A Letter to The BGC Team:
Summer time, once a 3 month long break away from work and responsibilities, now an opportunity for SMU students to pursue internships. Going into this internship, I had no idea what exactly to expect from this as this would have been my first time in an office job. Knowing that the office was located in the heart of the CBD area, Singapore’s bustling financial district, I had a preconception on how the office would be run and how the workplace culture would be like.
I was definitely surprised to have my preconceived notions torn down.
Where we brought our pets to office sometimes. Yes, in the CBD
Firstly, I soon realised how open and flat the hierarchy was like. From past experiences in the Army and in the formal education setting where hierarchy was very vertical, there was a clear distinction as to who is the boss and how you should act around them. Always having to follow everything your superiors tells you and overall adding to the formal environment.
At BGC, I was even more surprised when I met the CEO of the company, Tristan. He was a very casual entrepreneur, dressed in tees and jeans, and he commanded a sense of authority, yet not overbearing with his informal way of talking. This message of openness and familiality must have played a huge role in shaping his company as from all my interactions with my colleagues here, never have I once felt like I was “that intern” and “that new guy”. Instead, I was treated with the respect that everyone was given, and also accepted into the company quickly with open arms.
When we had frequent team lunches to celebrate all milestones (and for any reasons, really..)
A special shout out to my supervisors in this company, Clara and Jue Ping. Throughout my tenure in BGC, never have I felt subservient to the both of them. I was not treated as "just an intern", but an equal as they mentored me on the how-tos of the company. Friendly to be around with, they have always done their best to make my working environment as pleasant as they could, providing me with an environment where I was able to make mistakes and learn from them. Once they felt that I had been taught enough, they readily entrusted me with my marketing research duties and left me to complete my tasks with minimal supervision. With their assurance, I was allowed to tackle my workload at my own pace, as long as I produced decent results. For this, I thank the both of them for making this internship experience one that allowed me to feel important and valued in the company. Another shout out to my desk buddy, Deana. For helping me with my article writing, and for giving me tips on how to research more efficiently and overall for being a solid friend to me, thanks for feeding me always.
Part of my daily routines would be to conduct research based on the directions given by the CEO of BGC. He would provide me with the insights on his vision for this company, and would provide guiding questions for me to start my research on. From there, he gave me free roam to research as I deem fit, as long as it was within the research framework. As you might have figured out reading this article so far, BGC prides itself in enabling its employees, allowing for every employee to be autonomous.
My intern buddy, Chee Yuan, presenting me with food.
This was something that really took me by surprise, and as what my first intern buddy, Kitty had said, “This internship would spoil you” and in some ways I have to agree. BGC does not operate in the same fashion as most companies, working in this company has really given me the freedom that I believe would be hard to come by in future companies that I would work in.
Farewell, BGC Group!
In essence, this is a farewell letter to my first internship and my first office job ever. To the freest office environment that I believe I would ever have, this is goodbye, thank you for generously teaching me the ins and outs of working in marketing and giving me a taste of the working life.
Thank you for making my summer a fulfilling one!
Your (Growing) Intern Boy
About the Author (by his Supervisor, JP)
Gabriel Wee is a good natured and discerning young lad who interned with our Marketing Team from March to August of 2019.
I will remember him as one of my interns who is always snacking in office and ever ready to enlighten us with Gen Z lingo. Gabriel will probably graduate into a really tough economic climate post COVID-19, but with his earnestness to learn and ask insightful questions, I have no doubt that he will do his best for his future employers. He accepts rewards in the form of food.
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