Tales from behind the interns’ desks

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Everyone experiences internships differently – there are the good experiences, the bad, and the downright ugly. However, when it is done right, internships can be extremely useful for your personal growth, and you might even come out a better, stronger person. 

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Based on experiences of Manisha and Jawad Jahid, both INTI students who have interned at General Electric, here are some of the ways that an internship can change the way you do things.

 

Gives you a glimpse into the life you might be leading after you graduate:

Manisha: One of the biggest challenges was my punctuality, as my usual days started much later compared to the 9-5 corporate hours. The flexibility of university time tables do not accurately reflect the working hours of the real world.

Jawad: It wasn’t easy interning and studying full-time taking a Master’s Program of UOW. I had to improve on my time management, set realistic priorities and integrate work-life balance. However, it did become smoother with leadership direction and encouragement to take part in important meetings.

Manisha

Introduces you to new cultures in the working life:

Manisha: I was rather unused to calling my elders without their titles (sir, madam, ms. etc.) because of my upbringing and ended up irritating a fellow colleague at work.

Jawad: I expected to seek direction and approval for every single move, but in reality, you don’t need to go through many layers of management to get approvals in order to deliver results. I have also come to realize the values of flexibility, openness to ideas and teamwork due to the diversity in the office.

 

Helps you develop skills you never knew you needed

Manisha: Some of the major changes in me were greater communication skills, enhanced critical thinking, and developed leadership skills as we were constantly in contact with the upper management. My manager always expected me to think out of the box and to deliver to the highest standard, which led to more creative and innovative ideas in executing assigned projects and better responsibility. I have also taught myself to think from different perspectives in carrying out daily tasks.

Jawad: For me to mark my position, I had to reflect which expertise i needed to invest in by practice and performance. I have learnt to put things into meaningful perspective, be forward thinking, take quick actions, volunteer for team projects and recognize what doesn’t create value.

 

Jawad

When asked for advice for future interns:

Manisha: Find out about the company culture, develop your network with company leaders via social media platforms, or attend their talks in university. This will allow you to learn about their leadership patterns, personality, company culture and most importantly the level of company’s ambitions, short-sightedness, and if they’re committed to sustainable growth.

Jawad: When you join a company, enhance your expertise by continuously learning about company’s plans, initiatives and position in the global market and expand your network by volunteering for team projects and project beyond your work scope and/or department.

Christopher Yee

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Christopher Yee

Chris is a frequent traveller of worlds beyond the screen, and has been to places like Skyrim and Ferelden more times than he can count. When not indulging in escapism, he enjoys annoying the neighbours with his guitar and pondering the answers to life's great questions; like the meaning of life, and what to have for lunch.

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