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Is the POSTECH SES Program Useful for Freshmen and Sophomores?
[387호] 2017년 09월 06일 (수) Reporter Kim Su-min kimsm@

During the last summer vacation, 300 students participated in the POSTECH SES program. SES means ‘Summer Experience in Society’, which started in 2016 to help students see the world with a broader perspective and plan their own future. Since it provides real internship experience in enterprises and laboratories, most participants are juniors and seniors. In 2016, six freshmen and 49 sophomores participated in the program. The number of total participants was 260. In 2017, seven freshmen and 63 sophomores participated in it. With the curriculum of POSTECH, most students start to take their major classes in their third semester. Consequently, considerable students hesitate to participate in the program because of their limited major knowledge.
Last year, the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs did a survey about the program. The result showed 65.10% students applied for exploration and development of their career and 25.50% applied for their personal interest. For another question, 126 students answered the program helped them understand practical affairs and 81 answered it helped them understand the feature of each enterprise or laboratory (The question about this allowed multiple responses). These numbers suggest the program is helpful for students.
The difficulty from lack of major knowledge varies with work places. Hong Chae-rin (ME 17), who worked at POSCO PLANTEC in 2017, said she only used what she learnt from General Physics and high school physics to solve problems and major knowledge was not necessary. Choe Go-gwon (MSE 16), who worked at KISWIRE LTD in 2016 and at RIST in 2017, also said he did not have particular difficulty at his internship in both years. However, Byun Do-hwan (LIFE 15), who worked at The Korea Brain Research Institute in 2016 and at SL BIGEN in 2017, said “Last year, it took time to understand and get used to laboratory’s work because I lacked knowledge about my major and practical affairs. This year, as I learned my major more, I could get used to working faster.”
Except for the lack of major knowledge, it is almost equally difficult for all graders to work at a real work place. Most students in the 2016 SES Experience Story Book mentioned about the difficulties because of the short period and insufficient employee education. Kang Min-su (CE 17), who worked at JUSUNG ENGINEERING, said “It is natural to be skeptic when you have nothing to do in the early internship period. At such moments, ask other employees if there is anything you can help.”
In conclusion, there is no big barrier between freshmen and sophomores and the program. Hong Chae-rin said she was planning to participate in it after taking several major classes, but she was worried if she would miss future opportunities that POSTECH provides during summer vacations, so she decided to participate this summer. As a result, her decision helped her think about what to do for her future dream.
 If someone wants to participate in the program, however, it is suggested to prepare in detail. Byun Do-hwan pointed that it is important for participants to feel responsible about oneself and the institute. Searching for information about the institute and the part you are interested in are very important.

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