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The Ultimate Guide To Interning In Singapore: How To Find The Best Internships, Get Fair Pay, And Maximize Your Learning Journey
Viewed by 4,251 Smart Towkays
Internships are an important stepping stone for senior students and recent graduates who are seeking to kick-start their careers. They provide opportunities to gain valuable experience, build networks, and acquire new skills that can enhance their employability. However, approaching internships strategically is crucial to reaping these benefits. In this blog post, we will explore the best practices for finding the best internships in Singapore, negotiating for fair pay, and maximizing learning experiences during internships.
Finding the Best Internships in Singapore
Finding the best internships in Singapore is an exciting and competitive endeavor. With a robust job market and a wide range of industries, students and graduates have ample opportunities to gain valuable work experience. Here are some practical tips and resources to help you navigate the internship landscape in Singapore.
Online Job Boards and Career Centers: Online job boards are a great starting point for internship searches. Job platforms such as Indeed, Glassdoor, JobsCentral, and LinkedIn Jobs feature a plethora of internship listings. These websites allow you to filter your search for internships based on industry, location, and job type. Take advantage of the search filters to narrow down your options and find internships that align with your interests and qualifications.
Additionally, many educational institutions have dedicated career centers that offer internship resources and job listings. Make sure to leverage these resources provided by your university or college. Career centers often have partnerships with companies, making it easier for students to access internship opportunities.
Networking: Networking plays a pivotal role in the internship search process. Building connections with professionals in your desired industry can open doors to hidden internship opportunities. Attend industry events, seminars, and workshops to meet and engage with professionals. Join relevant student organizations or clubs that can provide networking platforms. Additionally, LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for expanding your professional network. Connect with professionals, alumni, and recruiters on the platform, and don't hesitate to reach out and express your interest in internships.
Crafting an Impressive Resume and Cover Letter: A strong resume and cover letter are essential for standing out in a competitive job market. Tailor your resume to highlight relevant coursework, projects, extracurricular activities, and any previous work experience. Quantify your achievements and focus on transferable skills that are applicable to the internship position. Personalize your cover letter for each application, demonstrating your genuine interest in the company and the specific internship role. Research the company beforehand and align your skills and aspirations with its goals and values.
Make the best impression to recruiters out there!
Remote Internships: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of remote internships in Singapore. Many companies now offer remote work options, allowing interns to gain experience from the comfort of their homes. Remote internships provide flexibility and eliminate geographical constraints, enabling you to explore opportunities outside your immediate vicinity. When searching for remote internships, consider websites like Virtual Internships, InternSG, or refer to online job boards mentioned earlier.
Cross-Border Internships: Cross-border internships provide the unique opportunity to gain international exposure and broaden your horizons. Singapore's position as a global business hub makes it an attractive destination for cross-border internships. Several companies and organizations facilitate cross-border internships, connecting students with overseas internship opportunities. Research organizations like AIESEC, Global Experiences, or consult with your university's international office to explore these international internship programs.
Getting Fair Pay as an Intern in Singapore
Fair pay is a significant concern for interns in Singapore, and it's essential for students to advocate for themselves and negotiate for fair compensation. The average monthly intern pay in Singapore, according to a survey by St. Gallen Symposium, stands at SGD 1,136. However, intern pay can vary depending on various factors such as industry, company size, and the level of responsibility given to the intern.
When one is interning in Singapore, it is advisable to be aware of the prevailing intern pay rates that are offered by most employers. The typical rate ranges from 800-1000 SGD per month, although certain government internships and private sector firms may offer higher remuneration. It is recommended to verify with each employer during the research process.
Different industries offer varying levels of intern pay. For instance, interns in the finance and consulting sectors tend to receive higher compensation compared to those in the non-profit or creative industries. This discrepancy is often attributed to the competitive nature of the finance and consulting sectors and the value placed on certain skills and qualifications.
The size of the company also plays a role in determining intern pay. Larger organizations often have more resources allocated to intern salaries due to their financial capacity. These companies may offer higher compensation to attract top talent and remain competitive in the market. On the other hand, smaller companies with limited budgets may provide lower pay to interns.
Big companies often hire few highly qualified interns.
Level of Responsibility
The level of responsibility assigned to interns can impact their pay. Interns who are entrusted with more significant tasks and projects, requiring specialized skills or knowledge, may receive higher compensation. This is because their contributions directly impact the company's operations and outcomes. Conversely, interns with less responsibility or those engaged in more general tasks may receive comparatively lower pay.
A letter of recommendation is an important part of the internship application process in Singapore. It is a formal letter written by someone who knows the applicant well, such as a professor, mentor, or supervisor, and provides an assessment of the applicant's skills, experiences, and character.
A strong letter of recommendation can make a significant impact on an applicant's chances of securing an internship. It can provide additional insight into the applicant's strengths and achievements, and can also serve as a testament to their professionalism and work ethic.
To obtain a letter of recommendation, students can start by identifying individuals who can speak to their skills and experiences. They should approach these individuals early in the internship search process and request the letter well in advance of the application deadline.
