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Overseas Student Internship Programme

Report
Resource Venture Centre International
RV! Centre (Hai Phong)

Intern Students attached to Hai Phong are:

Peter Liow,

Wu Wei Bin &

Joel Wang
Table of contents
I. Introduction
II. Assignment Description
a. Cultural and Climatic Environment Description
b. Work Environment Description
c. Job Description
d. Analysis of the OSIP experience
III. Conclusions
IV. Recommendations
Introduction

From the day our lecturer informed us about the opportunity to be attached to a
company overseas, my heart raced with joy and excitement. I told myself, “This is
going to be the best time ever!”

A couple of weeks later, we had a briefing conducted by the school where we met our
manager, Miss Christina for the first time. She is a very nice person, excellent and
easy to get along with. Without much ado, she scheduled us to be assigned to the
Singapore branch office where we would spend the first month working.

According to the school, our attachment objectives were to teach English, as well as
aid in marketing operations of a franchise outlet, Resource Venture Hai Phong
(RVHP). Those were the two primary objectives. I had expected nothing of the
attachment save the fact that I expected to learn as much as possible.

Throughout the first month, we worked in RV office in Singapore. The office in


Singapore is the headquarters for all the office in the region. In this office, we planned
educational trips for overseas students. The trips were for them to come to Singapore
and learn something about the place, for the students they are targeting are students
who hope to come to Singapore to further their education.
We also planned several educational sets of programmes for the students whom we
were supposed to teach. Here, we learnt about the purpose of the company as well as
the services it provides to its clients. I have learnt that the company provides
educational programmes from less developed countries and a scholarship, which is
actually a tuition grant by the government. It encourages top students to study in
Singapore, and the company provides the preparation programmes as well as
affiliation to obtain the tuition grant.

In Hai Phong, the company is a franchise outlet on a local university called Hai
Phong Private University. Here the company provides preparation for local top
students to do the A* STAR examinations, as well as Polytechnic Preparation (PP)
and Preparation for University (PU) programmes. These preparation programmes,
from my knowledge allows students to sit for ‘O’ and ‘A’ level examinations hence
obtaining scores allowing them to study in Singapore schools.
The company in Hai Phong has a flat structure. In a sense that all subordinates report
directly to the manager; the manager, thus has the highest authority in the area. The
manager is then responsible for the area he or she is managing and is accountable
directly to the director and headquarters.

I. Assignment Description

a. Cultural and Climatic Environment Description

The host country, which is Vietnam, has a very unique work culture. As the sun
raises very early in the morning, approximately 5:30 am, GMT +0700, the people
get up and start work. By 6:30 am, most people are already at work. Their means
of transport are many. They have taxis, public buses, bicycles, motor bikes as well
as hired riders. Almost every family owns at least one motorbike as the streets are
small and cramp; hence given the small size of the motorbike, it is suited to the
living conditions of the people.

They then have lunch from 11 in the morning till 12. Their university canteen is
not like those in Singapore, where a large variety of food is available for
selection. The canteen comprises of some cooks, who cook various kinds of food.
The lecturers, students or staff then scoops a plate of rice then proceeds to the
counter to have their food served. At the counter they can choose what they want
to eat and it is unceremoniously dumped onto their plate. After lunch, they usually
have a nap till 2pm in the afternoon. From 11am all the way till 2pm, it is
officially non-working hours. After 2pm, work is continued all the way until 5 to
6 pm before they knock off.
Vietnamese are generally very ‘family conscious’. Most people often have lunch
and dinner with their family members, unless their home is very far from their
office. Usually, friends invite each other to their homes for meals. It is a very
common gesture for them. When they invite you to their home, it shows that they
are on good terms with you and want their family members to meet you.

The weather around Hai Phong is quite hot. We went there during the summer;
hence the weather was dry with the occasional wind. During peak hours, people
are rushing to go to work; therefore the roads are congested with motorbikes. The
dustiness of the air is tolerable. However, getting used to the air there took some
time, as the quality of air in Singapore is fantastic, hence getting used to the air
there was quite difficult. Back to the point, we cycled to work everyday, hence all
of us got quite dark as a result of cycling under the scorching sun.

b. Work Environment Description

In Hai Phong, our main tasks were education and marketing. As a result we did
not really have an office on our own. We taught English in the university
classrooms as well as organized camps in the student hostel.
Overall the place was really dusty due to the overuse of motorbikes. Also,
students have a really nasty habit of littering. I think it is because they’ve been
pampered since young, hence they think there is always going to be people
picking up rubbish for them. I don’t think its right but… culture. Who am I to
comment?

