As career discovery is a journey, the USP students are encouraged to discover their career inclination as early as possible. Every USP student is encouraged to discover their career inclination. This will give the students an idea on what internship experience they need to gain.
Values are core beliefs that motivate the students’ attitudes and behaviour. If the students’ career choice is aligned with their values, they are more likely to experience a sense of purpose and higher level of satisfaction in their work.
Therefore, it is important for students to understand their values and align them with their career interest, personality and skills.
For USP students who wish to discover their values and clarify if they are aligned with their career choice, they can contact Alfred Lim of USP Career Services at email@example.com for a life coaching session.
Having discovered their career inclination, the USP students who still have concerns about moving towards their career goal may consider having a career coaching session.
The goal of career coaching is to help the students address their concerns as well as empower them to use their resources as USP students in finding solutions to address their concerns about future career.
Career coaching helps the student to bridge the gap between where one is and where one desired to be by engaging in a goal oriented, future focused and action oriented process.
For USP students who need career coaching with a USP’s perspective, they can schedule an appointment with Alfred Lim of USP Career Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In preparing for career-readiness, the USP students will need to learn how to write a resume.
Having prepared a resume, students can also learn to differentiate their resume to reflect their uniqueness as USP students and also to tailor their resume to support their career inclination.
They can schedule an appointment with Alfred Lim of USP Career Services at email@example.com.
USP career services collaborate with industry partners from the private sector, public sector, non-governmental and non-profit organizations to explore career opportunities for the graduating USP students. The students will be updated on career opportunities through Electronic Direct Mailer (EDM).
The students can also search for full time job opportunities through the online portal at NUS TalentConnect.
The discovery of their career inclination, aligned with life purpose (values) and passion (interest), is only the beginning of their career-readiness process.
It is also important for the USP students to equip themselves with the relevant career-ready competencies before they graduate and transit to working life.
Below is an example of the workshop, called “Career: Motivation & Us”, which the USP students have attended:
Career-readiness goes beyond the ability to write a personalised resume and cover letter. The USP students also need to learn a spectrum of career-ready competencies such as Interviewing Skills, Networking Skills, Business Etiquette, First Impressions, Maximising Your Internship Experience, etc.
For online learning, please login at: https://ivle.nus.edu.sg/eModule/CareerCentre/CareerCourse.aspx
The Centre for Future Ready Graduates (CFG) also provides a series of workshops and courses to equip students with future-ready and career-ready competencies. For more details, please visit their website at: http://nus.edu.sg/cfg/
USP career services collaborate with industry partners from the private sector, public sector, non-governmental and non-profit organizations to create internship opportunities for the USP students.
The students are encouraged to complete at least one internship because of the following reasons:
- Internship gives them the opportunity to clarify their career direction by gaining insight into the specific industry of their interest.
- Internship gives them a glimpse of the real working world. They may discover that the planned career field is not what they thought it would be like.
- Internship gives them the opportunity to gain working experience in the relevant industry which is useful for building their resume.
- Internship gives them the opportunity to develop career-ready competencies. For example, sharpening of interpersonal skills by interacting with people on a professional level at workplace. The same goes for teamwork, communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills that are valued by employers.
- Internship gives them the opportunity to network with people from specific industry of their interest.
- Internship may lead to a career opportunity depending on their performance as an intern.
The students can also search for internship opportunities through the online portal at NUS TalentConnect.
"Summer break spans 3 months, and it seems too long for me to idle at home. But I was not sure what I wanted to do or could do. Having completed only my first year in Business School, I was trained only in the foundation modules and have yet to specialise in any majors. I felt hesitant about challenging myself for an internship. A friend recommended that I approach Alfred, our career advisor over here in USP, to get some advice over internships.
During our meeting, he enquired my interests and the experiences I had so far. We went through my strengths and he explained how my skills set could be transferred from one setting to another. As most of my non-academic experiences came from event management, he encouraged me to go beyond my comfort zone and explore other areas. After emailing the organisation and a tele-conversation with them, I secured an internship for my summer!
My internship experience gave me the first taste of what it is like to be working standard office hours (8.30am - 6pm), sitting in my cubicle, facing my laptop. It was initially very difficult to adapt as the longest I have stayed in a particular setting was 3 hours for sectionals in school. Throughout my internship, I made many more such discoveries of myself, that would otherwise have gone unnoticed had I decided to not step out of my comfort zone to take up an internship. I realised I am someone who looks forward to ‘action’, ‘adrenaline’ and ideas that excite me. Consequently, I now have a better idea of what I prefer to have or do for my career, unlike how clueless I was when I first met Alfred.
Besides self-discovery, internships also help us gain a better understanding of the organisation we serve as well as the considerations that various stakeholders in the industry have. I met different working partners and learnt to build rapport with them for long term partnership. My colleagues also kindly showed me the ropes by explaining the rationale behind how things were done and what could be improved. More importantly, I learnt the importance of building rapport with my colleagues. I love the laughters we have in the office, the songs we sing and the jokes we tell. It makes office life more enjoyable.