When requesting a letter of recommendation, students should provide the recommender with any necessary information, such as the application deadline and instructions for submitting the letter. They can also provide the recommender with a copy of their resume and a brief summary of the internship they are applying for, to help the recommender tailor the letter to the specific internship.
It is important for students to follow up with their recommenders after submitting their application to thank them for their support and keep them updated on the outcome of their application.
How To Negotiate for Fair Pay
To negotiate for fair pay as an intern in Singapore, students can employ several strategies:
Research Industry Benchmarks: Conduct research to determine the prevailing pay range for internships in your industry. Industry-specific reports, surveys, and online resources can provide valuable insights into average compensation. Armed with this information, you can approach negotiations with a realistic and informed perspective.
Highlight Relevant Skills and Experiences: During the negotiation process, emphasize your key skills, experiences, and achievements that make you a valuable asset to the company. Showcase how your abilities align with the internship requirements and how you can contribute effectively to the organization. This positions you as a deserving candidate and strengthens your case for fair pay.
Consider Additional Benefits: In addition to base pay, explore the possibility of securing additional benefits or perks. For instance, you could negotiate for transportation or meal allowances, professional development opportunities, or flexible working arrangements. These benefits can enhance the overall value of the internship and compensate for any differences in pay.
Although not in realistical details, take this as an example... A student interning at a startup demonstrated their value and commitment to the company by going above and beyond their assigned responsibilities. They proactively contributed innovative ideas, took ownership of projects, and showcased exceptional skills. Recognizing the intern's exceptional contributions, the company agreed to a 20% increase in pay.
Maximizing Your Learning Journey as an Intern in Singapore
Internships can be excellent opportunities for learning and development, but how can students ensure that they make the most of their internships? One important step is to set clear goals for what they hope to achieve during their internships. By identifying their objectives early on, students can take intentional steps towards achieving them. They can also seek feedback from their supervisors to monitor their progress and identify areas for improvement.
Another way to maximize learning during internships is to take advantage of the different types of internships available. Project-based internships can provide a focused and in-depth experience in a particular area, while rotational internships can offer exposure to different departments or functions within the company. By seeking out different types of potential internships, students can gain a diverse range of skills and experiences that can help them stand out to potential employers.
Asking questions is another effective way to maximize learning during internships. Students should not be afraid to ask their supervisors and colleagues for clarification or advice. By demonstrating a willingness to learn and seek guidance, students can build relationships with their colleagues and gain valuable insights into the industry and the company's culture.
Mentorship is also an important aspect of maximizing learning during internships. Students should seek out mentorship opportunities from experienced professionals in their industry. Mentors can provide guidance, advice, and support throughout the internship, and can serve as valuable resources even after the internship has ended.
Finally, building networks is essential for maximizing learning and career development during internships. Students can attend industry events and career fairs, connect with professionals on LinkedIn, and seek out networking opportunities within the company. By building a network of colleagues and industry professionals, students can gain valuable insights into the industry and potentially identify future job opportunities.
In conclusion, internships in Singapore offer a range of opportunities for students to gain experience and build their professional networks. To maximize their chances of securing a good internship, students should be proactive in their search and leverage various resources such as online job boards, networking, and career centers.
Furthermore, students should be aware of the factors that can affect intern pay and negotiate for fair pay, keeping in mind industry benchmarks and their own relevant skills and experiences. While fair pay is important, students should also approach their internships as an opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally.
To make the most out of their internships, students can set clear goals, seek feedback, and ask questions to build their knowledge and skills. They can also seek mentorship and build networks with colleagues and professionals in their industry to learn about industry trends and best practices.
Overall, internships can be an invaluable stepping stone for students to kickstart their careers. By being proactive, advocating for fair pay, and approaching their internships as an opportunity to learn and grow, students can set themselves up for success in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I stand out in a competitive internship landscape in Singapore?
To stand out in a competitive internship landscape in Singapore, it is important to focus on developing relevant skills and experiences, networking, and having a strong resume and cover letter. Additionally, leveraging social media platforms such as LinkedIn can help you connect with professionals in your industry and stay up-to-date with industry news and trends.
Is it necessary to have prior experience before applying for internships in Singapore?
Prior experience is not always necessary for internships in Singapore. However, having relevant skills and experiences can increase your chances of securing an internship. Additionally, participating in extracurricular activities, volunteering, and taking relevant courses or certifications can help you build relevant skills and experiences.
How do I negotiate for fair pay during my internship in Singapore?
To negotiate for fair pay during your internship in Singapore, research industry benchmarks and salaries, highlight your relevant skills and experiences during the negotiation process, and consider asking for additional benefits such as transport or meal allowances. It is important to approach the negotiation process professionally and respectfully.
Can international students apply for internships in Singapore?
Yes, international students can apply for internships in Singapore. However, they may need to obtain a valid work visa before starting their internship. International students can apply for a Training Employment Pass (TEP) or a Work Holiday Pass (WHP) to participate in internships in Singapore.
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