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Internships give NTU graduates 'an edge' in landing jobs

Three in 10 graduates go on to get a job offer following their internships, according to Nanyang Technological University.

SINGAPORE: Every year, almost 4,300 undergraduates from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) go through an internship stint with companies. The experience and exposure have proved invaluable for many who receive job offers after such stints, the university said on Tuesday (July 29).

According to NTU, three in 10 graduates are offered a job after their internships, and such stints have "proven to give graduates an edge when it comes to landing an attractive full-time job".

Additionally, two in three graduates secured a job before they left school this year, the university stated during its annual convocation ceremony, which started on Tuesday.

NTU believes its push for students to take up internships cultivates graduates who perform better in the job hunt. Professor Kam Chan Hin, Senior Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education) at NTU, said: "Internships are very important, it allows students to have exposure to the working world - a lot of the things you learn in school are really theoretical and you need the environment to see how things work in real life."

Victor Chua, a Nanyang Business School graduate, said he took up four internships during his years of studies. He said the work experience was crucial in landing him four job offers before graduation.

Mr Chua said: "Because of the network I have built up, I am able to find out more about the company. So when I go for an interview, I am an informed person. I am able to say something realistic about the company, rather than something I read up from the website. For example, I was able to talk to a person already working in Citibank to find out about the culture and et cetera. And I think being able to provide these answers in interviews gives you the edge over the others, because it's much more distinct."

On the other hand, even with some internship experience, Nanyang Business School graduate Chen Yanheng decided to strike out on his own, and started a sport supply company during his second year of study. "I did quite a lot of internships previously, so after learning the skill sets and what a job is like in the office, I still felt like I wanted to run my own business," said Mr Chen.

A total of 236 Nanyang Business School graduates were conferred their degrees on Tuesday, while honorary degrees were also conferred on Dr Wee Cho Yaw, Chairman Emeritus and Adviser of United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Professor Bengt Norden, Chair Professor of Physical Chemistry at Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology.

Over the next seven days, more than 9,100 students will be conferred their degrees by NTU.

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