Summer Internship Reflection
During the two weeks of internship at the farm belonging to Yi O Agricultural Cooperation, I learned a great deal about farming and the environment, also about myself and how I react to unfamiliar situations.
Regarding the experience of working on a farm, I came to notice and learn about the environment by listening to the other workers and simply by interacting with the environment each day. To name but a few, I saw how the extra warm summer this year had allowed blister beetles, a pest, to flourish, and how different depths of soil have different structures, and how much effort is needed to manage a field of crops. As a person who had little prior hands-on experience working in the fields, I had to challenge myself by learning how to do the physical work quickly and be more observant about the task I was given, and the environment I had to work in.
During the sessions on zero-impact farming, I asked many questions regarding the feasibility of the technique, and tried to look at it from different perspectives – people of different socio-economic status, the cost and availability of land, transportation costs, willingness of investors to invest… etc. I made it a point to think deeply and voice my opinions even in an unfamiliar situation involving strangers.
When it comes to learning about myself, this was also my first time having to take care of my meals and other living needs being away from home. As silly as it may sound, going to the market and cooking my own meals in a new environment is already a step out of my comfort zone. I also had to interact with many different people. Initially, I was unable to integrate with the community due to my limited understanding of the Cantonese language. Fortunately, by the second week, I was able to establish a good relationship with various people by taking the initiatives to reach out and interact despite the language barrier.
After the internship, I emailed my supervisor Alan with my observations and suggestions for the working of the farm, future plans for student interns as well as expressed my interest to continue to be involved in the related research work. I will build on the learning from this internship and remind myself to tap on the network established in any future related work.
By Hu Li-Chen Lindsay (DP2B)
I was initially quite concerned about my internship at Gleneagles. Being a student wanting to pursue psychology, I wondered what I could gain from the internship that has no direct connection with psychology. Starting, I had the misconception that anything medical-related is purely science-based and will not be what I am interested in, as I have a predilection for the humanities. But over the course of internship month, I slowly realised this idea was wrong.
During the month, I was placed into two departments – the Health Information and Records Department (HIRD) as well as the emergency department. At the HIRD, I was responsible for organising all the papers – the patient records, forms, and even the occasional birthday cake order form. One interesting discovery was that contrary to popular belief, many doctors had beautiful and legible handwriting. Reading through the papers was a fun experience, as I got to see concepts read in books coming to life. A bonus for me was to come across a study on sleeping and some case studies by psychiatrists on a pediatric patient. I was intrigued, as I had an avid interest in developmental psychology. These papers provided fascinating insights as to how developmental psychology is applied in real life. Reading through the papers, I also slowly discovered that the scientific aspect was far more important in this area of study than I first thought.
Next, although I was only in the emergency department for a few days, it really opened my mind to medicine being something more than just science. On the first day, I observed the patients as they went through registration, triage, and then meet the doctor. Not only did I get to interact with the patients, there was also a discussion with the doctor regarding the importance of observing a patient’s grooming and various mannerisms in order to create a unique approach tailored for that specific patient. This reminded me of the behaviorist approach in psychology – the observation of objective reactions for the sake of coming to some sort of conclusion. This was the human part of medicine that I did not imagine to exist. Thus, the experience was eye-opening.
Overall, despite not wanting to become a medical student, the valuable take away from this internship at Gleneagles is the understanding that in all professions, a certain degree of capability in both the sciences and humanities is absolutely essential. And to put a spin on the well-known phrase, I would say it is necessary in life to be a “jack of all trades, and master of none”.
By Kong Lai Tung Carys (DP2B)
My internship at Dragages was short but fruitful. Dragages is a French construction company, which handles both civil and building projects. Their previous projects include the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge, the Kai Tak Cruise terminal and the Aberdeen tunnel, to name but a few.
The short 5 days internship started with seminars which introduced Nathan and I to the company and its accounting and human resources departments. These seminars were useful in giving us an overview of the company and an insight to what these departments do. We also attended a construction safety training and visited the site of the Shatin-Central line. From these experiences, we realised what site engineers do, and these were quite different from what we imagined. Apart from dealing with technicalities, they also had to communicate with workers, designers and other parties to ensure there were no mistakes in the construction plan. The highlight of my internship is learning how to use Revit, a BIM (building information management) software, used by engineers and architects for creating models of buildings. Using a template, I made a house starting from beams and columns, adding floors, walls, windows and stairs, as well as, lighting and some furniture. One could also specify the material used for each structural component to better visualise the building. You could even add cars, trees or people to the design to see how it would look when it is in use. After creating the building, we used an extension called Endscape, to walk around and inside the building. I had fun and a great sense of accomplishment completing this task. The internship also provided the opportunities for us to interact informally with the engineers, architects and IT specialists and discuss the nature of their work.
Another valuable take away was the experience of work life in an office. We could see how busy it was to work in the industry, yet my colleagues strived to balance work and their personal lives. Overall, the internship has strengthened my interest in engineering and helped me to appreciate the efforts of architects, engineers and workers who built the city we have today.
By Wong Mei Yue Doris (DP2B)
I undertook a three week internship with the corporate law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where I learnt about the fundamentals of legal research and proofreading legal contracts. My colleagues assigned work that I was able to complete with my limited background in law. The tasks I were given mostly included research on the companies listed on HKEx (Hong Kong stock exchange), as well as translation and proofreading of listing documents for the company’s clients. These tasks allowed me to learn more about the operation of a corporate law firm.
The internship broadened my interest in contract law. I found concepts related to the breach of contract and excuses for non-performance particularly interesting. As I was able to examine contracts to ensure there were no errors or ambiguities, I realised the importance of being meticulous and organised. I enjoyed the experience and conscientiously explained my work to colleagues and asked for feedback. In the process, I gained experience in communicating with legal professionals. I even had the chance to attend meetings between the partners and their clients, where I observed how my senior interacted with his clients in a detailed yet concise manner and the importance of teamwork.
I was fortunate enough to be working closely with another intern, Kent, a law graduate from CUHK. He was kind and willing to assist me with the difficult parts of my work. He also shared his experience in law school and the challenges he faced during his course of study. His advice was invaluable as I gained a deeper insight into pursuing law at university.
By Yeu Christopher (DP2A)