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High School hails the return of internships

HKIS can talk of links with key business groups in Hong Kong, but how can it leverage these links to help students?  This summer sees the return of the HKIS intern program that puts the links to good use and has placed a dozen High School students into the workplace this year.  The Advancment team asks... "What did you do last summer?"

When HKIS students return to the school in August, this perennial question is sure to be heard throughout the halls.  Among the myriad responses, there will be eleven new seniors and one junior who will have a very different answer from most of their classmates, “I worked in Hong Kong as an intern!”

These twelve are having the good fortune to work in some of Hong Kong’s most dynamic companies and organizations as part of the revitalized HKIS Summer Internship Program.  The program is back thanks to business leader and dedicated parent volunteer, Clifford Chiu.  Mr. Chiu was involved in a previous iteration while Chair of the HKIS Annual Fund.  He passionately advocated bringing the program back after a lengthy hiatus and worked closely with the High School Administration and Advancement to make it happen.

Said Mr. Chiu, “Summer internships provide students with an early glimpse of the real world, which in turn helps to shape interests and may lead to invaluable connections, including college application references, work-study projects during the academic year and possibly future employment.   I am delighted that we could re-initiate a summer internship program for rising seniors and juniors, following a lapse of several years after our Annual Fund and Advancement office initially pioneered this initiative.  I am grateful to the parents and friends of HKIS whose employers participated and who view it as good community relations and good business.”

The twelve students are involved with a broad cross section of organizations in Hong Kong:
Sau Man Cheng '12      Citi
Daryl Ko '12                 Ocean Park
Joseph Koo '12            Scotia Capital
Mari Kurosaki '12         Paul Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
Christophe Leung '12    Correlate Search
Jordan Lem '12             Paul Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
Edwyn Lo '12               St. James’ Settlement
Evan Lo '13                  M. Moser Associates
Jessica Loo '12            Coca-Cola
Romil Motwani '13         Match Point Investment Management
Martin Ong '12              M. Moser Associates
John Strohschein '12     Morgan Stanley

High School Principal Pat Klekamp reinforced the importance of the program and the benefits to HKIS students, “The experiences that our students will encounter will help them grow as individuals, apply classroom learning in the workplace context, and better understand the myriad options they will have as they make decisions regarding where they will attend university, and what they will study.  Ultimately, this will help guide their thinking around which profession they will dedicate their talents.  Truly, this is a legacy of which to be proud!”

Prior to starting their internships, these students had the rare opportunity to sit down with Mr. Chiu who enthralled them with tips on how to succeed in the program.  His advice covered the practical, “Go so far as to map out the route from home to the office and make a trial run during rush hour so you know how long it takes and when to leave your house,” to the inspirational, “Be humble while demonstrating leadership and competitive traits.  Push yourself, get out of your comfort zone to self-study and ask questions.”

After meeting with the interns, Mr. Chiu reiterated what an exceptional opportunity this is, “Summer internships are in short supply for students at all levels.  Just look at the shortages reported by colleges and business schools who are seeking them for their much older students, let alone at the high school level.  By providing internships to its students, HKIS is further equipping them above and beyond academic preparedness – in much the same way our school requires students to undertake meaningful service projects.”

Already looking to the future, Mr. Chiu imagines an even more robust program.  The goal is to grow it substantially in the High School and to add an HKIS Alumni component, “I hope an increasing number of firms will be willing to sponsor interns next summer, and we make it an HKIS tradition!” he declares.

In the future, when our students ask each other, “What did you do last summer?” you can count on hearing a lot more stories about internships.

Source:  HKIS Advancement