Gap years

1 minute read

I returned to China and arrived in Wuhan in 2020, just a week prior to the start of the lockdown. I never imagined that it would last for three years.

In March 2020, I began the first semester of my 2nd year at Monash University and was enrolled in online classes conducted through Zoom. However, after only two weeks, I realised that online study was not effective and decided to take a break from my studies.

I initially took an internship at ShareIt, but it turned out to be a disappointing experience as I was mainly tasked with menial and unfulfilling work. My second internship also proved to be less than ideal, as I expected to be working on backend development based on the job description, but was instead assigned to write automated scripts for testing mobile games.

However, after a month of working there, I was transferred to another team where I worked as a game developer. This was a much better experience, as I was responsible for maintaining a game with 1.5M DAU. This role taught me a lot, including programming skills, project management, the release process, bug tracking and communication with QA.

One particular incident that stands out is when a serious bug occurred during the first day of an in-game event. I felt responsible for the bug and was guilty about it. However, my leader, who was the project manager, helped me to handle the situation by telling me to not panic, as it’s inevitable to write code with bugs. Instead, he suggested that I focus on improving the code and not blame myself.

I believe that university students should take a break from their studies for a year and immerse themselves in real-world projects in the workforce. This hands-on experience is vastly different from school projects and provides a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Upon returning to school, students will have a solid foundation of real-world knowledge that will enhance their education.