Global Internship Facilitation of Taiwan
Let GIFT Help the Youth in Taiwan Find a New Career Path
With 430 corporate partners in 28 industries, this platform offers internship opportunities in 45 countries; over 309 students have interned in countries such as Taiwan, Italy, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. We have also attracted foreign students, from countries like Italy, Germany, and Spain, to intern in Taiwan.
Let GIFT Help the Youth in Taiwan Find a New Career PathBy En-Te Hsu
I am grateful for the approval and support from the Ministry of Education (MOE), in particular Mr. Andy Bi, Director-General of the Department of International and Cross-strait Education. Since May 2018, our center has received funding from the MOE, which allowed us to expand the International Talent Pipeline Platform into the Global Internship Facilitation of Taiwan (GIFT) platform.
The students we serve now include international and overseas Chinese students who are studying in Taiwan; we are also actively recruiting talented students from Southeast Asia to come study and work in Taiwan.
The goal of this platform is not limited to internship placement; it also aims to help the youth in Taiwan to find a new career path.
It is very interesting how this platform came into existence. It initially started as the International Internship Program at the accounting department of Tunghai University. In 2008, we overhauled the curriculum and reduced the number of required courses—completely eliminating required courses in the senior year. Students are encouraged to intern full time for an entire year, where they could receive a scholarship of NT $25,000 per month.
Graduates who completed the one-year internship are considered Level 2 employees when they began their full-time employment, while graduates from other schools are still Level 1 employees. Therefore, the graduates with internship experience from the accounting department of Tunghai University have the highest starting salary among accounting graduates in Taiwan.
I discovered that internships are beneficial to all parties involved: it helps the school create a feedback system that leads to improvement and innovation in education, allowing the school to adjust its curriculum and attracting donations to scholarship funds from businesses and good-hearted people; it lowers recruiting and training costs for accounting firms and other businesses; it helps students acquire practical experience, learn more about themselves, and build confidence; it helps the government lower the unemployment rate. We started collaborating with other universities through the Pilot Overseas Internships of the MOE, working together to facilitate students’ entry into the global stage.
From the experience of the promoting internship programs, I came to realize that internships are an integral part of education; I felt there should be an inter-university online platform, which connects universities, businesses, and students, serving as an education and placement system that integrates training, internship, and employment and allowing current students to hone their professional skills ahead of time as interns.
In 2016, in partnership with the Corporate Synergy Development Center, we created the International Talent Pipeline platform, providing placement services to all universities free of charge. This platform currently has 430 corporate partners in 28 industries, offering internship opportunities in 45 countries; an alliance of 18 universities is using this platform with 75 teachers serving as internship mentors; over 309 students have interned in countries such as Taiwan, Italy, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India. We have also attracted foreign students, from countries like Italy, Germany, and Spain, to intern in Taiwan. We welcome anyone who is interested to join this platform: https://www.internships.com.tw.
We plan to introduce big data analysis into the platform with the goal of assisting students in their search for ideal jobs and assisting businesses in their search for suitable talent. We believe Industry 4.0 technology can enhance the value and quality of the work performed by humans, and not used solely to replace human labor. Everyone on the platform has a role to play: the teachers should act as counselors to the students; businesses have to set policies and goals on recruitment; students should determine their goals in life and seek to understand themselves.
I believe Taiwanese businesses represent a powerful force for change.
We see young students as kites and Taiwanese businesses as kite strings. We now help these young students intern at Taiwanese companies, and very likely in the near future, the same students will help Taiwan and Taiwanese businesses break new ground.
Edited by Tomas Lin
Original content can be found at the website of Center for International Internship Development, TUNGHAI UNIVERSITY