BESIDES improving the quality of teaching and research, universities also play critical roles in employability.
Organising industrial training programmes is one of the efforts. These programmes help students engage in hands-on learning and networking, thus, enhancing their employability.
Feedback from three different sectors — the civil service, consultancy and operations can offer valuable input.
In the civil service, interns are expected to come up with strong initiative and willingness to learn from experienced officers while in the consultancy sector, employers want interns who can complement their theoretical knowledge with hands-on-experience.
In operations, there is different expectation where communication skills are paramount.
In addition, there is one critical point in terms of learning skills. The “why” factor is crucial for inspiring critical learning in a workplace. Thus, interns will appreciate their job more rather than treat it as routine.
Interns also enjoy better freedom working with bigger companies as they have more resources for them to explore. However, this is just a bonus. After all, it is about the interns’ initiative. The workplace should not matter much should they have better preparation for the internship.
Resourcefulness is the key for quality information of career development. For this reason, it is advisable that new students consult their academic mentor. This would help them plan well for the internship.
A good start in industrial training would give interns ample room for critical thinking in their assignments, appreciate the working world and build a network for their future career track. Dr M.I. Syakir Ishak, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang NST Letters 8 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:09 AM