23, Public Relations & Marketing graduate, and he does the Marketing & Communications sha-bang at Me.reka & Biji-biji Initiative, a voyager questing the seas of Lovecraftian literature and the Hynek legacy of Project Blue Book, also may be busting a tight solo at his apartment parking lot
Kindred! ‘Tis one of the first thoughts to register in my noggin’ when thinking about CTDP, just after: Sexy, Dope, Groovy, and totally Tubular. The copious ice-breakers and introspective, sometimes philosophical sharing sessions come as your weekly serotonin boosters in the programme. Among billions of Earth’s most social creatures, working within the confines of my study room, absent from the elementary cues of social interaction would’ve been lonely if it wasn’t for the jazzy group and career building activities organized by CTDP. The exuberant team behind the Changemaker Talent Development Programme never disappoint, they keep the energy at full capacity every week and they would do anything to make the next meeting a better experience for everyone, just ask!
The BEST experience I had during this internship? I simply cannot imagine any of the instances topping each other! The funniest moment was when we (adequately) drawn the CEO of Me.reka and had the team guess who on Scribble.io, What I have found absolutely wholesome about my CTDP internship experience is getting to know the gorgeous ensemble of powerful women, social entrepreneurs, makers, educators, and interns here at Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka. Through CTDP, I’ve graciously received the opportunity to chat with Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka’s Programme Director, Juliana Adam to learn more about the organization's humble origins and exchange wholesome life advice to each other! The internship introduced me to the most welcoming and down-to-earth individuals of the company. I've collaborated with wonderful people outside my field of work and concomitantly receive their helping hand whenever I’m stuck in a rut. From my experience, helping one another and leaving none behind is what keeps Biji-biji & Me.reka kicking. Their supportive energy is unparalleled, making my assimilation to the culture really easy, comfortable and eager to lend my helping hand to the next person.
Challenge: Fully acknowledging that these are unprecedented times, all social contacts were virtual. Without social cues and frequent context, communications sometimes precipitate into miscommunications - oftentimes, leaving me staring blankly at my screen attempting to decode the message, losing out on productivity.
Opportunity: To me, it’s never trivial or too late to double confirm an assignment with a text or ask a colleague to reiterate the task. For tackling the illusion of transparency, it’s all about applying basic empathy into my interactions. It may seem small but clarity goes a long way when you emphasize points in your highlights with thick, bolded fonts or neatly present your findings in bullet-form.
Challenge: Starting out, I was introduced to a myriad of collaborative platforms and tools which at that time seemed all Greek to me! I’ve always had the fear of messing up someone else’s work whenever I’m knee-deep into a hodgepodge of database records. Furthermore, I had to work twice as much as I was busy being baffled by Airtable all day.
Opportunity: With help and support from CTDP, my familiarity and skill has increased as I was scheduled into workshops and took some self-initiatives to get better. I may not perform as some Relational Database Expert but at least I’m confident with navigating my own way now, and sometimes aiding others.
I was insanely elated to sign up as an intern in Marketing & Communications. Almost like an all-rounder position, I’ve dabbled in web design, copywriting, proofreading, content development, social media marketing, and that’s not even down to the nitty-gritty of working here! You are exposed to a diverse culture of personalities and talent that you HAVE to get to know. We have educators, radiant co-workers, inspiring projects and past programmes that literally live in my mind rent-free. I’m thankful for Ambika Sangaran, Me.reka and Biji-biji Initiative’s resident impact strategist, who was also my supervisor throughout the internship. Being under her wing, I was able to partake in paramount projects like writing a grant proposal for upskilling underprivileged youths in impoverished communities with leadership and digital literacy. Ambika is also a very inspiring individual herself, through her I’ve grown a fervour for taking initiatives and ownership in the projects I’m involved in.
Hark my texts, dear interns! Form connections with everybody while you can, really get to know this beautiful band of people. Talk to your team about work and ask how they are faring in the real world. How you may ask? Join their weekly CTDP Huddles, Me.reka Huddles, or simply manifest the cojones to message someone! Try not to be too afraid to ask for help. Opinions, work support or even mental support are the Huddle’s raison d’être. I’m glad to have befriended my two fondest interns, Anfal and Tia, for always following-up on my life and essentially making work from home a little less mundane with high-spirited, virtual therapy calls. Be someone else’s Anfal and Tia you guys!