Looking back, I am glad that I took up this internship opportunity. I look forward to finding out where would be my next stop of adventure!" - Goh Wei Ling (BIZ + USP)
"I was initially clueless about what kind of internship experience would be suitable for me, or the experience I was searching for. Chatting with Alfred (who helms the USP Career Services) helped me to understand the internship application process better and the relevant internship opportunities that I could consider. He also gave me sound career advice, which helped to shape my attitude and expectations towards an internship.
I eventually decided to intern at the Corporate Planning and Management Department in a government agency for an 8-week stint. I believed that an internship in the government would help me understand the nature of public sector work better, as I intended to become a civil servant in the future. I intended to secure an internship that would grant me hands-on experience in doing research and policy work, as well as learn soft skills relevant to the workplace.
Eight weeks later, I’m thankful to say that my internship journey has been no less than a fulfilling one. It was a humbling experience as well as a period of self-discovery. Firstly, I was involved in a variety of projects. I was not only exposed to research and policy work, but I also was involved in another study on the local freelancing landscape.
Secondly, I was immersed in a conducive work environment. I was inspired by how the organization sought to uphold her own ethos of a Productive Workforce, and a Progressive Workplace -- I experience it firsthand through team lunches, flexi working hours and occasional work-from-home stints.
Furthermore, interns are valued as a resource and are tasked to work closely with full-time team members on key projects, which allowed me to take ownership of the work I do. Alongside new positive learning experiences, there were also many setbacks I faced in the internship that helped me grow as a person. Due to the nature of work that we do (highlighting emerging trends and estimating its impact or relevance to the national workforce), research can be tedious and not always fruitful. It takes resilience and a firm belief in the cause of our work to continuously search for emerging opportunities and risks for the organization. Here, I was motivated by my team members' work ethic. They firmly believed in the organization’s work and continuously strived to ensure that it potentially benefits our national workforce. They also ensured that our work was of the highest quality, and continually pushed us to step out of our boundaries to improve.
Lastly, by observing the workplace norms and practices of the organization, and interacting with numerous colleagues, I was able to reflect on various workplace issues. What made teams successful? How do we motivate employees to be engaged and productive in their work? How should we manage and lead people in the workplace -- and how is it different from student leadership in a university environment?
Looking back on my internship, it was a learning experience in the most unexpected ways that added to the diversity of experiences I seek in my university journey. I'm looking forward to my next internship in another government agency!" - Cassandra Pee (FASS / Political Science + USP)
The USP Alumni Mentors Programme provides a platform whereby a more experienced and knowledgeable person (mentor – alumni), helps to guide a less experienced and knowledgeable person (mentee - student) to support the mentee’s career goal, aligned with his or her life purpose (values) and passion (interest).
The alumni mentors are volunteers from a network of USP graduates. They bring along with them a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge from various industries and specializations.
The mentees (USP students) have the opportunity to be mentored by the USP alumni mentors who were once in the students’ shoes and how they can leverage on their strengths as USP students. The mentoring programme also provides a platform for the mentees to learn more about their desired future career.
The USP alumni mentors provide career guidance, encouragement and sharing of knowledge in their field of specialization with the objective of helping the mentees become more career-ready and future-ready.
Cassandra is interested in Public Policy geared towards social issues in Singapore. For her, a mentor is someone who does not just share information, but is able to build a relationship with a student. "I would see my mentor partly as a teacher; not only guiding me in terms of work experiences, but also teaching me the ways of life."
Qijian is interested in learning more about the financial industry. For him, a mentor is someone who has walked a path of life that he would like to walk as well. He hopes to glean insight from the life experiences of his mentor, “especially the stories, because that's what makes [life] interesting”.
A postgraduate education talk conducted by Imperial College London.
A postgraduate education talk conducted by King’s College London.
A postgraduate education talk conducted by SOAS University of London.
A postgraduate education talk conducted by University College London.
For USP students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies, our professors provide advice to guide the students in their decision-making.
Some of the universities that USP have partnered with include London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), University College London (UCL), Imperial College London (ICL), King’s College London (KCL), SOAS University of London, Georgetown University, The Yenching Academy of Peking University and Duke NUS Graduate Medical School.
The USP career services support the students by collaborating with other universities to conduct postgraduate education talks to help them make informed decision.
Every student has distinctive characteristics and qualities, which influence their thinking, preferences and behaviour. The personality profiling help students to increase self-awareness of their behaviour, identify their strengths, whilst recognising potential limitations and blind spots.
This self-awareness is to help students to better understand themselves and learn to adapt their behaviours to others as they prepare for working life.
For USP students who wish to understand their personality profile, they can schedule an appointment with Alfred Lim of USP Career Services at firstname.lastname@example.org .