Internships ready poly grads for workplace

May 5, 201510:49 am872 views
Internships ready poly grads for workplace
Internships ready poly grads for workplace

SINGAPORE — From learning the ins and outs of working at a hospital pharmacy — such as learning to label and pack medication — to watching surgery being performed, Ms Josselyn Lai, 21, found her internship as a pharmaceutical technician at Changi General Hospital a varied one.

Despite the long and irregular hours, the experience provided her with hands-on experience.

“I was also able to apply the many things I learnt in school,” said the Republic Polytechnic (RP) graduate, whose stint landed her a full-time job at the hospital even before she graduated.

She is among the 4,631 students who graduated from RP’s diploma programmes this year, some of whom received their diplomas yesterday.

Together with 83 adult learners graduating from eight Continuing Education and Training programmes, the graduating cohort of 4,714 this year is the largest since the school’s inception in 2003.

In his speech to the graduating class, RP’s principal and chief executive officer Yeo Li Pheow spoke of the importance of internships in training RP graduates to be ready for the workplace.

All of RP’s final-year students are successfully placed on internship with about 1,200 industry partners every year, he noted.

He also highlighted the importance of lifelong learning through SkillsFuture initiatives to ensure that graduates constantly upgrade their skills to stay ahead of industry developments. “With more pathways to advance in their careers through industry-recognised certifications, our graduates will be well-placed to succeed in their chosen careers,” he said.

To further support skills development for future RP students, Mr Yeo also announced the completion of the Republic Polytechnic Industry Centre.

The six-storey facility will house research laboratories — benchmarked to industry standards — and learning facilities for students to gain practice-based and industry-relevant education.

The event was officiated by National Trades Union Congress secretary-general and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing.

Ms Lai, who graduated with a diploma in pharmaceutical sciences, said she chose to work instead of furthering her studies as she wanted to start earning money as well as gain experience.

Describing her internship experience, she said: “At times it was hard, but I really wanted to learn new things, so that is what kept me going. I also had lots of motivation and support from my classmates and colleagues.”

Mr Muhammad Imran Md Zin, 26, said he discovered the limits of classroom knowledge. He graduated with a diploma in industrial and operations management, and received the school’s Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science for his performance in mathematics and science modules and good overall academic performance. During his internship, he said it felt like only about 20 per cent of his academic knowledge was useful.

While he found that demoralising, “at the start it may be a drag, but once I gain my skills, then it will be much easier”, he said.

The 4,714 graduates will receive their diplomas over 15 sessions in ceremonies at The Republic Cultural Centre this week until May 8.

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