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Thursday, July 25, 2024

How can we improve OJT process? 

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Graduates with top Latin honors weigh in

As students approach their graduation day, internship is one final hurdle to overcome before they can finally don their togas and march to receive their diplomas.

On-the-job training (OJT) serves as a crucial learning opportunity to obtain hands-on experience within their chosen fields, as they meet and network with industry experts in their prospective careers.

It can be said that OJTs can either make or break a young graduate’s first foray into the working adult world. So the latest batch of Summa Cum Laude graduates from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde weighed in on three tips to further improve the practicum process.

Janelle Erica Y. Gan

Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BS-Arch)

Janelle points out that supplementary learning programs will equip interns with substantial knowledge

As the on-the-job training serves as an intern’s first impressions of their chosen industry, a foundational set of goals and objectives are instrumental to guide them in maximizing their experience. Providing supplementary learning programs, such as workshops and conferences, would further equip interns with substantial knowledge regarding their work. 

Lastly, having access to networking and mentorship opportunities wherein interns receive sincere feedback and advice, especially from esteemed professionals whom they look up to in their respective fields, would definitely be motivational and influential for the intern’s professional growth.

Gabrielle Elijah G. Villareal

Bachelor of Arts in Governance and Public Affairs (AB-GPA)

Gabrielle describes OJT as a heartbeat of learning

When I think about OJT, I’d like to believe that it is the heartbeat of learning. It’s where knowledge meets action because of how it fuels the fire of our professional growth. Withal, it illuminates our path to success. 

I served as a legal intern at the Malayan Insurance’s Legal Department. As a pre-law student, I gained invaluable exposure to real-world intricacies, fostering a nuanced understanding crucial for my future career. 

To ensure every intern has an enhanced experience, I would suggest that OJT organizers and coordinators must provide: daily feedback and mentorship, integration and inclusivity, and diverse exposure to work tasks.

Monique Jericha Sy

Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts (AB-MMA)

Monique emphasizes the importance of establishing a constructive feedback culture in the workplace for interns

Upon reflecting on my internship experiences, I recommend OJT organizers first to present a clear introduction of the company objectives and assigned responsibilities to create attainable expectations, while nurturing a work environment centered on structured guidance and mentorship. Secondly, they should provide diverse tasks catered to the interns’ skills and capabilities to foster self-confidence, exploration, and holistic learning. 

Lastly, I recommend institutions establish a constructive feedback culture in their workplace to encourage interns to raise concerns, seek guidance, and improve their skills effectively – providing an overall rewarding experience.

John David S. Miranda

Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts (AB-MMA)

John David highlights that the longer period for orientation can increase the students’ chances of getting into their most prioritized roles

Integrating a longer period for orientation alongside the students’ courses a term or two before their actual OJT program can increase their chances of getting into their most prioritized roles. Utilizing their major courses in the earlier terms to shape their perspectives of their prospective goals may also aid them in searching for companies.

With these, OJT organizers can keep track of what roles students aim for and leverage this with the demand for jobs in the industry, to develop more curated immersions fit for the students.

Kathryn Eleasha T. Martinez

Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts (AB-MMA)

Kathryn learns new technical skills, and experience firsthand

I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn new technical skills, and experience firsthand the UI/UX Design industry from seasoned international practitioners.

Since we were treated as full-time employees, it would have been great to have a designated mentor for the interns to maximize their learning potential by providing direct dynamic feedback, fostering a holistic work environment. Another recommendation is to have the interns engaged through regular check-ins, having an opportunity to build meaningful connections and gather prolific insights. 

Lastly, conduct the final evaluation together with co-interns to encourage self-growth and improve their skills resulting in a rewarding internship experience.

John Kelvin M. Lugtu

Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts (AB-MMA)

John Kelvin considers internship as a transformational journey to one’s career life

A student’s internship is not just another academic requirement – it is a transformational journey that kick-starts one’s career life. With this, I have three suggestions for OJT organizers: (1) provide interns with reasonable tasks with outputs that will truly be utilized by the company, (2) consider their voices during brainstorming sessions to encourage dynamic collaboration, and (3) make certain to give substantial feedback on their tasks for the company.

All of these will greatly help in making an intern ready for their chosen industry while having the right amount of confidence and competence.

Julienne Renee M. Diona

Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts (AB-MMA)

Julienne advises OJT coordinators to provide lectures on how to pull off an interview

Going through my OJT experience, there was this level of uncertainty and doubt as to how prepared I was for my internship hunting.

I would suggest OJT coordinators present aligned partner companies for students’ respective courses and fields, review interns’ resumes, and provide lectures on how to approach and nail interviews.

These tips are not to spoon-feed future interns, but to create an open space for opportunities. This also awards them a professional voice of reason to guide them on how they can better align themselves in the work industry.

Sophia Isabel S. Carpio

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Computer Applications (BSBA-CA)

For Sophia, having a list of companies that are open to OJTs will prevent students from starting late

My first recommendation is to provide students with a list of companies that are open for OJTs, so they can secure a slot. It will save a lot of time. This also avoids starting late, which leads to overtime to reach the required number of hours within the time frame. My second recommendation is to advise students to search for companies a term before their OJT starts. 

Lastly, coordinators should advise students to take their OJT and thesis/capstone on separate terms. This will help them fully focus on their priorities and get enough sleep to stay healthy.

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