Work experience of any kind is critical to developing the much-valued employability skills that the labour market demands, and as Elise explains below, the most meaningful experiences can come through our very own networks. Please speak to Lu Scott, Head of Careers, if you need support in finding work experience. She is always grateful also to hear from members of the RHS community who can offer placements or insights to our students.
Over the summer of 2019, I spent three weeks gaining work experience in an animation studio in Hong Kong. The way this opportunity had started was around a year prior, where I had shown one of my friends an animation I had finally completed, and she suddenly suggested for me to come to Hong Kong and check out her mother’s entertainment office. Nothing was fully decided back then of course, but after multiple long hours of texting my parents (and then her parents) on whether or not I could come over and work in the animation department of my friend’s mother’s entertainment business, I eventually was allowed to go... left only to plan out the rest of my trip.
It was my first time in Hong Kong, and I experienced many wonderful new things, both culturally and leisurely. As I live in boarding, I got to meet a lot of my boarding friends who lived in Hong Kong, who, in turn, all helped me get around and made sure I was not lost and okay. I went to work at Celestial Tiger (the name of the entertainment company) every other day for three weeks, and met many interesting people from various departments such as advertisement, planning, animation, movie censoring and many more in between. I found that the people who actually create animations are only a small part of the whole process on publishing the program onto live television.
Over my time there, I had to watch all of the previously published programs (which actually were meant to teach children mandarin - perfect for me since I take mandarin classes in school), make notes and improvements to subtitles or teaching techniques, meet up with the bosses and heads of department to share my ideas, and I even got to create my own animation that they would use in a later episode to teach children on how to draw pumpkins and how to say pumpkin in Chinese!
Through this, I learned the programs that real-life animators use in the industry today, shortcuts and tricks to make work faster, and I even received a letter of recommendation that I could use when I would be trying to get into my dream universities. I loved my stay there and even though almost everything was new (and even a little scary at times), I don’t regret a single moment and would even do the same thing ten times over if I could..!