Monday, October 23, 2006

Internship again

Life is busy since the beginning of the semester. I just went to the newly-designed homepage of the T/MC. It looks better than the previous one. I like the design very much. Also, I registered again in order to login successfully.

I prepare my honor project and finding jobs. On the other hand, I participate in an internship program organized by my department. It is one of the requirements and assessment criteria of the course. I serve as an part-time intern in an environmental protection organization from September to November. My job duty is to conduct a research related to the side- effects of reclamation and use the result to prepare one set of exhibition boards for the organization to display in primary and secondary schools.

I will keep you all posted.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Report

I notice there are great changes in the T/MC website. I feel sorry to hear that the platform of the site needs to be rebuilt. I hope that everything will be fine.

On the other hand, after returning to Hong Kong, my university asked all interns to submit a written report together with several photos taken in the office and attractions regarding life and working experience in Chicago. It is estimated that the university will publish all reports in November for promoting next year’s internship program.

I will keep you all posted.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Review

Time flies! I left Chicago for several weeks. The new semester will begin on 4 September. It begins my busy life again. I register the subjects that I will take in the coming semester recently.

I keep on watching the website of the Tutor Mentor Connection and Dan's blog. I review my job duties after coming to Hong Kong. I serve as an on- line learning, collaboration and communications intern. Using different forms of Internet collaboration to make peoples around the world understand the Tutor Mentor Connection and connect all volunteers is the strategy that I use. For example, I use this blog to share my understanding of the T/MC concepts and use the T/MC forum to encourage more people to participate in the discussion. I hope I will have the chance to meet the next intern to exchange our experience and ideas by using different kinds of Internet collaboration that I mentioned.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm now in H.K.

Hello everyone. After fifteen-hour flight, I am now in Hong Kong. I miss Chicago very much. It is surely an unforgettable experience to me. Though I am not living in Chicago, I can still work for the Tutor Mentor Connection and keep in touch with you all by using Internet. It shows the magic of Internet, which eliminates the geographic barrier between two places.

After telling my relatives and friends about my job duties and the concept of the T/MC, they think that I had a meaningful experience in Chicago. Daniel’s teachings broaden my horizon. I still remember his teachings, which are important to my life.

I will try to find some suitable resources for the T/MC website and keep you all posted.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Volunteers Recruitment & Advertising Skills

Before coming to Chicago, I did not think that I would learn so many new things in my internship. Universities told me that my job duty is to do research by using Internet for a community service organization. After working in the T/MC, I find that I learn some advertising skills and strategies. They are all important to small organizations without too much money.

Some institutions can be employed as our strategies for advertising and achieving T/MC’s mission. University is an example. It nurtures a huge amount of talents each year. Students can use their knowledge to help the kids academically. In fact, our community provides the best place for hands-on learning. Structured community service experiences provide students an opportunity to learn about community needs and enhance their commitment to their community, while developing leadership skills at the same time. Therefore, university and the T/MC can cooperate with each other for the volunteer program. It is beneficial to both institutions.

Apart from volunteer recruitment, our advertising strategy can be achieved by giving students a talk or a series of lectures so that they can understand the T/MC’s concepts. We should make them know such concept can apply to other fields like business and schools.

Hospital is another targeted institution. It plays an important role in a community and assisting our program. Hospitals represent love and care. Their goal is similar to us. In fact, they can help teaching the youths the health knowledge. Recruiting interns for the teens in order to let them exposed to different working environments and lower the cost of the hospitals. Moreover, it lightens our financial burden by sharing their resources

I have been tried my best to share my understanding of the T/MC concepts and advertising strategies with you all in this blog. Potential volunteers and donors can read more at the following website.
http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/Partner/CC/Presentations/CC_presentations_home_page2.htm
Finally, I would like to express my thanks to Daniel and colleagues for providing a chance for me to be an intern and give me lots of assistance respectively.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summary

Time flies! It is my last week in Chicago. I have been working in the Tutor Mentor Connection for seven weeks. It’s the right time for me to summarize the experience that I gained during the journey.

It is a valuable and meaningful experience to me indeed. All the things that I learnt here are new to me. It makes me feel satisfied after the journey. I still remember that I have difficulties in understanding the concepts behind the T/MC at the first week of the internship. It is good that Daniel and other colleagues give me lots of help in overcoming that problem.

