In recent years business has rallied since the IMF crisis, but the domestic job market has not improved very much and half of graduates are preparing for enterprise entrance exams at the next opportunity.
Moreover, there is a tendency for companies to select talented people with practical language and international business skills, and they will periodically hire such new employees while retrenching current employees as the price of staff development. For that reason having a personal competitive edge is crucial for job-seekers.
Meanwhile, a good many university students go abroad for about 6 months or a year to study foreign languages and boost their foreign language ability as a mean to survive in the unfavorable economic conditions.
This straightforward language study can be termed the first generation international training. Programs of a part-time job type, like working holidays, farm work, and combined work & travel, which are aimed at traveling and making money during vacation or a break from study, can be termed the second generation international training.
While it is true that people with excellent foreign language proficiency have an advantage in the job market, these days corporations increasingly prefer to their recruits who also have practical skills in their field of work from the beginning they enter the firm. As the kind of skills that companies look for changes, Career Exploration Programs (CEP) are gaining currency as a way to train people in international skills. CEP can be called as the third generation international training.
CEP offer young adults the opportunity to further their own career development. College students and recent graduates volunteer their services from one to ten months in an occupational setting and learn new methods of business. The Volunteer Interns expand their knowledge in a chosen career field. To extend their understanding and to improve their language skills, the Career Exploration Volunteer Interns live with host families and immerse themselves in the culture of the United States or Canada.
In some principal advanced countries, students usually cannot enter graduate business courses without a practical business training background. In this way, enterprises and institutions regard business experience as important and people without it can be excluded by the entrance requirements of MBA courses of US graduate schools. In other words, CEP is intended as a sandwich system of industrial-educational cooperation.
In contrast, our nation still has insufficient public information and awareness of CEP. Thus we do not utilize a good system to train international business people in advanced business skills. Recently US CHI, a nonprofit institution, have jointly agreed to establish a CEP in Korea, with the support of the Department of State and KBS-MEDIA. CEP can be classified into two kinds. One is Short Term Enrichment Program(STEP). STEP is an introduction of work practices to North America.
The program provides the overseas internship with the opportunity to observe and experience a world of corporation through learning the basics of running a business and understanding the tasks related to the career in a non-paid position for up to three months.
The other is Intensive Internship Program(IIP). IIP gives an opportunity for carrying out thorough exploration into the overseas interns’ selected work to do. The internship programs offer specific goals and career objectives to accomplish for 6 or 10 months program to them.
Intensive Internship Program’s apprentices take on a personal challenge by putting their theoretical knowledge to practical work. For 6 or 10 months, IIP interns focus on developing professional skills that will help them enhance their future career objectives. Interns gain a new perspective on their personal ability and insight into the life and culture in North America.
Enrollment and Eligibility
* CHI accepts IIP applications all the year round. The applicant must be: Between 22 and 35 years of age A full-time university student who has completed at least 6 semesters of study; a recent graduate; or a young professional Able to function in an English-speaking work environment; a minimum 550 TOEFL score is recommended.
In addition, the applicant must submit a detailed application package including a resume, a letter of intent and 3 letters of recommendation.
* CHI Provides: Customized placement with a carefully matched North American business Placement with a host family or independent housing suggestions Program orientation Continuous supervision and guidance during the intern’s program Airport transfer
Participants can select fields in the light of their major, interests and future plans. Beyond this, one can participate in almost any field.
Sports business (Golf Course Mgmt, Equipment Mfg , etc) Law / Legal Accounting / Finance / Secretarial Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations Travel & Tourism / Hotel Education (Teaching) Media (Television, radio, newspapers) / Journalism Medical / Dental / Psychotherapy / Counseling Farming & Ranching / Agribusiness / Agricultural Recreation
There is a registration fee for CEP participants. Proceeds from registration fees are used to fund the programs operations; personnel, management and office expenses; finding firms to run a CEP; and visa issuing costs.
Most CEP positions are unpaid, as participants do not undertake an official job with the company, and they go back home after finishing their training. Thus, it is different from the regular training that the companies give to their employees.
Kyungpook National University introduced CEP in 2000 and students who complete CEP can gain up to 36 credit points towards their degree. Competition for places among students is very high, because this system utilizes students’ major and help student study business practices in their fields of interest.