I’d never expected to get a job during the holidays; the idea had never crossed my mind. But I was approached by my form teacher one afternoon regarding an internship at MOE’s Corporate Communications Division (CCD). After speaking to my parents, who were very supportive of the internship, I decided to take it up.
During my two weeks in CCD in November 2007, I had the opportunity to visit the Singapore Press Holdings centre with the CCD team. We sat in on one of the Straits Times’ daily morning meetings, where they discussed the next day’s line-up. Following that, Sandra Davie, Straits Times correspondent for education, took us on a tour of the centre. It was very much an eye-opener for me. One thing I’ve learnt is that a journalist’s life is not easy, or at least not as easy as I’d thought it would be. The deadlines, hectic schedule and rushing from one meeting to another certainly made it a demanding job!
I also attended a background briefing for the media, held at MOE. Unlike the typical press conference, the background briefing was shorter and recording devices used by the media were not permitted.
My routine during the stint included helping with the Daily Brief report everyday. It comprises summaries of selected education-related media reports. I helped scan The New Paper for relevant articles and summarised a few articles a day. I enjoyed attending the Daily Brief meetings every morning, probably because it was an entirely new experience. I also enjoyed reading and summarising articles from the papers, as well as being able to contribute at these meetings.
I also got to compile a report on foreign media coverage which is prepared weekly. I sifted though education-related articles in the foreign media and picked out the relevant ones for the compilation. The report helps the ministry to keep abreast of international trends and changes which may concern our education system and its policies. The number of articles I had to go through was overwhelming!
Finally, one particularly “memorable” activity was transcribing audio material. I found transcription a bane due to the interference of background sounds, the chatter of reporters and the sizzle of static. In all, as most CCD staff seemed to agree, transcription was one of the least favoured assignments.
Having reached the end of my stint, I’ll declare quite readily that I had quite a smashing time. I’ve always taken joy in writing, so the assignments were interesting to me. I would like to continue my studies in the arts, media or mass communications. If someone asks if I would like to work in CCD one day, I would answer with no hesitation that I would!
Reuben Soh Wei Wen
Class: 130 (2007)
Yishun Junior College