From The First Intern At TravelClef
As a graduate from junior college, I wanted to try something new- something I would probably not do in the future. So I applied for the digital marketing intern position at TravelClef- and started with zero knowledge about the real corporate world. My 3 months with TravelClef was a journey of self-discovery, and here are the 10 lessons I’ve learnt (among many others):
#1: Teamwork is really, really, really important
We’ve probably heard countless times about teamwork being a must-have, but I only truly understood its essence after really experiencing it with my colleagues. The term “teamwork” actually houses a broad number of other qualities like compromise, cooperation, encouragement etc.
#2: Everyone holds an important role in a start-up - even interns
Initially, I was quite passive at voicing out due to my inexperience. However as I began to learn as time pass- such as handling public workshops and our social media- I'm now more confident to do more. Besides that, I also assist my colleagues in their tasks. This is an experience I wouldn't be able to gain anywhere else!
TravelClef is a small team, which means that each person’s responsibility is significantly greater. Everyone has tight deadlines to meet and loads of work daily to complete. Helping out is probably one of the things that your colleagues will appreciate the most. Which leads me to my next point:
#4: Take the initiative to do things
I know to some, it may seem “foolish” to lend a helping hand because they say, “in society, everyone is on their own”. But to me, it's another way to learn more out of this internship and make it meaningful. I have gained so much more, and I don’t regret one bit of the time that I spent to help.
#5: Learning to cope with unexpected situations
“Surprises” at work are bound to occur. Benjamin said this before: “if a mistake causes a fire, focus more on extinguishing the fire, rather than panicking about why the fire is here.” It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious, but more importantly you should not get caught up in it. Instead, focus on handling the situation well. Treat it as a lesson learnt, rather than a dark history.
#6: Being observant is a plus
Take extra note of the little details- it really helps when handling clients! For myself, I saw how Ben and Edmund built great first impressions as they proved themselves to be different and more meticulous than the rest. As someone who will most probably meet people from all walks of life in my own future career, observance would be a value added for me.
#7: Connect with your colleagues
Share the joke you laughed at last evening, or that interesting piece of news you saw online. You are building rapport with them as you interact with them. Though a small action, it really builds the sense of familiarity between you and your colleagues!
#8: Spread positivity
It’s stressful to handle clients everyday, everyone could use a dose of laughter at work! For myself, as the youngest I really enjoy spreading energy to my colleagues and, hopefully relieving some of their stress.
#9: Take your time to discover what you are good at
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are unsure of what you are good at, take on different tasks! This is the most straightforward way to find your forte. Working at TravelClef certainly highlighted my strengths and weaknesses. As someone who likes writing, I handled TravelClef’s blog and came up with posts that would interest people. On the contrary I didn’t like to, and didn’t know how to design, so I took this chance to try and improve it (now I can use Photoshop!)
#10: Keep a humble attitude
This is one of, if not the most, important lesson I’ve received from Ben and Edmund. Seeing them remain modest despite having their own company, it's a reminder to remain down-to-earth even if I do achieve great things in the future.
Having taken on an internship that is completely irrelevant to my course in university, I have countless people who asked me "why?". My answer would be that "to learn new lessons", but honestly there are so many reasons that got me started and continue.
I believe there are many students out there who still are confused about their future! A piece of advice I can give would be to grab your opportunity to expose yourself to your different options out there! Even if it is not what you end up doing for the long term, there will definitely be things that you've learnt!