CityU launches first professional internship in public and social administration

June Tse

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will launch its first professional internship programme for public and social administration students this summer, it was announced at an inauguration ceremony on 30 May.

The programme offers a precious opportunity for 22 students to gain working experience at 12 major corporations, including the Hospital Authority, Consumer Council and Hong Kong Housing Society.

Dr Hon S Chan, Head of the Department of Public and Social Administration, said the programme, which will take place between June and August this year, adhered to CityU’s aim to develop students into professionals through a combination of textbook knowledge and real-life work experience. By working in various public and non-governmental organizations, students can gain a systematic understanding of the field.

“This internship programme will enable students to apply the theories and skills that they have learned in class to situations in the workplace. They will also acquire a better understanding of the operation of an organization. I hope they can overcome the ups and downs of work and strive for improvement,” Dr Chan said. “I would like to thank all participating corporations for their support in making this programme possible.”

Representatives from the 12 major corporations attended the professional internship inauguration ceremony where they signed internship agreements with Dr Chan. Sir David Akers-Jones, Chairman of the Departmental Advisory Committee of the Department of Public and Social Administration and one of the officiating guests, talked about the development of the programme at the ceremony.

Sir David said the professional internship offered a valuable experience for students to see what life is really like in public and non-governmental organizations and to make a suitable choice for their future career. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You should be proactive in learning and find out more about the organizations,” he said.

Ms Pamela Leung Yee-lin, a representative from the Hong Kong Housing Society, expressed her support for the programme. “Students will get an all-round experience by working in different departments and participating in workshops designed especially for them,” she said.

The programme is an elective course and carries three credit units for public and social administration students. After completion, students submit a work report and their performance is assessed by supervisors from the participating organizations. They will work on a variety of assignments, including property management, community research, logistics management, consumer complaint processing, and publishing.

Melody Yuen Pui-shan, a Year 2 student in the Department of Public and Social Administration, has been assigned to the Consumer Council where she will help process complaints. “This internship is very different to a summer-time job. We will be guided by a supervisor designated by the organization. It will be a valuable experience for our future careers.”

To help students prepare, the Department of Public and Social Administration has arranged a two-day workshop that focuses on business ethics, social etiquette and interpersonal skills.

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