How is this program different from other internship programs?

This program offers a unique, “head start” experience for first- and second-year students, with early workplace immersion and development of students' career potentials as its primary objectives.

The program offers a holistic development scheme in the following 3 areas:

  • Summer internship in reputable local and global corporations
  • Career mentorship with local industry executives
  • Hard- and soft-skill training and development 

By joining this program, you become not just an “intern” at a company but also a “fellow” in the program who partakes in a wide range of learning and engagement activities. These activities will help you enhance your understanding of the market, gain exposure to workplace reality, interact with top industry leaders directly, and develop your career potentials all throughout.

Who are eligible to apply?

Any first- and second-year HKUST undergraduate students who are enrolled in a regular, full-time academic program are welcome to apply.

What are the selection criteria?

Interested applicants should demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Desire to be challenged, inspired, and transformed through the program
  • Eagerness to venture outside one’s comfort zone – e.g. having the courage to interact with high-level industry leaders or try out a previously unfamiliar industry
  • Enthusiasm toward mingling with other fellows in the program to challenge one another and grow together
  • Readiness to stay committed to the program until the very end
  • Willingness to serve as “alumni fellows” for the program and reach out to future applicants or fellows
  • Minimum CGA requirement: C+ (2.30) or above
What is the selection process like and how long will it take?

The selection includes a two-round process:

  1. First Round – Online Application Submission:

    All applicants need to complete an Online Application Form that includes some basic information about you, a 600 to 800-word essay, a one-page resume, a personal image photo, and an optional 2-min video clip about yourself.

  2. Second Round – “Challenge Day” Selection:

    For those who are shortlisted to enter the second round of the selection process, they are required to attend a full-day “Challenge Day” to meet the selection panel and participate in various selection activities.

Application Deadline: Decemeber 27, 2016 (Tuesday)
Announcement of First Round Selection: End of January 2017 (via email)
Announcement of Second Round Selection: Mid-Feburary 2017 (via email)

What will happen on “Challenge Day”?

On the day of the “Challenge Day,” the following activities will take place and require the FULL participation of short-listed candidates: 

  • Keynote talk by industry executives
  • Program introduction by organizing committee
  • Team-building activities among candidates
  • Leadership and communication workshops
  • Group interviews with the selection panel

Shortlisted candidates are required to attend a full-day “Challenge Day” (Check the Important Dates of Program).

What are the commitment requirements of fellows once selected?

The program duration is from Feb to August 2017, while the summer internship could range from 6 to 8 weeks between June 1 and August 31, 2017.

Besides participating in a summer internship, fellows are required to demonstrate their commitment to the program by the following:

  • Attend at least 50% of the pre-internship training workshops between Feb and May before the summer internship starts.
  • Attend the following events -- Challenge Day , kick-off/closing ceremonies, Thank You Dinner.
  • Attend at least 50% of the summer/fall engagement activities – e.g. luncheons with industry executives, networking socials with internship employers, happy hours with other fellows, etc.
  •  Attend at least 50% of the on-going training and engagement activities (see Q9 for detail) until the end of the program

For fellows who stay consistently committed to the program throughout its duration, the following recognition and awards will be given:

  • A certificate of program completion
  • “Distinguished Fellow Award” for those who receive excellent reviews or recommendations from internship employers or members of the program’s Executive Committee
  • A letter of recommendation from members of the program’s Executive Committee for the winners of the “Distinguished Fellow Award”
Who are the summer internship partners?

Our 2016 internship partners may be found HERE and include some of the most reputable local and global corporations.

Who are the career mentorship partners?

Our career mentorship partners may include but are not exclusive to our summer internship partners. They will be committed to mentoring specifically selected fellows as a follow-up scheme upon the completion of the summer internship.

Only fellows those who excel exceptionally at their internship experience and demonstrate enthusiastic participation in the program’s engagement activities throughout the summer will be invited to participate in the career mentorship scheme.

What kind of hard- and soft-skill training will I receive?

Throughout the duration of the program, the following workshops may be offered periodically to help develop your career potentials:

  • Marketplace overview
  • Understanding one’s interests and career aptitude
  • Making job search fun
  • CV, resume, and cover letter writing
  • Interview practice
  • Developing your LinkedIn profile
  • Talk like TED
  • Speech/presentation contest
  • Business etiquette 101
  • Let's small talk and network!
  • Cross-cultural communication skills
  • The joys and sorrows of startup entrepreneurs
  • Teambuilding activities
  • Leadership training
  • Sharing sessions by industry experts 
  • Sharing sessions by HKUST alumni
How much does the program cost?

The program is free of charge!

Not only that – nearly all of our internship positions will offer pays that either meet the Hong Kong minimum wage requirement or more (except for the case of non-profit organizations).

For those who receive overseas internship positions but are in need of extra financial support on travel or accommodation expenses, please consult the program's Executive Committee on possible funding support options.

Enquiry Email: headstart@ust.hk