Employers praise students new to the job

Karen Lai


Associate Degree (AD) students participating in the Career Exposure Programme run by CityU's Community College (CCCU) have won high praise from employers and realized that skills acquired in different workplace settings are transferable.


The Career Exposure Programme has another successful year in placing AD students in real life work environments. “The two-month placement provides students with the first taste of workplace life,” said Mr Chan Wai-to, CCCU Director of Student Learning, and Senior Lecturer of the Division of Social Studies. “With the mission of helping students, we have developed mutual trust with host organizations to consolidate participants’ skills and boost their confidence.” 


Acquiring transferable skills


“CityU students are responsible, industrious, and eager to learn,” said Mr Alex Lam, General Secretary and School Supervisor of Society of Boys’ Centres (SBC), at a sharing session on 12 August with thirteen students who had completed their placement at different schools and branches of the Society. “Nowadays, employees should be prepared to take up challenging tasks, some of which may not match with their expertise. But if you look at it from a different perspective, it is a good chance to grow and excel in another area.”


During their placement at the SBC, AD students demonstrated multiple talents in

helping the Centres implement the 5-S Practice (techniques to promote discipline and quality services in workplaces), organizing expedition tours, preparing learning materials, and other administrative duties. They took up responsibilities which require strong commitment, cooperation, and willingness to serve the needy.


Business students Li Man-him and Carmen Chan said that working in an NGO provided them training that integrated business with social work skills. “For example, through the implementation of 5-S Practice for good hygiene in the hostel, we found that it was not easy to initiate a scheme, and enforcing one proved even more difficult. The same could be said of starting and maintaining a business,” Man-him observed. His placement at Cheung Hong Hostel changed his general outlook on life. “Before the placement, I believed that people just worked for their own interests, but through counselling children with adjustment problems, I felt the magic of changing the others,” he said.


Longing for career exposure in a commercial setting when she first applied for the Programme, Carmen said that the placement turned out to be worthwhile. “The skills I acquired can be applied across disciplines. When helping implement the 5-S Practice in the SBC kitchen, I learned about workflow and gained lots of satisfaction when I successfully persuaded people of different ranks to follow the organization's proper practices,” she said.      


The importance of team work 

General Management student Ng Yee-shan treasured the experience for building up her confidence. “I learned that team spirit is very important for getting a job done. Hard work and getting along with others is essential to becoming a good team player,” she said. Through working with children, Yee-shan also learned how to serve people with different needs, and her tasks complete, she is now more self-confident.  


Translation student Yu Kwok-fai and Computer Science student Timothy Tai said that through their placements, they realized what working full-time in an organization was like. “It requires lots of effort and commitment," Kwok-fai said. "I was excited that I got a chance to help the SBC with some translation work.”  "For my part," Timothy said, “I found it’s totally different from learning in the classroom; work-based programming was more challenging.”


Introduced in 2002, the Career Exposure Programme has placed more than 150 AD students in different organizations including the Society of Boys’ Centres, the Hospital Authority, the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, the Hong Kong Student Aid Society, and the Trade Development Council. Mr Chan Wai-to stressed, "through the Programme, we hope students can explore their own talents and grasp every opportunity to learn.” Students joining the Programme could state their desired job areas and all host organizations were happy to provide opportunities wherever appropriate. 


With the Community College established in July this year, the Career Exposure Programme will continue its commitment to nurturing devoted young people, and encouraging learning through serving the community.





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