After several discussions with Dan, I realize such idea is lacking in Hong Kong. I think the thought cannot be rooted because the citizens rely on different kinds of pension and the current social security system very much. The adverse effect is that it increases government’s financial burden. More importantly, it does not mean that these measures can solve the fundamental social problems in the city. Being a business city, most Hong Kong people can access to the Internet easily. In addition to this, the community services can be supported by the business sector financially. There is a huge amount of social workers graduated from universities each year, which provide sufficient workforce in community services. Therefore, the concept of T/MC can be introduced and applied to Hong Kong.

T/MC devotes to cooperating with other related organizations to discuss strategies for solving the common social problems that we are facing now. The organization also believes education saves children from going astray. It further reveals that more volunteers are needed. I hope there will be more interns or volunteers coming from different countries, professions and disciplines. It is hoped that they help spreading the concept within their network.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Network

Traditional community service organizations take care of the problems in their own community or nation. Cooperation was lacking. The result is just as Daniel said, “every program does their own thing”. The limited resources thus cannot be utilized effectively. It is difficult for us to solve some serious and common problems like poverty if we continue to arrange our programs in this pattern.

We can use Internet for mentoring, advertising and discussion. Discussion means volunteers, who have different backgrounds, can participate in the discussion. They can use their professional knowledge to give some strategies for advertising and “e-mentoring”. Such brainstorming acts as a useful tool to further improve our existing program and enhance our cooperation without any constraints.

On the other hand, people may not understand the idea of tutoring and mentoring. Volunteers, who are serving in different professions, can help explaining this idea within their network. It just like priests went to places around the world for preaching. The difference is we use Internet and our own network to “preach” such idea.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Advertising and Marketing

The three-day self-awareness workshop has been finished last week. There were lots of activities organized for students. Activities include sharing, games and so on. After the workshop, I understand much more about the operation of the T/MC. Also, I strongly feel that volunteers’ commitment to the program and it is essential to the development of the program. Therefore, the recruitment of volunteers is one of the prerequisite for the success of the program.

Traditionally, advertising confines to television and press. It is believed that they are the most effective way for promotion. Advertising is one of the main parts of any marketing program. College programs in marketing, such as those found on this college marketing degree site routinely cover the benefits of advertising. A majority of careers in marketing will also have a heavy involvement with advertising. However, they are expensive and not economical to small-scaled organizations. In order to attract more people to be involved in the T/MC and understand its concept, Internet is a useful tool for mentoring that I mentioned last time and advertising. Internet provides another channel for those organizations, which have little money but want to promote their services or products.

Blogs, forums are some tools, which can be utilized by us to promote our program. In addition to this, we can exchange our ideas regarding the tutoring and mentoring program so as to enhance our understanding and the quality of our community services.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Idea

Before going to Chicago, I think community services confine to paying visits to the needy’s home, organizing some activities for the aged and poor children only. It is difficult to imagine that Internet can be one of the methods to help the needy.

Traditionally, interaction between tutor/mentor and students operates on a face-to-face basis. With the invention of Internet, charities should grasp the gist of such trend, because teenagers interested in it and it provides an opportunity for the charities to expend their services in a larger scale because Internet was an effective and flexible tool that it does not restricted by time and geographical differences. It signifies that more people can be benefited. Moreover, discussion forum on the Internet makes T/MC formed another community or family where friendships were built.

I think the T/MC works best if more former students or alumni can be tutors or mentors to teach the new generation upon graduation. The alumni, who share the same background with our students, can share their learning and working experience.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reflection

Hi, I am Michael. I have been working here for three weeks. I enjoy my life and cherish my experience in Chicago. Being encouraged by Daniel, I started writing journal weekly, reflecting my experience and feeling when I am working in the T/MC. I think it is a good way to provide a channel for us to share our ideas, views on the programe.

Learning the concept of the T/MC is the first thing that I have to do before starting my job. They are new to me. With the help of Daniel and Ariane, I understand more about the operation of the program after reading “Be a volunteer” at http://www.cabriniconnections.net/beavolunteer.html. It presented how to be a volunteer in a systematic way. All potential volunteers are cordially encouraged to read this first before participation. U all can go to FAQ section for understanding more about our programme.

There are some differences between the situation of Hong Kong and Chicago. Most of the community services provided by charities are very much depended on government’s support. After discussing with Daniel, I understand T/MC helps to relieve the burden of the government and the poor by recruiting volunteers to help those who need help. I think it is our responsibility to share their burdens and this concept can be applied to Hong Kong in a large scale where community services are still lacking.

To ensure the integrity of the system, I check the links in the LINKS section are workable. Also, I prepare to help to add links and update the information in the Program Locator.
I feel happy as I know what I am doing is meaningful. As there will be more students to come to join our programme, we need more volunteers to join us. We appreciate your help.