It's Week 18 of 22.
18 Weeks felt like 18 months.
As most would know, I have been interning at an event company specializing in mass participation for the past 5 months. I will be as honest as possible in this post to bring out the harsh reality of internship at an event company.
Prior to the start of my internship, I was excited to finish off my last semester of school. Not having to bury myself in tutorials and lecture notes for the next 6 months sounded like a great idea. Being able to escape from group projects sounded wonderful.
Little did I know.
Heads up to those who have yet to go for your 6-months internship. It's still not too late to make an informed choice.
Some things that I have learnt over the course of my internship:
- Make informed decisions about your internship company. The list that you would receive to rank your internship companies is NOT sufficient. Call up the company, ask as much as possible about anything and everything else you might want to know (especially when it comes to working hours, for all you know you might not get paid or even able to claim hours for your OT days). If possible, get in touch with a senior or alumni who have completed their internship in the company you're interested in. Don't simply go with the flow when it comes to this because remember, you're spending your next 6 months in this company so you better know what you'll be up for!
- There are pros and cons of either being the only intern in the office or being surrounded with too many interns. If you're the independent and stand-alone kind of person, trust me when I say it's better to be the only intern in the office.
- School uses more than your brain than internship does. Be prepared to use 50% or most of the time 20% of your brain capacity. I felt like my brain has switched off ever since internship started. The harsh truth is that most companies would give their interns work which requires not much thinking or to put it bluntly, 'no-brainer' tasks.
- Be smart. Use your MCs and off days wisely. Be particular and persistent about being compensated for all the weekends that you have clocked in. Sometimes the HR of your company just needs a little bit more bugging for them to credit your leave ASAP.
- Get on the good side of your management. And no, this doesn't mean sucking up to them but rather not getting into trouble. Things you know your management don't like to see, do it discreetly. This can be as simple as watching a movie in the office.
- Interns are the most under-estimated people in the office so don't expect to be given important things to do at the start. Be patient in earning the trust and respect of people in the office.
- Nobody is ever on-time, much less early for work, in the events industry. When they say work starts at 9, trust me when I say that it starts at 9.30am or 10am latest.
- Also, nobody ever leaves office on time in events. Due to high unproductivity (in my opinion) within the office, they stay even after office hours. From my experience in a company who employs too many intern, nobody (among the interns) will make the first move to leave on time. People do talk and you'll have this growing reputation for always being the first to leave. Honestly, it doesn't matter what people say as long as I complete the things I have to do and leave on the dot.
- Don't screw up on evaluation week. If there is only one thing that you should NOT do during internship, it's to get into the trouble on the week that you will be graded on. Be wise.
- Take internship as an elimination process. It's normal to have regrets along the way but ultimately, it's the learning that matters. My most important learning point is that events is not where I want to build my career upon.
- You'll realize how much you really miss the school environment. From someone who was firm about not furthering my studies in university to someone who really wants to pursue a degree, that's how much internship has changed my mindset.
16 working days left to the end of internship.
Let's do this.