I'm currently looking for an internship in Singapore and like everywhere else there few things to know before finally getting it.
The first thing I did was to apply online. If you visit the website of the company that you are interested in there is always a section containing the current openings or career opportunities. It also allows you to apply spontaneoulsy for a job/an internship. And finally it allows you to know more about the company: what the company is doing, where the company is located, where are the manufacturing sites, what is the motto or culture of the company, what are the possibility for internships/co-op, etc.
Therefore, the first thing I did was to apply online on each company's website I was interested in. It usually takes time since you're asked to fill an online form (that will later fill the company database). 30min per application was the average time it took me to fill my contact details, my education details (you'll be ask for your GPA), my job experiences, etc.
That was my first step. However since many (many) people are doing the same as you it is not effective at all and you have very few chances to be contacted like that.
The second thing I did was to try to ask people around me. It can be one of your lecturer, friends, relatives, classmates, alumnis, etc. This is simply networking: the more you know the people around you the easier it will be to find some related to company you want to work for. The most important thing to know it that it mostly depends on you. Don't find excuses by saying that your relatives don't know the right people. Talk to people around you. I personally talked to many of lecturers, some people I met in Singapore, classmates, alumnis from my school, some people I met during my trips around Asia. I also used tools such as linkedin.
Linkedin can be simplify as a facebook for adults in a way that it allows you to build a network based on your former and current friends, colleagues, classmates. The search engine built-in allows you to find people working in you sector, for the company you are looking for, occupying the job position you'd like to get, etc. It is really simple to use and pretty effective. You'll be surprised by the number of people that are active on linkedin that can help you.
You can have a look to my public profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loictous
and find tips about how to use linkedin at this address:
This is definitely a website I will recommend since it helped me to get in contact with people currently working at AMD, INTEL corporation, NXP semiconductors, etc occupying positions ranging from IC design Engineer to Vice-president of Human Ressources Asia-Pacific. This last person put me directly in contact with the CEO of SSMC Singapore...
The last thing you can do is to call directly the company. Call the company's main line telephone, introduce yourself and try to enter in contact with someone from the HR department. It will always be easier if you know the name of the person you want to talk to. If you can't find any number you can call the services&enquiries number and apoligize by saying you accidently dialed the wrong number since you wanted to talk to someone from the HR. Always take note of the name of the person your talking to (and ask for the post number) and her/his contact details (email address, be sure of the spelling...). Last tip: if you can't find any number but the fax number: simply change the last digit. Companies generally have the same number for every employee appart from the last few digits. By doing so you'll randomly call someone and you can once again apologize and ask for someone from the HR departement.
Last but not least: many companies are registered to their chamber of commerce which provides precious informations about the company. For example: the french chamber of commerce provides informations on SOITEC Singapore that you will hardly find online such as telephone number, name of the HR director, etc. The French chamber of Singapore also allows you do a research by sector of activity.
Regarding the working visa in Singapore you can visit the Ministry of Manpower website where you find informations about the different existing working passes. To my concern the ones that are related to an internship in Singapore are : Training Employment Pass , Training Work Permit, and Work Holiday Programme
For the first two you will need a prior approval of your future employer who in most cases does the application for you. The most problem with these two is that in many cases companies are reluctant to do it since it means some more administrative work plus find accommodation for the future intern plus paying for the working visa. All this together compare to taking someone with a permanant resident visa and a degree recognized in Singapore and you understand why it is not that simple to find an internship in Singapore.
And here comes the Work Holiday programme. This new programme launched in December 2007 allows you to apply to working pass valid up to 6 month without any approval from a company. I currently hold this visa and yet I still haven't found an internship. The only requirements are about your country of origin (you have to be a student in recognized institutions in one the 8 following countries: Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States). Last but not least there is only 3000 visas of this type available..
That's it I think.. for any enquiries about this you can contact me at loic.tous(at)gmail.com