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21st Century Internship Placements

..................if it must be done, it must be done well and properly

As more and more young people take internships, the global unemployment rate keep increasing, does this ring a bell? It is either that more graduates are being produced each year without corresponding job creations or young people do not have the requisite skills. Whichever be the situation, this article has suggested solutions for Young People as they are more relevant. The number one solution is to enrich the training young people undergo; it should not only be targeted at positioning them for jobs that do not exist or are scarce rather, equip them to think and come out with ground breaking and innovative solutions. Young graduates should also be able to explore employment opportunities elsewhere rather than their countries. It is appropriate that interns take their destiny into their own hands and select best programs rather than just any program. We try to use The 4G and GEM principle which are robust and solid. Its philosophy and approach is worth considering.

Young Graduates dream to land professional jobs quickly after college, they do whatever it takes to build their experiences and join internships programs irrespective of the cost. It is prudently assumed the Return on Investment outweighs the cost. Embarking on an internship program is seen as a Chet Sheet to acquire experiences which employers do look for during interview so Internship programs have therefore been traditionally fashioned to equip young graduates with skills setting them ahead of the job market.

Several crusades have been launched by many career centers, Advisors and other related mediums driving the message quite clear. The mantra is “Intern or forget it”. Young people have been convinced that certificates are not enough but experiences nails the right job. 80% of our participants placed over the years indicated this reason as a major drive of their decision to join our China Internship Program.

It is rather interesting to note that Internships are the only ways these same companies are willing to bring on board inexperienced labor. Most reputable organizations engage huge number of interns annually and usually, it is unpaid. I am tempted to state here that China Internship Placements will not allow that happen to our Interns. We believe that Interns contribute some amount of energy to the success of organizations and they must be rewarded as such. The blame should be laid on agencies and intermediaries who refuse to bargain with the host companies such that these vulnerable participants could recover at least their feeding costs while interning. The only conclusion I can draw from this is probably because it is cheaper; anyway that’s none of our business now I will discuss this later in another blog post.

As the demand for Internship opportunities begin to grow it presents an opportunity for Businesses and Agencies to capitalize and exploit. A huge Empire of business has been developed around the Internship industry which continues to grow year after year. From Internship placement companies to online portals and recently, career centers have joined the race.

I graduated as an international Internship participant Eight (8) years ago and since then; the face of Internship Programs has remained almost same or is slow at responding to global situations for reason I cannot figure out. The pace of growth is increasing but revolution has been slow. It is essential to note that the changing face of global job market and its related issues require an eminent change in the kind of skills Young people do acquire.

If we are willing to put them ahead of competition and engage them meaningfully, we must give them the best.

According to The Economist, a survey conducted on LinkedIn in 2014 indicated that, out of 10,000 young people from Europe who took internships only 42% of students who took internships in 2014 had jobs. The multimillion questions are, what happens to the rest? What did they do wrong? One of the survey participants who went 6 months without getting a job had 3 internship experiences i.e. 2 local and another international Internship which is far better than some with only one.

What Employers regard as qualified

Aside unemployment becoming a threat to the rationale of getting internships and slaving for it as it is Unpaid and expensive (International Internships), Employers remain to change rules of the game. A survey conducted by China Internship Placements on 850 companies located in Beijing and Shanghai in November 2014 and the insights were great. We noticed that:

  • 80% of international organizations require Interns with entrepreneurial skills to join them. The rest will prioritize the quality of the experience. They test these skills during interviews. This is because organizations believe entrepreneurs see the extra ordinary and do not give up.
  • They also begin to qualify the experiences they are interested in considering. 75% Companies want participants with International Experience as it is considered to mean courage and also knowledge about the foreign country’s business environment and language. These skills are relevant in this day and age of globalization and internationalization.
  • They also require participants with at least half a year experience in the field of their interest
  • 100% of them think internships less than 4 months has nothing much to impact on young people.

This is an eye opening and confirmation of a research conducted in 2010 to predict the paradigm shift of employer interests. So what’s next?

Suggested Approach to 21st Century Internships

Considering our findings and the taste of employers in China, we can direct this to Young Graduates looking to establish their internship in China which CIP has already inculcated into all our programs. It is suggested that:

  • Young People should make sure Internships have the right contents before joining. i.e. Mentoring, proper evaluation system of performance and corrective actions to normalize it, real job descriptions etc.
  • Entrepreneurship skills should be acquired and documented with evidence during college. This does not mean setting up multinational organizations. The Entrepreneur also carried a similar research and revealed entrepreneurship as a requisite for college student to land an appropriate job.
  • Young Graduates should take time to gain some grooming about Business Ethics and decisions concerning their career of interest.
  • We also encourage graduates to learn Chinese Language while undergoing internships in China. This factor is very relevant and important to landing a straight Job in China.

These are the new faces of the 21st century internships young graduates should look for. It is precise and possible only when they plan well. There numerous Internship Programs out there always popping up in browsers and using adsense toll and that fact that they have all the money to put up strong marketing campaigns does not mean they are right. The internet is huge with diverse programs and information.


Permanent Jobs in China

Jessica Suotmaa

Author: Jessica Suotmaa

Education & Career Enthusiast


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