Life experience in their teens

Life experience in their teens

Two students explain how their summer jobs gave them rare skills and insights


Jack Sze (above, third from left) and Cameron Tucker (left) gained valuable experience through summer jobs.
Jack Sze (above, third from left) and Cameron Tucker (left) gained valuable experience through summer jobs.
Photos: Cameron Tucker & Jack Sze
Summer jobs can be great. Not only can they offer us a chance to learn some useful skills but they also help us get valuable life experiences. Just ask junior reporters Cameron James Tucker and Jack Sze Wing-leong.

Both teens worked in summer jobs last year. Not just any odd jobs, either.

Cameron, now 18, taught drama at the Faust International Youth Theatre. "It was my first summer job," he says. A graduate of Sha Tin College, he now studies at the University of East Anglia, in Britain.

Cameron had never taught drama before but felt confident he could do it. "Drama is something I feel passionate about. From the age of 10, I participated in productions in primary and secondary school. And I also studied drama in the GCSE with a grade A result and an IB diploma," he says.

At Faust, he started out as a floor manager, helping to get venues ready and set up the stage.

Then he was asked if he wanted to be a student assistant in a class.

He did. "I helped to teach drama to a younger group of students aged three to 16. There were about 20 students in the class," Cameron explains.

He says it was a challenging but stimulating experience. "Instead of sitting in front of a computer in an office, I got to do something active and work alongside people of all ages."

He enjoyed interacting with his students.

"I built a strong rapport with them; we bonded very well. I hope I helped to make their experience of drama [meaningful]," he says.

Being a teacher requires a strong sense of responsibility which is a very valuable trait. "At some point in life, we are going to be [in a position] which requires a great deal of responsibility, and we will need to gain respect from our employers and employees alike. Working at Faust gave me the perfect opportunity to experience both," he says.

Jack, from Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School, did something quite different. He spent last summer working as an enumerator for the Census and Statistics Department's population census.

"I felt so lucky to do the job because the comprehensive population census is only conducted once a decade so it was a rare chance," says the 18-year-old. "I had to obtain census data through field visits and face-to-face interviews with households within a designated district. I also needed to verify the collected data and follow it up through telephone interviews in the centre."

Dealing with people from all walks of life and different cultures was challenging, Jack concedes.

"The worst part was when members of a household all refused to be interviewed. It was an embarrassing situation. I needed to call my supervisor to help break the deadlock," he says.

The job was an eye-opener for him. In addition to dealing with people, he also learned skills necessary for data collection. Best of all, he learned how to collaborate with others to get a job done more effectively.

"The experience definitely improved my inter-personal skills," he says. "As I had to show up for booked appointments and finish tasks on deadline, I also learned to be responsible."

His duties also gave him insights into the living conditions of low-income people in his neighbourhood.

"Their [poor] living conditions deserve our attention," he says. "I could see how hard some of my neighbours had to work to earn a living."



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