Director’s inappropriate conduct causes universities to report and block tech firm from internships

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Photo: YouTube screengrabs

Update: Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao named the tech company reported by the National University of Singapore and blacklisted by several other universities as Apps Authority.

A female student from the National University of Singapore’s reported to the NUS that a director of a tech company who interviewed her in March for an internship allegedly behaved in an inappropriate manner. The NUS made a police report in April and has barred the firm from the university’s internship portal.

Other universities have followed suit.

The interview was done via Skype, wherein the director, a married man, could see the interviewee, but she could not see him. The director offered the young woman double the standard amount for her internship allowance if she agreed to go with him on business trips that were to be kept secret from NUS.

Students have also informed the university that text messages have made the rounds among them in the last year, warning others about this specific company and alleging that a sexual relationship had occurred between the director and a former intern. The police have also received a copy of the texts.

Complaints concerning this particular tech company started surfacing in 2016, when several female students complained about work practices that they found unjust. However, up until May 2018, the company was still listed on the internship portal of the school.

The three women who complained between 2016 and 2017 ended their internship programs with the firm, but did not lodge any police reports.

For its part, the NUS has vowed to take complaints from their sidings seriously, claiming that the safety of each student is their number one priority. The school said that by May, the company had been removed from their internship portal, and that no NUS student is listed on their records as currently participating in the company’s internship programs.

Following NUS’ example, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lasalle College of the Arts have also removed the firm from their internship portals, while Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will no longer be allowing internships with the company either. Singapore Management University (SMU) has put the company under review for their internship program.

These universities are reviewing their policies to ensure their students’ welfare and protection. Companies that have received “legitimate complaints” can expect to be removed from internship programs. The NTU has put in place specific qualifications before a company is allowed to join an internship, including at least two years of operation and $10,000 in paid-up capital.