REFLECTIONS ON MY INTERNSHIP: ONCE IN A LIFE TIME
Many people think that books can teach a person everything they need to know, through thoughts and words.
Senator Bernie Sanders, however, thinks that the best way to learn is not from books, nor computers, not even teachers, but from hands on experiences.
An Insider’s View
Internship is a career field from the “inside” to allow the students to gain first-hand experiences in the day-to-day operations of a firm for them to examine their interest in depth so that they can explore all their abilities and to decide if it is the right career field.
Once In a Lifetime
My one-month internship at Alex Chang & Co had been one of the most fruitful experiences an intern could have wished for once in his or her lifetime.
I look upon it as an opportunity to network where I will meet powerful and influential leaders not only in legal but other fields who can later guide you and help you to reach your life goals. Through Mr Chang, I have met Past President Michael Tung, President Jeffery Yap for the Rotary Club of Pudu 17-18 and also a retired Court of Appeal Judge. A network could be important as you will never know when an opportunity may arise outside of your cubicle, so knowing people will help you to move up the career ladder.
The hands on works I’ve been exposed added much value to attachment. I have been assigned to read case files such as NZ NEW IMAGE SDN BHD v. LOH YOK LIANG which is a must-know case if you’re in a legal firm which specialises in companies winding up. If you don’t know this case it will be just like going to London without seeing London Bridge.
I was asked to assist Mr Chang in Court, learnt about the proceedings in the court and do legal research on whether a winding up order can be stayed under s243(1) Companies Act 1965. In the middle of August, I have also attended a full-day Bankruptcy Amendment Act 2017 Seminar, where Mr GK Ganesan and Mr Chang were the speakers of the seminar.
With the acknowledgement that learning takes place beyond the confines of a classroom, I have been able to put to practice the knowledge and theories garnered in the university and applied them to real life problems.
I enjoyed the Moot court competition in Alex Chang & Co as it gave me an opportunity to take part in simulated court proceedings, to hone both my written and oral advocacy skills in this competitive field and be challenged by preparing, articulating and defending legal submissions.
Part of the Team
To me, I always like to make things easier and more fun for myself and other interns that are working together with me. As I know we are in the same boat and same position, it is important to have a strong bond with each and every one of them so that we could work together as a team. They were very open to any suggestions and ideas and happy for me to contribute as much as I wanted to. I am slowly beginning to love this job and definitely made me feel as I was part of the team.
Law is Our Hobby
Being happy with your work is one of the most important considerations. Learn something new every single day and take something positive away from work.
Just like Mr Chang motto “Law is our Hobby”, he lives up to it as he eats, drinks and breathes law. He had his own style of working, CHANG-nam style where he works one hour a day only, doing administrative chores not related to law. The rest of the day is not work… The phrase, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” is beyond the truth at this firm. Therefore, just be yourself and let your natural light shine.
The most challenging part I find is that I have to dive in and sort of learn as you go. This means you might get a bit of training, but after that, you are expected to get your work done and figure it out, and Mr Chang will ask you lots of questions to make sure you really understand what you’re doing. I am always the only one who could not pick things up quickly throughout the whole internship. But there is always a given chance for me to watch and learn as Mr Chang will always ask me and all the other interns to go into his office and see how they file an affidavit, submission and more. This I found it to be valuable as preparation for the future, as a law degree will only give you the knowledge to work there, but it might not give you all the skills that you require.
Last but not least, make sure you complete at least a one-month internship in Alex Chang & Co, to boost that resume and to become a better candidate in future ‘job hunting’ . It is an experience I cherish and you will not regret.
Celine Ling Ting
University of Essex