SINGAPORE: After Business Insider published a piece on Sept 11 (Monday) about how some students in Singapore are taking on multiple internships—on top of getting good grades and studying in top universities— to land the jobs they want, local Reddit users had a lot to say.

The piece, titled, “Good grades and top honours don’t cut it anymore. Welcome to the Gen-Z Battle Royale: Internship Edition,” featured so-called “warrior interns,” young people who’ve had as many as nine internships, beginning from the time they left secondary school, and taking advantage of every holiday break they had to work as interns in order to raise their bargaining power as jobseekers.

Whew! It’s exhausting to even think about it, and a good number of Reddit users said as much when the piece was shared on r/Singapore.

“University used to be that last period of time to be carefree, have fun and enjoy before a lifetime of work that is ahead. Not anymore,” commented one.

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“I feel sad for the system in SG. I admire ambition in young kids but this seems downright mentally exhausting,” wrote another, who added, “It turns out, life is perfectly fine without having a Harvard or stressing that much to reach the highs. I hope everyone can experience the carefree environment when time feels like it passes slower.”

One commenter, however, remarked cynically that “Being spawn(ed) into the right family eliminates the need to compete for internships.”

“Or even just knowing the right friends. I have CS friends who struggle to get internships though they have CAP 5 and a lot of projects. Then I also have non-CS friends who got into tech roles like SWE in year 1 with knowledge of only HTML and CSS – they got in through friends and seniors’ connections,” another agreed.

“”If good grades & top honours” don’t cut it any more… then maybe it’s society that’s f***ed up? Just sayin’.

Also sayin’, burnout culture in this country is mad as is, but systemic burnout support is atrocious, BC the doctors & nurses are also overworked/burnt out. I’ve seen the hospitals.

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So when ppl fail, then how? Die?,” another added.

“Wow…times have really changed. I graduated back in 2019, didn’t do a single internship but still managed to land a job. I guess back then competition just wasn’t as fierce! Anyway, at the rate we’re going, I Imagine next time we gotta submit portfolio for our kids’ pre-school and kindergarten admissions…,” a commenter remarked.


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OPINION | When interns complain that their job is “s**t” work and expect to “go to events and meet big shots” instead