What it’s like to be an intern?

Basically doing the menial work that no one else in the company wants to be doing. Hey, at least I wasn’t bringing in coffee for my colleagues everyday (that’s why we have a vending machine and a coffee maker in the pantry).

The experience that I’ve had with Leo Burnett (Malaysia) in the last three months or so was more than just an eye-opener for me; it showed me what I could and could not do, what I should and should not do, and what it means to be working. REALLY working.

To wake up regularly and take the train to work, completing tasks that need to be done while looking out for possible networking, have unnecessarily long lunch breaks and taking the train back home while thinking of what needed doing; it provided me more than a goal to obtain a decent grade for my internship. It provided me with fulfillment that I’m doing something productive and that fulfillment must derive from within.

The advertising industry has always come off to me as being gimmicky and untrustworthy, for all they want at the end of the day is consumer’s money. Even when the opportunity came along I wasn’t so sure about what I was getting into; I thought that everyday would be a living hell, but it was only when I took up this internship that I realized that the advertising industry isn’t as bad as it sounds. Granted, I’m working for a company that’s dabbled and collaborated with many known companies for their advertising campaigns, so it doesn’t feel too bad as these companies are already well-known. I can only imagine how other agencies might have a tough time with their respective clients.

I’m forever thankful to my supervisor for the first two months of my internship, for he gave little guidance (the irony) in the workplace and left me to learn on my own. More than being encouraging, he actually pointed out to me that there are some qualities that help me excel, and qualities that I lack such as teamwork. (Yes, I have to work on that more.) He was always ready to help me out when I needed it though, so that counts a lot on my book. Throughout the projects that I’ve been involved in, he’s always wanting me to speak my mind if I have something to say. There was his team, who guided me through Job Requisitions and Competitor Analyses. His team were a great bunch, but two members have since been replaced. It was around then that I met another fellow intern, Nicole who was also interning in the same group as I am.

Finally, someone who I can talk to about work!

I tried to steer clear of gossip when I can; when I do hear them I just kept my lips sealed. The light banter between colleagues were nice and relaxed, and is a needed change of pace from the stressful work (sometimes). Coming in everyday to place my bag on my desk while I grab a cup of Milo and some toast for breakfast was a mental signal to me; start working.

My internship was only supposed to last for two months but I applied for a month’s extension, to look for other prospects. Not that I didn’t want to continue working there, but I felt that I need to seek experience elsewhere before coming back.  In the meantime, I was transferred under another supervisor, who needed me to help with some of her projects. Let’s just say that the projects that she was involved in were maddening. It did not help that it was a project that switched teams and the not-so-smooth transition was affecting how we process the client’s request.

Nearing the end of my internship, I felt relieved and sad; relieved as I’ll be leaving and not having to stick to the routine that defined the past three months, sad as I don’t know what lies in my future. I’m glad that I got to know some of the colleagues, and I’ve been keeping in touch with them from time to time. Primarily for work, sometimes for chat.

The advertising industry can be unforgiving, but it can also be extremely rewarding.

What it’s like to be an intern? An experience that you’ll take to heart in your future endeavors.


What it’s like to be an intern?

Introverts: Everything we’re not supposed to be…

… and yet some of us are still very much that way.

The notion that introverts are people who do not speak up, people who prefer to be loners, people who are afraid of speaking to another person…they’re all negative. I get that to make our way in the world, there are times that we have to actually talk to people. But this is getting a bit out of hand. Or is it?

Online communities have often expressed just how difficult it is to be an introvert, whether it’s in the form of comics or pictures. Memes in particular are amazing as they succinctly express the situation that someone might have gone through. To be able to understand what a complete stranger has experienced; that is the wonder of the internet. There have been comics that depict how introverts are wanting to be alone and to just enjoy that time. They know that’s how they are in life, and laugh at it. And sob at it. As much as I enjoy reading these comics, I feel that introverts are overly stereotyped.

Lecturers often prefer students who speak up in class and these students indirectly become teacher’s affections, for the lack of a better term. Almost every employer out there wants someone who actively engages in meetings and being a team player. Some people even look for extroverted traits as a requirement in their significant other! What introverts are left with are the “bottom” of the pack; we’ve basically become the bottom feeders of the vast ocean that is society.

Because people kept emphasizing the importance of speaking up, it leaves out the introverts completely. People who are unable to make their way in the world by default are people looked down by others. NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) want to contribute but don’t know quite how when the system is rigged against them.

What else is there to do if the world expects nothing from you? You waste time online, relating to people with similar interests. You immerse yourself in another reality because this reality rejects you. No matter what others might say, you just do that because it’s not like they’ll readily accept you as you are.

Eventually, we don’t hear anything about introverts. We don’t know what they might be doing, or how they are doing because we don’t care. The world has become the judge of what we do and what we think. As we wander around in the eternal blackness that is space, we need to ask ourselves if we are okay with making people feel like they don’t belong.

Because I am not okay with that.