20 October 10 The Business Times by Grace Leong
TWO years ago, Shi Neng Zheng was so excited after his first visit to Everland Resort in Seoul that he started to dream of working in the industry.
Today, the 19-year-old, a final-year tourism and resorts management student at Singapore Polytechnic, has that opportunity through Singapore's first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa.
Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed yesterday between Resorts World and five polytechnics in Singapore, an internship programme offering training, internship and employment opportunities at the resort is now available to all 75,000 students of Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.
Shi, one of 431 interns at Resorts World this year, is getting trained in the operations of theme park attractions, specifically at the resort's Shrek 4-D Adventure.
'The internship helps me to make the move from studying to work life and also gives me insights into the tourism industry and helps confirm that I want to work in that industry,' he said.
He plans to continue working at Resorts World after graduation, but wants to explore opportunities at the casino and hotels.
'The experience has given SP students a leap into the real world of the MICE and F&B industries, thus enabling them to be work-ready after graduation,' said Lim Peng Hun, deputy principal of technology and industry for Singapore Polytechnic.
Seah-Khoo Ee Boon, Resorts World's senior vice-president of human resources and training, said she believes the resort can host more than 1,000 interns by 2012 when it is fully opened.
'As we grow our business, open more hotels and F&B outlets as well as launch attractions never seen in this part of the world, we are confident that not only will the number of internship opportunities increase many more folds, but the opportunity to intern in areas which have never been available in Singapore will also be made possible,' she said.
Since 2007, a total of 605 polytechnic students have participated in internship programmes with Resorts World. In March 2009, the resort sent 46 students to Universal Studios Orlando Resort in Florida for a four-month job attachment stint.
Under the MOU, Resorts World will also award one bond-free scholarship of $4,000 annually to a top-performing year 2 student from each of the polytechnics, as well as hold job and recruitment fairs.
In addition, the polytechnics' management and teaching staff will have the chance to work with the resort and understand its operations.
Chan Lee Mun, principal and CEO of Nanyang Polytechnic, said one of his staff who is on attachment with Universal Studios Singapore is helping develop a new module on theme park operations for the polytechnic's hospitality and tourism management diploma programme.
Ms Seah-Khoo said she also hopes the resort and the five polytechnics will launch a customised resort management diploma course for resort workers who want to upgrade.