Mental health

The Big Read: Fueled in part by teenage anxiety, the rat race of training has unintended consequences.


Mr Ong, who also runs a mental health support group, The Catalyst Collective, said that although he had taken up a lot of internships to gain global experience and try different jobs, the influence of peers also play a role.

“There is a lot of pressure to take internships because I see people around me taking a lot of internships. Some are doing it part-time, building and using connections to get these opportunities,” he said. like that.

Mr William, a consultant who has held 10 internships, admitted he may have been one of those who encouraged the “rat race” that made training programs competitive. And he said that is what is needed because he wanted to do a job that is different from his studies.

“It is very difficult to get into the top three consulting firms as there is a lot of competition around the world,” said Mr William of firms such as Bain and Company, McKinsey and Company and Boston Consulting Group.

“You really have to stand up and go above and beyond to get your foot in the door for that interview opportunity.”

For 22-year-old Vera Lim, taking seven courses over the past three years was to satisfy her desire to learn about different jobs while earning a little money.

The NUS business administration student is currently a buyer and marketer for professional services network Deloitte. He began his academic journey with a start-up, before finding positions with larger companies such as Deloitte and management consultancy BCG X.

“There are a lot of people around me who take more than five courses because there’s competition… But I know I’m really speeding up the rat race by taking more courses.

“It’s hard to make it in the working world, and this (internship) is another way to stand out,” said Ms Lim.

But despite her long resume, which includes starting a gym and doing volunteer work, Ms Lim has been rejected by many banks and big businesses when she applied for training.

He also took on unpaid work, while another part-time job was S$300 a month. “I took them for experience and I wanted to try something new,” he explained.

Ms Noreen, a 22-year-old Singaporean studying in Australia, told TODAY that she has been told by some companies that they don’t pay interns because they “earned more money than the company”.

But not all school admissions are unpaid – schools often have recommended admissions. At NUS, the recommended allowance is at least S$800 to S$1,000.

Students who spoke to TODAY said they are paid, on average, between S$800 and S$1,500 a month.

However, some investment banking firms offer very high salaries for interns, with salaries almost equal to the starting salary of new graduates in certain roles.

The Business Times reported in 2017 that the monthly training salary can reach S$10,000 in firms such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Mr Felix Tan, founder and chief executive of recruitment platform Skilio, told TODAY that he had seen some university students draw up a four-year map to learn about the types of companies they want to work for. join them during their studies.

With many companies not hiring based on academic grades, Mr Tan said that training has not only become important in helping young people stand out from others when looking for a job – but a necessity.

Agreeing, Mr. Rob Wisdom, director and head of supply chain at recruitment firm Ethos Beathchapman, added that the workshops can help students identify skills gaps, strengthen their technical skills and ensure their career choice.

In addition, these opportunities also allow them to make career changes and gain professional knowledge from mentors.

“(Internships also) can be a gateway to permanent employment and help you command a slightly higher starting salary.

“In today’s uncertain job market, it’s also good advice to make sure you’re using your time wisely. In this sense, many internships can add value and help pave the way to full-time employment.”

Mr Wisdom added that high-level internships with multinational companies, big brands or forward-thinking companies are attractive to first-graders.

He said: “These internships are important because they are often competitive to get them, and they are being scrutinized more and more by governments or certain organizations to ensure that they are not exploitative and give students an opportunity you’re beautiful,” he said.

The names of well-known companies – such as Google, Meta and JP Morgan – are also keywords marked by work process tracking systems.

These systems, which recruiters and employers use to manage job applicants, can rank candidates with desirable internships at the top – meaning they have a greater chance of getting interviews with relevant companies.

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