Letters from the dorm: A summer internship doesn't mean a boring holiday

Letters from the dorm: A summer internship doesn't mean a boring holiday

Summer, and all that lazing around in the sun, seems to have gone by in a flash. It's already September, and that means the start of my final year at university.

It also means the end of my summer internship. I spent the past three months working for the Hong Kong government as part of the administrative service summer internship programme. I was assigned to the Narcotics Division, where all of the city's anti-drug abuse campaigns - such as the famous "not now, not ever" videos - are designed and implemented.

So what exactly did the job involve? Luckily, it wasn't just making coffee for people. The biggest project I was involved with was the launch of the Drug InfoCentre website. The site helps the public learn more about the dangers of drugs.

I had to check and proofread the test site. I also worked with the people designing the site to make changes. As time went by, I took on more responsibility. Soon I was translating an English version of the site and making sure updates were posted regularly.

The job was actually far more satisfying than I had expected. I loved contributing to something that was helping the lives of fellow Hongkongers.

This internship was the longest job I've ever held. It was an eye-opening experience. Watching a government department first-hand taught me a lot about how the government works to protect its citizens.

For example, I learned about web accessibility, which is helping people who may have poor vision or a disability get online. I helped make the Narcotics Division's websites easier to use.

I learned that it was important for all the pictures on the site to have captions. This is because blind people who use screen-reader machines know what the page is about.

I had half-expected my summer to be boring - all work and no play. But I turned out to be very wrong. When you work nine to six, you soon learn how to treasure your evenings and weekends. It's amazing how many fun things you can squeeze in!

I had a great summer catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, going hiking, picnicking and checking out concerts.

But now is the time to say farewell to the summer, and head off to my last year of undergraduate study. I can't wait!

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
All work but also lots of play


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