“Try out as many opportunities as possible”
This was a common phrase we hear from our seniors when we enter university at SMU. I jumped into activities that my school can offer, Co-Curricular Activities, Overseas Community Service, Conferences, Competitions, Overseas Exchange programs (CCAs), etc.
Then it struck me, there must be something that I have missed throughout my life in university and that was an INTERNSHIP! When I was sourcing for an internship stint during my overseas exchange program, I applied for job placings with expectations that I would not get any reply. After all, it is a logistical hassle to schedule an online interview. Thankfully I was hired at the right time to fill the gap of a market research intern who happened to be vacating her spot at the period that I was available.
I still remember the first day when I arrived at the company, I was so lost. I was unsure about how I could obtain access to enter the office. Standing in the lobby of the Ocean Financial Centre felt so intimidating. People decked in formal were pushing past me in a hurry as it was rush hour.
*Note to myself and anyone who is reading this to do a site recce and also get directions prior to arriving at the workplace for the first time*
Once I entered the company after HR introduced me to the various departments I was escorted to a section of seemingly empty rows of tables and chairs.
“The marketing team will be in soon. Here’s where you will be seated”, said HR.
I sat down awkwardly at the desk while waiting for HR to gather the required documents to set up my company accounts. I panicked, my team wasn’t in yet, what do I do? Two colleagues from the business development team who were sitting diagonally across from where I was made eye contact. I smiled to break the ice, hoping that they would acknowledge me. Thankfully, Jacintha and Despina were really friendly and approachable and they made me feel quite welcomed by getting to know me.
BGC has a very relaxed and friendly working culture which made me feel really comfortable very quickly. I was able to just be myself and share my opinions very quickly. Coming into work with T-shirts and jeans, the CEO of BGC, Tristan gave off a relaxed demeanor. After going through various marketing meetings with him, albeit relaxed he was someone who had foresight as to what he envisions the company to be in the near future. As opposed to past internships where meetings were only attended by “non-interns”, interns here were able to take part in every meeting and were treated equally as full time employees.
My internship period was for a period of 1.5 months. Most of my friends would question “Oh, what a short period of time, what do you do?” Just as I was still settling down into the working environment, we were tasked with a project from a client.
I was amazed at how my marketing supervisors, Clara and Jue Ping efficiently allocated and completed tasks that were required of them. Amidst a very tight deadline, they were able to stay laser-focused. They even managed to find time to guide and empower us with tasks, making sure that not a single time of ours was wasted here. If I had to describe, watching them work was akin to watching two maestros passing each other an art brush with ease, taking turns to add layers of paint; completing a masterpiece in real-time. I learnt so much just by watching them work and I often wonder when will it be my turn to be as dependable and nurturing as them.
How can I also forget my two other marketing teammates who were instrumental in helping time fly throughout this internship? Deana, who patiently gave me pointers on how I could better present the articles - thank you for always being there for me not just as a colleague but as a friend. To my intern buddy, Gabriel, I am so glad to be able to have someone from school to also share this internship experience with! I hope to see you back in SMU! ;)
Thank you, BGC!
JP: CY isn't that "shy" as he describes himself to be after all!
Thank you to BGC Group for providing me with an invaluable internship experience which allows me to have a glimpse into the possibilities of what a marketing career entails. This internship allowed me to gain clarity and to plan out possible path(s) that I should take to allow my career goals to come to fruition.
All good things come to an end right? But for me this internship experience will not end in memory!
“Do not say goodbye, you never know when our paths will cross again” - Ex-Mentor
So to everyone at BGC, especially our Marketing Team, I hope our paths cross again someday! Till then, continue shining brightly in the night sky until no one can ignore your light.
The Shy Intern