Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Second Internship Experience


An open concept working environment, where working stations aren’t closed islands and management positions don’t have their own rooms. As quoted by a manager, ‘The manager doesn’t need a secretary to remind deadlines or meetings, they have Blackberry’. I muttered under my breath, ‘But Blackberry is almost over in the market now’. I guess it’s just a rhyming sentence, secretary and Blackberry.

It was similar to my first internship, but a much smaller working desk and comparably lesser tasks. The panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur was quite breathtaking. I immersed myself into the robotic routine. I looked at my previous employer and the future employer every day during my pantry breaks, it almost felt like a daily reminder of the interesting yet difficult past and the uncertain yet exciting future.

It was a bumpy start for a second internship, but I’ve gotten what I wanted, an attachment with a department that I wanted to discover. It wasn’t love at first sight, and it still wasn’t love at last sight. But as usual, things were observed, skills were learned and experiences were absorbed. It certainly raised wonders on ‘is this really what I am going to sign up for in 3-4 years’ time’, but if the search was easy, life wouldn’t be this scarily challenging and we wouldn’t need decades or a lifetime for answers.

I didn't have parents who work in the white collar world but I've always been influenced by the corporate culture. Doing things with principles, rigid but not limited to some creativity. I like the corporate culture with standards of procedure, the routine of a nine-to-five job, the space of your own to let the creativity flows, the meetings that gather the people involved to brainstorm, the ultimate prize when you landed a room of your own, etc etc.

But at the same time, it's the corporate practice of red tape habits and never ending jobs which scares me. I want to be able to finish my work on time, head home for an exercise or work on my part time thing. My colleague reassured me it is only at selected period of time where you will need to stay for overtime work. I questioned his statement. 

One interesting thing I observed, there is a cliché of the types of employees in a department. I made a list, summarising my two previous working colleagues. If I were to categorize myself, it’d definitely be ‘The Overdressed and Awkward Intern’ or ‘The Intern Who Always Seems Busy but Goes Back on the Dot at the End of Working Hours’.

There were times I could take no more, that I blamed myself for putting myself in such unnecessary position and returned to the hectic lifestyle I had before I leave for Australia. But I know, being the usual me, I can't stand a day sitting at home doing nothing. All in all, it’s still better than nil experience. Cheers on a second trial, and toast to the hunger for more.