Teaching core professional skills to students in Singapore
Since 2014, Freshfields’ Singapore office, in partnership with ITE (Institute of Technical Education) College East, has mentored students to help them develop skills relevant for entering the workplace.
The current sessions cover four areas: Commercial Awareness, Office Protocol, Communications and Networking, and Public Speaking and Presentation. The mentoring sessions encourage using humour, eye contact and clear, confident delivery through a variety of role-playing exercises. Our mentors meet before each session to brainstorm ideas, continuously updating the materials to ensure they are relevant for students.
‘We realised that in order to help ITE students gain recognition in society and attain social mobility, one area they would need to improve on would be their presentation and communication skills. As such, the workshops conducted by Freshfields in communication and presentation are very valuable, helping our students gain confidence and enabling them to carry themselves well during interviews for schools, jobs and even scholarships. The students have enjoyed the sessions and gained useful knowledge of great benefit to them.’
We are now in our third season and to date have reached out to almost 100 students. Classes are kept small to make sure we get to know the students individually, and can tailor their experience for the best results.
Sylvia, currently studying nursing at ITE College East, says: ‘The sessions at Freshfields have helped me brush up on my presentation skills. Through the sessions, I have learned about the different items that I would need to take note of when giving presentations. Aside from that, I also learnt about the different items to take note of when doing a PowerPoint slide for presentation. What I’ve learnt will really help me a lot when I give presentations in ITE and when I further my studies after graduating.’
Theresa Seam is ITE’s student development officer and manages the student talent programme. ‘I am grateful to Freshfields for taking time to mentor and guide our students,’ she says. ‘Most of our students are from lower income families and are of lower academic abilities. As such, most of them lose out to their same-age peers from polytechnics and junior colleges in terms of securing good jobs and spaces in higher education. Nonetheless, these students have great potential in technical skills.’