On the couch with Valentin Episode 8: Asia Internship Programme

Is Academic Theory Relevant?

The transformation from college to the business world is a challenging task. There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to career choice, not everyone knows from start what he or she wants to do after graduation. I remember myself changing prospective career paths every few months. How do we find out where we fit in? There’s most likely no simple formula answering that question. I can only say:

Get hands on experience as early as possible

At university one builds up all that theoretic knowledge, which is definitely rewarding in itself.

However, I have met many students getting discouraged with theory alone. Hence it is important to confront them with real world applications, which can only be done in the workplace. An internship provides an ideal framework to connect theory and practice, test drive a career and acquire the necessary soft skills to succeed in the business world.

Have you ever planned to spend a semester abroad? Why not combining it with relevant work experience? Internships abroad are possibly the crown jewel of resume enhancement nowadays, showing prospective employers initiative, endurance and flexibility.

Searching for an internship can be a daunting operation, especially if you are applying for a position outside the boarders of your home country. Corporations in emerging markets haven’t yet fully realised the potential of running an internship programme enabling foreigners to participate. Therefore, vacancies are scarce and often lack accessibility.

A growing number of organisations identified the issue and is trying to tackle the problem by opening up internship opportunities and place students at companies in exchange for a fee.

But is it really worth paying for an internship?
And what can I expect for my money?

To answer these questions I invited Vincent Houzet (Assistant General Manager, Asia Internship Programme) and Maria Lynn Ehren (Marketing Manager, Asia Internship Programme), two experts in the field of internship mediation onto my couch. Asia Internship Programme is engaged in creating internship positions in Southeast Asia for students from all over the world. Their mission is to increase the employability and mobility of students and promote entrepreneurship in the region.

As Denis Diderot says

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge…observation of nature, reflection and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of the combination.

Let’s see what they have to say.

Published on January 15th, 2015

Article written by Valentin Fischer (OTC@InternsInAsia.com)

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