From Classroom to Career: The Power of Internship In Early Childhood Education

Internships are a powerful way to gain hands-on experience in the early childhood education industry here in Sarawak. I have been a part of the education world since I embarked on my degree in education and psychology in 1999, which marked the beginning of my journey in the teaching field.

Looking back, I can vividly recall how internships provided me with a unique opportunity to apply academic knowledge in a real-world setting, starting from the preschool stage and extending to the primary stage.

During this time, I had the privilege of learning from experienced professionals, delving into aspects like classroom management and teaching strategies. I even had the chance to explore the use of phonics as a reading skill for children aged 4 to 8 years old. As I progressed towards securing a full-time teaching position, it became evident that internships were instrumental in gaining the necessary experience to excel in the educational sector.

Fast forward to 2015, when I joined SEGi College Sarawak. It was here that I realised the growing demand for early years schools and educational enrichment centres in Sarawak. With the population on the rise, the need for qualified early childhood educators has increased substantially.

With more schools have opened their doors, the opportunities for individuals to pursue careers in early childhood education have expanded. Notably, many early childhood centres prefer to hire interns as full-time staff following the completion of their internships. The rationale behind this is that interns have already demonstrated their skills, work ethic, and compatibility with the centre’s culture. Furthermore, hiring interns proves to be cost-effective and efficient for centres as they are already well-versed in the centre’s policies and procedures.

One vital aspect to consider is that students undertaking internships have the chance to establish a valuable network of contacts and references. Even our alums from SEGi College Sarawak, working as far afield as Singapore, have expressed their interest in recruiting interns from Sarawak. Numerous early childhood centres have praised the students completing their internships, highlighting their humility, enthusiasm for learning, and passion for fostering children’s interest in education.

My advice to all future students pursuing a career in education is to recognise the significance of internships in the early childhood industry. I wholeheartedly encourage students to seize these opportunities, as they serve as an invaluable starting point in their educational careers.

About the Author:


Programme Leader and Lecturer (Early Childhood Education), Faculty of Education, Languages, Psychology & Music, SEGi College Sarawak

Laura is a dedicated educator with a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in 2011 and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education from Asia-Pacific International University (formerly known as Mission College) in 2004. Over a 19-year teaching career, she has worked in diverse international and multicultural settings, covering preschools, kindergartens, and primary to tertiary institutions. Laura’s teaching journey began in Bangkok, Thailand, at Ekamai International School, where she progressed from an Intern Teacher to Head Teacher, undertaking various roles. After a stint at SRI® College and Sunny Hill Primary School, Kuching, Laura assumed a leadership role as Acting Principal for a Specialised Vocational Diploma. She concluded her journey by contributing her expertise to the International Primary 2 programme at Tunku Putra HELP School in 2020. During her tenure at SEGi College Sarawak, Laura served as a full-time lecturer from 2015 to 2019 and later as a Programme Leader in 2020.

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