Tzu Chi University hosts the 2023 Professional Cultivation Conference


On October 19, 2023, the Career Development and Employment Guidance Group of the Office of Student Affairs hosted the 2023 Professional Cultivation Conference, funded by the Higher Education Sprout Project. The conference focused on creating opportunities for international students, offering them pathways for internships and employment through Tzu Chi Affiliates.

At this event, Pei-Fei Lin, the Deputy Director of the Overseas Affairs Office of the Tzu Chi Foundation’s Religious Affairs, along with team member Si-Min Lai, presented their insights and experiences related to working in Tzu Chi’s offices worldwide.

Deputy Director Pei-Fei Lin shared a moving story about her involvement in Turkish disaster relief. Through Da Ai TV’s videos and news, students witnessed the plight of hardworking families devastated by an earthquake. These families, having lost nearly everything, were fortunate to meet Tzu Chi volunteers. One volunteer, Brother Faisal Hu, promptly registered a family for upcoming aid distribution. The head of this family, reflecting on their situation, expressed gratitude despite their losses: “I thought I was successful, with a good job, a house, and a happy family. Now, everything is gone, but thankfully, my family is safe. Tzu Chi’s assistance has been invaluable. I am hopeful for a better future.”

Si-Min Lai’s presentation on the Overseas Affairs Office highlighted its collaboration with Tzu Chi volunteers globally to serve the local communities and assist disaster victims. She detailed the office’s organizational structure and the distinct roles of its groups:

  • Overseas Charity Group: This group focuses on emergency and charity cases in countries where Tzu Chi has not previously operated.
  • Europe-America-Africa Affairs Group: Responsible for managing affairs in 39 countries across Europe, America, and Africa.
  • Asia-Pacific Affairs Group: Handles affairs in 24 countries in Asia and Oceania.
  • Administrative Group: Deals with project management and general administration.
  • Buddha’s Homeland Group: Aims to improve the wellbeing of people living in Buddha’s birthplace, focusing on India and Nepal.

Each group plays a vital role in fulfilling the organization’s mission to provide aid and support to those in need around the world.

Si-Min highlighted the importance of self-awareness, effective stress management, efficient time management, adept communication skills, proficient crisis handling, and innovative problem-solving as key tools for personal and professional growth. Drawing from her own journey, she shared how joining the Overseas Affairs Office immediately after her undergraduate studies contributed significantly to her personal development and helped in maximizing her life’s potential. She encouraged others to pursue careers that align with their aspirations, emphasizing that finding a job which resonates with one’s passion is crucial for a fulfilling life.

Wen-Yu Tan, a Tzu Chi University alumnus with a background in Child Development and Family Studies, and currently a group manager in the University’s Office of Humanistic Culture, shared her personal journey and insights. As a Malaysian, she detailed the Taiwanese evaluation system, advising international students to aim for a minimum of 70 points before submitting their applications. Emphasizing language proficiency, she recommended strategies for improving Chinese language skills during their studies, passing language proficiency tests, and the benefits of volunteering or interning at relevant organizations to gain practical experience. Additionally, she provided guidance to international students eager to work in Taiwan, focusing on how they can optimally prepare for their future career endeavors.

This event was attended by twenty individuals, including fourteen students and six faculty members from various departments. It started with the moderator addressing common salary concerns among young people, effectively connecting the audience with the speaker. The students showed a strong interest in learning more about Tzu Chi, inquiring about involvement opportunities, volunteering, and the possibility of interning at the Overseas Affairs Office’s Asia-Pacific Group.

During the dynamic Q&A session, the students’ eagerness to explore internships and volunteering with Tzu Chi was evident. The speakers were receptive to this enthusiasm, offering to share contact information for coordinating future opportunities. The event wrapped up with the students sharing their personal insights and experiences, highlighting the joy and value they derived from the session.