The company itself does not have any environmental policies and practices. From
my knowledge, there are no such thing as environmental implementation and
promotion, nor are there environmental systems of the organization nor are there
environmental contributions to the community.

One thing they do is that they do use recycled paper. They use recycled paper for
miscellaneous things such as recording and note taking. I feel this is an effort
undertaken by the company. Although small, it is doing its bit for earth.

c. Job Description

Basically, our jobs were to teach school students English. The students were aged
from eight all the way to nineteen years old. The students however, were very
diligent and willing to learn, although in the beginning they were all very shy.

There were not many techniques involved, however, we had to be very patient in
dealing with the students because English is not the main language in their
country, and coupled with the fact that they’re not used to our ‘Singaporean’
accent of English.

The classrooms we used in Hai Phong Private University generally had wooden
tables and benches. The floor was dusty and there are rubbish littered over the
floor. It was a mess. We made use of our laptops, speakers as well as a portable
projector to conduct lessons and activities. The activities are all English based as
the students there learn English, but they lack the exposure to it.

We learnt that being a teacher was not easy. We had to ensure the student learn
something as well as maintaining a distance from them to ensure professionalism
to get respect. I took care of the problem by stating that the students did not
require a teacher to introduce them English, but a friend who is willing to share
with them.

Some of the problems I faced were teaching young students. As they were too
young to understand whatever I was saying, I made use of their interest to teach
them mathematics. I do not guarantee that what they learnt will benefit them in
any way in the future, but for then, I was sure that they enjoyed themselves and
the lesson. This lesson taught me not to be too hard on them. Let them enjoy
whatever they are doing, they themselves will benefit from it.

d. Analysis of OSIP experience

In all, the trip to Vietnam was a fascinating experience for me. I’ve learnt many
things about the things that are happening around me, the people that are around
me as well as more about me.

I’ve learned many things. That in itself is a benefit that exceeds all others. I feel
that I’ve benefited more than my peers who are in school doing the in-house
internship programme, because Vietnam is one of the worlds fastest developing
economy, being able to be attached to a company there is my bearing witness to
the growth of this particular nation. It is an experience I would remember all my
life, for not only is it a memory, but it would be useful in the future as many
companies would want to invest in a growing country, hence it would give me the
leading edge as I’ve been there before.

With regards to interpersonal, cultural, corporate culture and interpersonal skills, I


feel I’ve gained valuable experience by being able to work in a franchise outlet.
I’ve learnt that corporate culture has a limit to similarity. For example, in Hai
Phong, the company there has a uniform for its staff. This uniform does not exist
in any other outlet except for the one in Hai Phong. However, this is not corporate
culture. It is something unique to the outlet in Hai Phong. Hence, I daresay that
corporate culture is dependant on the in-charge of the area, and that corporate
culture is not limited by anything.
I am sure this experience will help me greatly in my future career because of the
various experiences and lessons I’ve acquired from the experiences. Values such
as patience, empathy, diligence, consistency etc. these are skills that will serve me
throughout my entire life, hence I’m thankful for this experience.

There is nothing the organization can do on its own to be more environmentally


friendly; however, one thing it can do is to ensure the cleanliness of its classrooms
so that its students can have a place that is good for studying. I for one am sure
that no student likes to study in a dirty and ill ventilated classroom amidst the hot
weather of the day.

II. Conclusions

The attachment objectives were met, as the company was satisfied with our
performance. I feel that my own objectives were met as well because of things I’ve
learnt.

I feel that it is relevant in my course of studies because of the marketing activity we


did. It is also relevant to my career as I know not what I will be working as in the
future; hence being adaptable and learning quickly is the best way for me to survive
in this fast paced economy.
III. Recommendations

I believe the training programme can be enhanced by ensuring the company knows its
objectives for the student and make sure that the objectives of the company and
students are aligned so that both may set forth with the same goal in mind. From this
experience of mine, I believe the school does not have a proper idea what the
company has in mind for us, however, I feel it is not a bad thing as it tests our ability.
However, I feel the school should encourage us to find internships, both local and
international on our own instead of being selected by the teachers. I feel that this
would be more fair to the majority of the students.

If the school gave us companies we could approach for our internship, we could go
through the process of corporate interview, first day of work etc. That experience
would be much more worthwhile going through rather than skipping the interview
phase and go straight to work. I feel that this is better for both school and company, as
they can select the best possible candidate.

From this experience, I’ve also learnt that there are many ways I can improve my own
work. The most important by which, I must stop procrastinating and start work
quickly. This is my weakest aspect as I am lazy. This I’ve spotted as my greatest
weakness while I was in Vietnam, hence I am seeking to improve it ever since.

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