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Reflections on the World of Work

25 June 2014

Last week all one hundred of our Year 10 students took part in our Work Experience programme and worked for one week in a business that they chose based on their interests. Here, two of our Year 10s tell us a bit about their placement and what they learned from it.

  • Some of our students on their work experience placements

Johnny, Kelly and Serena hard at work on their work experience placements

Serena Migliorati

During my work experience I worked at a law firm, where I mostly did training and joined discussions with the employees about different services the company provides.

I have learned immensely about intellectual property, which includes patents and trademarks, and I also participated in a lecture talking about the newly created land programme in Shanghai that tries to reduce the amount of industrialised land by converting it into residential land.

The work experience was incredible and it gave a fantastic insight into the unpredictable life of a lawyer: not only have I gained a massive amount of knowledge, but I also know how to amend a supply contract and how to complete a letter of replacement.

The past week has been delightful and it has made me more conscientious about the importance of lawyers in everyday life, while I’ve also improved my communication and critical thinking skills. This work experience certainly made me think of my future career path.

Kelly Kim

New Pathway is an academy which prepares students for the SSAT, SAT and AP university entrance exams, for those who want extra help outside school.

I wanted to learn more about the management of an education business, so I chose to go to New Pathway for my work experience.

Ms. Song from the academy introduced me to the different programs that the academy offered, with their prices and the number of students attending each. Most of the work I did during the week was translation (Korean to English, Chinese to Korean and English to Chinese) between the parents and the teachers, but just by attending these conferences I could learn the interests of different parents and the way that they reacted to different news.

I was particularly impressed by Ms. Song who managed to persuade parents who were unsure about whether to send their children to New Pathway or not, simply by talking to them about her experiences and explaining the data from students who had studied at New Pathway or were current students there.

I think work experience was a valuable experience for me as I never would have been given the opportunity to see the management of the academy. I’d like to thank everyone who took care of me in New Pathway and Ms. Cavanagh for organising the Work Experience week.

Eloi Chouvet

For my work experience I went to a law firm in Hong Kong called Reed Smith Richards Butler and I learned a lot during the week. I’m fifteen years old and the youngest intern before me was seventeen. Denise Jong, my supervising partner, and Ian Foo, the person I shared an office with, both helped me tremendously. I managed to get through this internship without any regrets and I felt like I was working all the time, which for a one week internship is a good thing.

They gave me lots of interesting work to do: I went to court once to see a taxation court, I went to court a second time to see a criminal trial, I listened into a conference call with all the directors of a company and I did a lot of office work as well. This was an experience that most likely will change my life!

Johnny Yeng

Recently, I went to a company called Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte. Deloitte is the largest professional service network in the world. It was my honor to join the Human Resources Department.

Before I went to Deloitte, I set myself some targets, which were to improve my communication skills with strangers, develop my confidence by sharing my ideas and thoughts with my teammates and experience an office environment. On the first day, although I was slightly nervous, I was excited to experience the new work environment in an office with adults. During the week, my supervisor gave me three different tasks to complete: research and draft a guide for three new overseas interns who will come to Shanghai next month, draft some emails for an internal campaign and some translation jobs.

I was also luckily invited to join in the Deloitte club opening ceremony and a vendor meeting during the week. During the opening ceremony, I learned so much useful information from different managers and directors about how to become a successful and useful member of a company.  As well as this useful information, those managers and directors shared their fantastic experiences.

Overall, I really enjoyed being in this company, it was such a fabulous opportunity for me to experience how an office environment works. Although, sometimes I ran out of time due to a lack of concentration after hours of facing the computer, I have had so many important experiences that I doubt I could have in school.

The most unforgettable time was when I was invited to join a meeting, it was my first time and I just can't forget how they solved a problem, small step by small step until they came up with a perfect solution.  It was such a great pleasure to be an intern in the Deloitte National Human Resources department and I would love to go back again. I think this period of time is one of those times I won’t forget throughout my life.

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