Day of the intern at NTU
INTERNSHIPS are giving Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students an edge when it comes to landing a full-time job even while they are still in school.
For the class of 2014, two in three NTU graduates secured jobs before graduation, with some receiving multiple offers.
Victor Chua Kim Loong, who received his double degree in accountancy and business during the university's annual convocation yesterday, started going for internships from his freshman year.
In all, he underwent four internships in firms such as Credit Suisse and JP Morgan during his four-year undergraduate programme.
For the 25-year-old, just a degree is not sufficient to secure a good job.
"Internships help you build practical skills and... build up my network within the industry. As a whole, a university education plus internships will make you an all-rounded student, and you are better able to get the job you desire," he said.
Mr Chua is one of the 4,300 undergraduates who go through internships or industrial attachments each year at about 1,500 companies, both in Singapore and abroad.
About three in 10 graduates are offered jobs by the companies they were attached to or interned at annually.
Mr Chua was also part of this group but he decided to join Citibank, a firm he did not intern at.
"It's good to try out new places. From speaking to different people in the industry from my previous internship, their feedback about Citibank was very positive," he said.
Kam Chan Hin, NTU's senior associate provost of undergraduate education, emphasised the importance of internships.
"When you start working, there are so many other factors involved, how you interact with people... how you work as a team, all these are very important," said Professor Kam.
Nanyang Business School (NBS) graduate Koh Liang Han even took some time off from school to pursue a five-month internship at OCBC Bank during his third year, on top of his three other internships.
"Especially in the finance industry, you require a lot of real world experience," said the 25-year-old who graduated with a double degree in accountancy and business.
NBS students are required to do a 10-week professional attachment, typically completed at the end of their second year of study.
Last year, about nine in 10 NTU graduates found jobs within six months of completing their final exams.
About 9,100 NTU students will be conferred bachelor and higher degrees over the next six days.