NUS launches platforms for students to take up short-term jobs, connect with alumni

(From left) NUS Provost Professor Ho Teck Hua, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing and NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye watching a demonstration of the Internship-As-A-Service online platform at i3 at NUS, on Jan 28, 2022. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Students at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have started taking on short-term job stints from companies while studying, with the help of the university's digital marketplace.

On Friday (Jan 28), the jobs platform was launched at NUS by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, along with a networking platform that aims to bring together about 400,000 NUS students and graduates.

Following a pilot in December, students can use the jobs platform dubbed Internship-As-A-Service (IAAS) to get a taste of a wide range of careers and earn streams of income from these gigs.

By the end of this year, they will be able to earn modular credits that count towards graduation requirements, said NUS.

Tech firm Oracle, ride-hailing app Grab and Singapore Airlines are a few of more than 60 industry partners that have joined the platform.

At the launch of the online platforms on Friday, NUS president Tan Eng Chye said the online platforms are part of NUS' push to enhance interdisciplinary learning for its students over the past two years.

He said the IAAS platform opens up opportunities for students to undertake meaningful gigs from a broad spectrum of domains without being tied down by the academic calendar or duration.

Such stints will equip students with  a richer combination of skills and work experience when they graduate, he said.

Mr Chan said: "Students can apply for any job stint posted so long as they have the required skillsets. They are not bounded by their field of studies."

These platforms will also "enable convenient and direct access to talent in the NUS community", Professor Tan added.

Under IAAS, students can match their skills in areas such as programming, data analysis and graphic design with job assignments from industry partners ranging from multinational corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.

To date, more than 400 projects are available.

Students can also tap the experience of alumni through the university's networking platform conNectUS to chart their career.

The NUS Graduate Students' Society, for instance, has identified more than 50 new alumni mentors through conNectUS to provide advice to its members.

Since its soft launch in July last year, more than 10,000 NUS students and alumni have joined conNectUS.

At the launch on Friday, Mr Chan called the IAAS jobs platform a "tremendous breakthrough", as the service will transcend the challenge of having companies fit their schedules to the academic calendar in order to take on interns.

He noted that the alumni network was also an example of the way forward for all institutes of higher learning.

He said: "(They) should not just be a place for foundational learning, but (aim) to become institutes of continuous learning, where alumni return to augment their skillsets and remain relevant in the workforce and at the same time, contribute to their juniors' learning experience."

Among those who have trialled the IAAS platform is final-year NUS Business School student Stacia Tay Hui Wen, who credits her deeper knowledge of the financial market to a two-month internship at consultancy Marathon Advisors secured under the platform.

The 23-year-old said: "NUS IAAS provides students with exciting new opportunities. Besides the usual internships, I am now able to take on projects and internships of flexible lengths, throughout my studies, to expand different skill sets."

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