward event planning and feature writing.

We are all well-educated and very capable college students and Hong Kong is a place with so many opportunities. Why worry about not doing or knowing what we like to do? We cannot find an answer to that by thinking. I found what I like to do for work by liking and disliking the things I did in my internships.

Building up a career

My first internship was answering inquiry phone calls and making photocopies. The second involved editorial research, online publishing and sorting materials. The third one was contributing original articles and working on initiatives of my own, which seems more like a real job than an internship.

These things build up one by one. You start from the basics and gradually build up your skills, knowledge and connections to climb higher. If you start early, you worry less.

Finding internships

There are many useful sources: the career service of CityU, major job hunting websites, and company websites. There are also some other more proactive ways such as calling the company directly or handing your resume at social events. My suggestion is: try them all.