The learning points and experiences you gain during an internship cannot be overemphasised. It broadens your understanding of the working world, helps you pick up new skills along the way and instils a sense of responsibility in you. I firmly believe that getting good grades in school is just the first step in your journey to self-realisation. You will learn many new things about yourself, as well as to challenge and push yourself. An internship is a perfect opportunity to bring out the best of you.
I am Adrian and I am currently a student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic pursuing a Diploma in Business And Social Enterprise. My interest includes basketball, swimming and cooking during my free time. In short, I enjoy exercising as it gives me a breather from the constant waves of assignments and dateline that I face in school.
I was fortunate to have the experience of interning at the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) over my internship period. I started my internship on the 3 March 2020, where I was part of the Campus on Youth Team.
Pre Circuit Breaker
Before the Circuit Breaker Period (CB), I reported to the office every morning just like any other 9-5 job and that routine greatly instilled a sense of responsibility in me. I had to make sure that I woke up on time, get ready for work and to reach the office on time. I met many great colleagues on my first day who made me feel very welcome to be part of the organisation. My supervisors were extremely inclusive and friendly, never failing to invite me to join them for lunch. Overall, I felt very elated and was motivated to give it my all for this internship journey.
I spent the next few weeks tagging along with the Campus and Youth Team to various secondary schools, where I co-facilitated with the staff on hamper making. I taught students from the school’s Coop Club on the proper method of wrapping and packing a hamper after they had finished sorting out different gifts inside.
The hampers would then be given out to healthcare workers to thank them for their hard work during this pandemic. The students also had each written a short thank you note for the healthcare workers and I was really glad that I could be part of such a meaningful journey with the students.
The hamper packing experience would expose more people to Co-ops as values such as social responsibility were shown. Co-operative members believe in concerning the community and by giving back to the healthcare workers, we are exhibiting the beliefs of Co-ops. Furthermore, the hamper packing session took place in various secondary schools across Singapore, which provides secondary school students with a platform to be exposed to the local co-operative scene.
As an SNCF intern, I also wrote several articles for the SNCF Youth Portal which is the platform you are reading now. Truth be told, I really had so much fun writing these articles as I enjoyed sharing my personal experiences that I have gained during my time as a student in Ngee Ann Polytechnic with readers. I am one who enjoys expressing his thoughts through words, hence, writing articles has been really enjoyable for me. Check out the articles I wrote about meals, CCAs and dressing style in Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Post Circuit Breaker
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 situation, I was notified that I would be required to work from home. I was definitely taken aback as the news came suddenly. I had just gotten used to working life and I was not sure what to expect during work from home. I feared that I would not be as productive at home as compared to working in the office because of the freedom that I had at the comfort of my own home. However, much to my surprise, the Circuit Breaker has been a period of self-improvement and I picked up many new skills such as time management and critical thinking along the way.
Firstly, I improved greatly on my time management. While working from home, I had to juggle in between my school assignments, as well as writing articles. It felt amazing to come up with a schedule, and to stick to it.
Initially, I was not used to it but I gradually got comfortable in managing my time properly which led me to be productive during the Circuit Breaker Period.
My internship supervisors, Shakeel and Esther, played a key role in ensuring that my learning during the circuit breaker period was maximised. They came up with a new task for me to complete such as crafting out problem statements. That greatly stretched my mind and brought out the entrepreneurial side of me as I brainstormed solutions for existing social issues in Singapore.
One of the Zoom Meetings I had during my internship. SNCF Staff – Mun Kit was sharing the different co-operatives business and assigned us to different co-operatives to do business analysis for us as one of our internship assignment.
Lastly, I had the chance of working alongside with the SNCF scholars (Yin Jie and Kar Yern) in the planning of next year’s Creathon. It was a good experience working with them as we got along well and we managed to complete our task efficiently before each dateline. We had regular Zoom calls to update one another on our progress which made it easier for us to share and consolidate our ideas. I have learnt that planning will be much easier if communication between group members is good.
Throughout the planning process, I have also learnt new things about Co-op formations such as the various By-laws and proposals that are mandatory. I have a greater understanding of an organization within a Co-op function through the business analysis task I had.
My internship journey has been nothing short of enriching. I gained many new skills and good habits such as problem-solving skills, time management and discipline which will definitely help me in the working world next time. I am also blessed to have internship supervisors who genuinely care about my learning throughout this experience. As of today, it is a week before my journey here at SNCF ends. I look forward to making full use of the time that I have left to contribute meaningfully to the organization. I believe that I am well prepared for the working world in the future with the skills and knowledge that I have picked up.
This article was brought to you by Adrian How Jian Yang who is currently interning in SNCF. He is in his third year of his polytechnic education and is pursuing a diploma in Business and Social Enterprise at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He likes to play basketball, travel and enjoys spending time with his dog.