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 Attitudes towards internship 

An Internship IS

  • A position to learn about your career
  • An opportunity to develop your career
  • A real life situation to show how reliable you are as a person
  • A proper place for you to use your many different abilities
  • An opportunity to form friendship and network for future work

An Internship IS NOT

  • A break from your studies
  • A place for smart students to get proper rubber-stamping
  • A way for companies to exploit young people
  • A place to sit and watch how other people work


 Maximize internship learning 

A real job is an excellent opportunity for students to learn. Internships offered by many companies are no different. However, very often just because these jobs are created specially for students, they are sometimes not regarded as real jobs. As a result, students miss a great opportunity to learn through work. The following is a guideline for students who wish to maximize their learning under the OSS scheme.


 Learning in negative situations 

Having nothing to do

If you do not have work to do, you can:

  • always ask to see if someone else needs an extra hand.
  • spend time to improve the work routines that are assigned to you.
  • help with shared facilities such as refilling photocopy paper.
  • DO NOT use spare time to network on Facebook, play video games, read a newspaper, or even study for your own examination.

Doing ‘irrelevant’ work

When you are asked to do work that appears to be irrelevant to your training or your official duties, you:

  • take up work assigned to you with a positive attitude.
  • learn to like what you do and try to be thoughtful about it.
  • go beyond a work request—if you are asked to make coffee, clean cups too.
  • DO NOT refuse work as long as they are reasonable or complain to other staff about how boring or irrelevant your assignment is.


When you are asked to do more than you should, you can:

  • talk to your career advisor and if appropriate, or talk to the manager or supervisor.
  • try to be generous and accommodating unless things go too far.
  • DO NOT be calculating and learn to deal with the situation in a tactful manner.

Not getting along

Not getting along with people you work with can happen in any job. If this is happening to you, you should consider:

  • learning to work together with someone who thinks and acts differently from you.
  • learning to draw a line between your job duties and the person you work with.
  • doing your job well regardless of people factors.
  • gently stating your position even if you do not agree with someone.
  • DO NOT argue to prove your point.


 Learning in positive situations 

Getting work of your choice

  • Use this opportunity to learn about what is beyond your job assignments.

Working with good role models

  • Learn how not to be too reliant or dependent on a relationship at work and how to sustain a professional work relationship by not crossing personal boundaries.


 Optimizing internship performance 

For any kind of job, internships included, remember you are hired so that you can 'learn' through ‘work’. Thinking about internships this way will help you to enter another level of learning that is closer to work in real life. Put it this way, in order for you to learn fully in a part time job, you must first be able to perform at a certain level.


  • Appropriateness of appearance--At work, a more conservative dress code and make-up code is preferred.
  • Neatness and cleanliness--Make sure you wash up and are properly groomed before going to work.
  • Punctuality--Be at meetings about 10 minutes early.
  • Courtesy--Know when to greet, to say thank you, to speak, and to keep quiet.
  • Conduct with the opposite sex--Do not flirt, harass, or over-display your charm at work.
  • Honesty--Tell the truth the best you know it modestly and cautiously.
  • Legal responsibility--You can be sued for damage, theft, and privacy violation at work just as anywhere else.


  • Cooperation in team work--State your position firmly and clearly. Listen to others and learn to respect opinions of others. Learn to compromise.
  • Willingness to learn--Be open to ways of thinking and doing things other than those you are familiar with. Very often, it is not a matter of right and wrong.
  • Enthusiasm, vigor, and vitality--Develop positive energy for whatever you are doing. Work is a part of your life. Enjoy!
  • Ability to follow-through (completes assigned and/or assumed tasks)--Think of every assignment or project as a work of art. Remember: your work stands and speaks for you better than you can.
  • Adaptability, flexibility--Be prepared to do work you are not prepared for and you may not like. You may be discovering your new potentials!


  • Emotional maturity/stability--Note that your biggest enemy is your negative emotions. Therefore, be patient and empathetic. Be emotionally aware of yourself and others. Be emotionally resilient.
  • Initiative--Treat every responsibility and work assignment as your own. Carry out your duties big or small without having to be reminded, or prompted.
  • Integrity--Maintain consistency between what you say and what you do. If you cannot do something, it is better for you not to say that you can. Draw a clear boundary between self-interest and the interest of your company, customers, or clients. Being able to do so will gain confidence of those whom you work for and those who work for you.


 General learning in internships and part time jobs 

People knowledge

  • Pay attention to people, including yourself. Find out your role models at work and learnt to be like them.
  • Pay attention to the power hierarchy and the network. Find out how they work.

Company knowledge

  • Pay attention to the values of the company you work for. Find out what behaviors and attitudes the company value most.

Training video
Internship guide
Crisis Management Plan for Overseas Student Activities