For the most part of my twenties, I've only ever known two things: travelling and teaching. Sure, it's an idyllic way to spend your young years, and also a great way to give something back to the people who make it possible for you to experience their culture. However, I began to worry about my career. As much as I love and respect teaching, I knew I couldn't depend on it for my future. As somebody turning 25, I felt uneasy about my life - would I be forever typecast as a teacher if that was the only kind of work experience upon my CV? More importantly, was I too old to take up new training or internship opportunities? After all, we've all seen the 'Friends' episode where Chandler is a mature intern in a room full of vibrant University students. Fortunately, I met Sam and the StandOut team.
I got in touch with StandOut, explaining the stage of where I was in life, and they were quick to set up an internship consultation with me. Sam was great in this procedure. She explained to me that an internship isn't just for kids, many people use it as an approved way of making that necessary career change. Furthermore, I could easily use my teaching experience to make the next step into business and marketing. This really gave me a focus to the direction and wellbeing of my life, so much so I signed up!
For anybody who's ever given up their job, home and friends to pursue a new challenge, I'm sure you can appreciate how nervous I was to take on this challenge. I had finished my teaching contract, gave up my apartment and had said goodbye to the friends I held the most dearest. All to take up this internship. I can't tell you how uneasy I felt crossing into the border of Hong Kong, but I need not have worried as the StandOut team made me felt so welcome. Michele in particular gave me my new Octopus card, pre-paid mobile SIM card and helped me attain my new apartment the very same day. Furthermore, there was a tram party the same night that I was invited to!
To tell you about my opportunity, I am currently interning as a Business Development and Academic Manager for a online English tutoring service here in Hong Kong. My experiences and responsibilities have been so varied. I've been responsible for planning, editing and producing promotional videos. I've also been delegated the opportunity of producing online content to increase the visibility of our Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. As well as this, I've pitched business ideas to my old school in Guangdong, to sell them our platform to use. I'm happy to say that we've arranged a meeting here in Hong Kong to discuss business ideas. I've even slightly reverted into being a teacher again by writing grammar tips for our students and giving teaching demonstrations of our product to new users.
The best thing about being an intern is the amount of experience you can rack up for your CV and the pride you feel when you can say what you did. An internship can be so many things for you. Not only is it a blank canvas for you to be somebody new, it is a real-life experience of working in a business and finding out what your talent is. Whether you're a student looking to gain experience or somebody wishing to make a change of career, an internship is a valuable way of testing the waters and deciding if you have the determination to swim.
Don't let your past define you, make it your future. Be who you want to be and seriously think about an internship. It will give you valuable experience for your CV and will also give you a fantastic life experience too!