What are your thoughts on the Changemaker Talent Development Internship overview and the impact?
Going into the internship, I was expecting a plain “9-5-working weekdays, sleeping-in-for-two-days-straight weekend” life – I hate to be wrong but I was wrong, especially not in CTDP. We were given opportunities to take on various projects and work along with the best and talented people in the organization to give us the idea of what it is like living in the corporate world. The flexibility of the working hour has definitely helped boost our productivity and encouraged work-life balance. Not to mention the interaction between the superiors and the subordinates is seamless where everyone is treated with respect and seen as equal. When you are surrounded with positive and empowering people, you can’t help but be better yourself and I can proudly say that I’m leaving this internship way better than I ever was coming in.
What is the best CTDP internship experience that you have?
If I have to pick one, it will be the game night! It was a small get together where we played a murder mystery game with the other interns. The game was super fun, it really brought us closer to each other. Winning the game is one thing but there was definitely more to it than that (yes, we lost, let’s not talk about it), it was also a starting point where real connections were formed with those involved, something more than just some “colleagues behind the screens”. Getting to know these amazing people in depth beyond work-related matters, their personalities, goals and aspirations is such a beautiful experience. I came here for an internship and I’m leaving with amazing friends. And of course the monthly get together with Biji-biji and Me.reka family is something I’ll definitely miss the most too!
What are the challenges and opportunities that you have gained with us?
As someone who is rather reserved, one of the main setbacks I faced at the beginning of my internship was trying to break the barrier of being strangers with everyone which I believe would be a great help for better communication and working progress. It is quite a challenge especially with working remotely where interaction is limited to online mode and this hasn’t included the internet connection issue – I lost count of how many times I have to apologize for my unstable internet during meetings! However, the people here are very friendly and supportive. During the weekly huddle for instance, everyone is encouraged to talk and share their opinions and experiences with each other and we will all take a turn hosting the huddle each week. It was a space with no judgement and no one is left behind! This certainly helped me find the confidence in my own voice. Other than that, getting used to various kinds of tools to work with can be absolutely confusing at times but thankfully I was granted a great supervisor, who had guided me through the processes, as well as other amazing teammates. It can take some time to get familiar with those new things but nothing is easy the first time, ay?
What are your learning experiences?
There is a lot that I learnt throughout the experience in CTDP, counting them all will require me to ask for some of your fingers and toes for help. But if there is one thing I learnt apart from the technical stuff, it is to never be afraid of making mistakes. If I were asked what mys my biggest fear was 6 months ago before I started my internship, the answer would be making mistakes. I had conditioned myself to a standard of perfection where there is no room for flaws but of course, that is not possible. I tried my hardest to get things not only done, but correctly on the first go but mistakes are inevitable. I still vividly remember the first time I got G, our CEO was heated because of one silly misstep I took. I was shaking in my boots!
I swear I saw my life flashed before my eyes and was ready with my head resting by the guillotine, waiting for my fate but none coming. Instead, all I received was a warm word of advice. Here at Biji-biji and Me.reka, mistakes are welcomed as it is a part of the learning process. I know it is a cliché thing to say but it is very true. It really isn’t about “how can I avoid this mistake?”, it is more to “what can I learn from this and do better?”. If I hadn't made the mistake that day, I might do it in the future, and isn't it better to discover something sooner rather than later, no? And 6 months later, if I were asked what my biggest fear was, the answer would be – worms.
Do you have any advice for your CTDP fellows/interns?
Talk to everyone, make friends, make a blood pact and have fun, you wouldn’t know where that could bring you in the future. Also, never be afraid of making mistakes, they are what makes humans, humans. To my fellow IT interns; if the code works, do not touch it. Cheers!