World of Work is an opportunity for WAB’s sophomore students to have a taste of what the “real world” is like. It allows them to explore their interests in a professional setting for a week. Students selected a field of interest of their choice whether it be education, culinary arts, journalism, or accounting, etc., they were then assigned to a company arranged by the students themselves or by assistance of the school. Jobs ranged from working with True Run Media to law firms; to working within WAB; to diplomatic jobs; to being an advertisement executive, students worked in a variety of different jobs. World of Work is a successful program and generally provides a very beneficial experience.
Choka Bikales worked with WABX, WAB’s sport office. He helped with organizing equipment in the storage room, setting up the gym for classes, moving equipment around and helping to manage paper work. “I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life, and I’m not saying after work experience I want to get into sports management, but the week was somewhat beneficial since I’m interested in sports and it showed me a possible option for me later in life. Additionally, it gave me a week off from school, which was cool too.”
Furthermore, the program allows students to work outside and in Beijing as well, whether it be in your home country or just on the outskirts of the Beijing. Theo Chapman traveled to Hong Kong and worked at Fine Foods. Other students such as Nick Ball traveled even further and worked at a hospital in Melbourne.
Though sometimes students may find this program useful and beneficial, other times students such as Grace Jia unfortunately have not gained much from the experience. Jia worked at Jones Day Law Firm writing reports and proposals and conducting research. Overall, she thought, “It was very boring and corporate.” However, with that said, “Despite the experience, I now have a clearer outlook on what I don’t want to do.”
Generally, students feel that work experience is a good idea, but sometimes some students are unlucky to be working in a company that does not allow them to do much. For example, when you are working in the education field, it is a lot easier and more flexible for the employer to guide you on what it is like to be a teacher, what you should and shouldn’t do and to give you tips and pointers along the way. Other situations such as in Jia’s experience, in a company that requires an organized and systematic structure, it is often much harder to provide students with an intimate experience. In the end, all students have gained something out of the experience that they can then take and apply to their choices later on in life.
Jodie is beijingkids’ student correspondent and is our eyes and ears on the ground. A junior student at Western Academy of Beijing, Jodie is also a contributor to the student-run magazine Unit-E. Check back for more of her blogs about student life.