As a final year student, I can gladly say that I have ‘graduated’ from internships and will soon be looking for a graduate role in a company for my next job hunt. As an undergraduate, I have been fortunate enough to have been attached to internships during every of my school breaks from my foundation year to my penultimate year. Unlike many, my internship experience has been from different sectors; social enterprise, engineering research, investments and industrial engineering. For me, taking up various internship experiences is a great opportunity to explore and understand the working world and also explore my other interests. These different experiences have also nurtured my strengths in various fields and become adaptable to changes. Here’s my journey:
Summer 2017: Startup Social Enterprise
Image is taken from Social Enterprise Toolkit.
This was an unforgettable one as it was my first internship ever. The company is a social enterprise that acts as a crowdfunding platform to empower teachers, students, schools and education. The internship taught me a lot about the sense of responsibility. Having to work in a startup, I was given various roles including event planning, communicating with clients, email newsletter designing and finding solutions to help schools. Such experiences might not have contributed to adding my technical engineering knowledge, but it has taught me a lot about work efficiency and to go far, everyone has to work as a team. Little did I know, EdSpace has taught me a lot about communication and personal branding later and also has inspired me to work with a non-profit organisation that helps underprivileged students such as ProjectEd and Buku Jalanan Chow Kit.
Summer 2018: University Engineering Research
Image is taken from the University of Dundee.
I worked towards research in carbon-glass fibre composites engineering. I took this internship mainly because I wanted to learn the proper techniques for report writing and research methods, which has been very helpful in problem-solving in my degree studies. Also, as I’ve just completed my first year in university, most industrial companies usually do not prefer taking me as I have not been well-equipped with the engineering knowledge. The university research internship might not have given me a lot of real-world working environment as opposed to my next two internships, but it definitely has benefitted me that I have the experience and technique in research, report writing and also contributed in a journal paper.
Summer 2019: Sovereign Wealth Fund
Image is taken from Which.co.uk.
My steepest learning curve and most rewarding experience. It was my first internship in a big firm and also my first exposure to investments. Prior to joining the company, I did not have much knowledge of economics and I had to learn on the job as well as work a lot harder to keep up with my colleagues. As an engineering student, I gained a new perspective towards problem-solving in dealing with economics and businesses especially when it comes to making model assumptions and decision making. I fairly loved and enjoyed my time in the investment firm and I have also gained a strong interest in data analytics and have also created a personal investment portfolio myself. Most importantly, I learned that great things come when you step out of your comfort zone.
Summer 2020: Industrial Product Engineering
Image is taken from Perfectial.
This company was my dream company to intern in when I started my engineering path. Going into my final year, I was glad that I could apply the knowledge from my university degree into an industrial application. Even so, I was amazed by the engineering work and process required to produce great and robust products into the market. I suppose that this internship has cultivated a big change to my view in engineering works as well as my attention to details. Apart from that, I learned that there are always better ways to solve a problem, as long as we stay open-minded and creative.
Overall, these experiences have helped me to develop myself as an individual, enhanced my skill set and work ethics and also gained numerous connections along the way. By taking risks, I’ve discovered and identified the area of interests of mine, which includes data analytics and engineering. I look forward to making use of my internship experiences in my future career roles.
To fellow undergraduates, I would strongly encourage that you join an internship that suits your degree to have experience in your field of expertise and also be open to taking a summer internship to explore other industries. It will definitely open up your view to the diverse world and operations outside your field of expertise. Good luck! 😊