The Internship Imperative

Contribution by the European Chamber of Commerce to the Singapore Government’s Efforts to Develop Internship

Mazars has taken a leading role with the European Chamber of Commerce to provide Singapore with an analysis of best practice of European companies in internship, with a view to supporting Singapore’s human capital strategy.

Dr. Bob Aubrey, Mazars’ Partner, Practice Leader for People Development Consulting and Co-Chair EuroCham Singapore HR, stood as the editor and project supervisor of the internship working group. He worked closely with EuroCham’s Lina Baechtiger and Mazars’ Angeline Ang, who were the project coordinators.

The objectives of the white paper are the following:

  1. Define the position of European companies and institutions of higher education operating in Singapore on issues relating to internships.  
  2. Describe their experience in comparing Singaporean and European interns.
  3. Survey and analyse the different internship programs organized by European companies and identify best practice.
  4. Identify areas of improvement by specifically addressing the areas of satisfaction and concern of the EuroCham members and drawing together recent research on internship and the feedback from talent professionals in European companies to provide a picture of an optimal internship system in Singapore.
  5. Explore initiatives to enhance the exchange of students between Europe and Singapore.

The historical development of internships in Europe was described, going back to the origins a thousand years ago up to the globalization of internship worldwide today. The HR Committee felt that the close cooperation of business and higher education could contribute to Asia’s need to better prepare students for a global workplace.

Interviews with 13 HR professionals in European companies operating in Singapore revealed that diversity rather than a single standard is what works best --  for the 13 companies represented in the study there were 13 different programs. 

Case studies of French and German internship programs in Singapore were provided by ESSEC, the French business school for Master degree students in Singapore, and by TUM for technical degrees in Singapore.

The white paper captured the recommendations from HR professionals and leaders of European Higher Education institutions managing programs in Singapore for improving internships.

Bob presented the white paper at Eurocham on 24 January and the Members took the step of establishing a committee of HR leaders to promote the placement of Singaporean students in Europe in exchange for the presence of European students in Singapore.

To get a soft copy of The Internship Imperative, please click on the download button below. You may also download the Eurocham presentation to give you an idea of the White Paper.