Been working for more than two years at the Bank, I have come to understand that people really need a good consultation when deciding on what to do next in their lives especially when choosing a career. Some people have for so long worked on the things they have not learned at schools but still perform well because they love the jobs while some, even got degrees in that fields, still find it difficult to focus on the job just because they do not have passion in it.
I believe this could not have been worse, if these colleagues have initially been advised by profession counselor back when they were at schools to carefully look for their potentials and work their ways to success. My five week-trip for an exchange program to the States enabled me to discover more about the education system there and how students can access to wide varieties of information available to find the potentials within themselves and what schools or education institutions they should go to.
There are school counselors and teachers who are willing to spare times discuss with students on what their study plans and the problems that might distract them from performing well. Given that I also hold a bachelor degree in Education, this has inspired me to devote my time pursue my Master degree in school counseling to come back and serve my country the same way those people in the States are doing. My study will focus mainly on the techniques of counseling with students at their young age related to their major selection and career planning.
This year is the third time I assist the Fulbright and Undergraduate State Alumni Association of Cambodia to organize Major & Career fair to provide clearer definitions of various university’s majors to high school students and the jobs they should expect to get in those fields. What I have observed from this fair is that those students are very interested and pay so much attention to what each speaker has to say about his/her experiences.
I believe this is the rare occasion where they can listen to full descriptions of what they are going to study in the next 1 or 2 years ahead. My study, in the same way, will make me a qualified counselor to actually look into their inner self, find their real passions and provide them with the information they will need to get ready for their chosen futures. In addition, I will look into the emotional growth and relationship of the students with their family members especially parents. They both play an important role in the performance of their children in schools.
In most Asian families especially Cambodian, family members tend not to show their loves and supports toward each other openly and as a result making the gap between them wider. Some parents are too busy with their business that they forget to look at how their children are doing at schools with friends while some trying too much to put pressure on their children to study what they do not really like. I am particularly interested in finding ways to engage family members in student’s activities in attempt that the students will not be involved in inappropriate actions with their peers.
Hopefully, I can use what I have learned to introduce this concept to the school and family in so there would be less conflict internally that might affect the studies of the kids I want this study to provide me with sufficient qualifications to turn those kids who have already lose themselves in just the materialism society and who are no longer believe that education works to have faith in themselves, get up and start the journey with their classmates to realize their dreams and keep fighting.
Apart from doing this as my job, I also plan to utilize these skills to the students in provinces where I volunteer myself to be guest speakers there. I am positive that the knowledge and skills, commitment and passion of mine supported by Fulbright are going to make this developing country full of rich human resources to continue to stay strong for years to come.