Thursday, September 29, 2011

Global Internship - Earn a Year’s University Credit by Working in a 5-Star Hotel

 Have you ever thought that your studies at Woosong University would include a year in the USA? Or Singapore? How about the Pacific islands of Guam, Saipan or Palau?

That’s been the experience of many Food Service Management students, as the department runs an internship program for Junior year students.

The program was created in 2006 to give students an opportunity to get work experience, as well as an opportunity to work in an English-speaking environment. Students do take a year off, but that year is replaced by the internship, so they still return as Seniors. Many students have worked in 5-star partner hotels abroad, such as the Marriott, the Hyatt, and the Ritz-Carlton.

However, the internship program isn’t for everyone. There are significant costs involved, because students need to pay for living expenses, and in most places students need to pay for their accommodation. On the other hand, students are paid for their work.

This year, several partner hotels in the US, Guam, and Singapore indicated that they would offer placement for Woosong students. To prepare them for the trip, the department runs several internship classes. This year however, the process began very quickly when our partner hotel in Guam indicated that they wanted to have Skype interviews with the applicants even though classes were only on the second week of the semester!

The hotel was looking for people to work in their room division (reservations, front desk) and food and beverage (restaurants, bars, poolside kiosks).

After a quick Skype face-to-face video interview, eight students were selected for an in-person interview. And the following month they went to Seoul for an interview with the hotel’s general manager. The successful candidates are now currently working in Guam and have been since June.

A similar process was run for the hotels in the United States and Singapore, so there are also students now working in Singapore, Tucson, Arizona and San Francisco, California.

During this special time, Woosong students are adjusting to a different life for a year. They are busy practicing English with both native English speakers and people who speak English as a second language. Each person’s experience is different. For example, Kim Ji Hyun found that her biggest surprise was that in Tucson, Arizona, she couldn’t do anything without a car. However, she loves the experience in the United States so far, and can’t imagine what it will be like to return to life in Korea.

Park Hyun in Singapore was disappointed to realize that he couldn’t understand the English spoken there, because everyone speaks with a Chinese accent. Yet, after a few weeks he has begun to understand more clearly.

Ha Ji Hoon has returned from a year in Guam, and he’s now in his senior year. He says that he would have prepared differently had he known what to expect. “People should make friends with foreign English speakers to practice before going on the internship,” he says. “I prepared by watching American movies and dramas. But when I started working in Guam every time someone asked me a question, I replied with ‘What?’ or ‘Sorry?’. I really think that students who want to go on an internship abroad should make friends with foreign English speakers first.”

Woosong’s internship program is a challenging and rewarding time for students and ultimately those who successfully complete the difficult task are changed for the better forever.

Éamon McDonagh is an English Language Professor at Woosong University


I wish my university had a program like this! I would have been able to invest in binary option trading in business school. Kudos to the Woosong University faculty!

Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites