Employee Stories | How I Rediscovered My Career Priorities
In this reflection, I will share my takeaways during my 6-month internship in Hatch which ended in December 2020.
I still remember my frantic scrambles to apply for my summer internship back in May 2020. Singapore was in lockdown due to COVID-19 and companies were withdrawing their internship offers. I was panicking as I had yet to secure my credit-bearing summer internship. While I was desperate to secure an opportunity, I did not want this experience to be a mere means to an end. I have accumulated a range of experiences from previous stints at a bank and SME. As a final-year student, this was probably going to be the last internship to help me figure out exactly what I want to do before graduating from Nanyang Business School. Hence, I wanted to make sure that I had picked a suitable start-up or MNC that could offer exposure in a different industry.
That was when I chanced upon Hatch’s job posting. As I read up on what they were doing, I quickly took interest in the work they were doing as well as the learning opportunities this internship presented. After the interview, I received an internship offer from Hatch and another start-up. I weighed my options and swiftly came to a decision that I wanted to work in Hatch. The role they had curated for me offered exciting learning opportunities and insights into an industry that I had never worked in before. Most important of all, Hatch’s work was making a difference in the community. They were not just another training company that provides training courses. They are focused on creating impact with their training, and they firmly believe in creating “Growth Careers” for each and every one of their students.
Working at Hatch
Victor, my boss (guy to my left) is saddened because he is the only guy left in the team
Prior to starting my internship, I had imagined that working in a start-up would mean having to juggle many hats, taking on roles that were not part of the job description. That did not deter me as I believed that doing so only helped to provide me with more exposure. As for the social side of things, I was a little sceptical as I had doubts as to how much Hatch was really doing for the community and if they were really committed to the cause. Additionally, I was a little worried about fitting in with the rest of the company as all of them seemed so motivated and invested in the work they were doing to help the community. This was something that was pretty new to me as someone who had hardly done any volunteer work.
A place that welcomes naps one to keep #truestory
Looking back now, Hatch truly surpassed the expectations that I had of them. Although there were a lot of things to do, the people there were truly helpful and bonded. We always helped out one another to get things done, no matter how busy we were with our individual work. Their commitment to their students and community is also something that really impressed me. They had kept in touch with past graduates and were always ready to help them or listen to their troubles. This commitment is something that had really impressed me.
Moving on to my role in Hatch, I had joined the marketing department of Hatch and my main role was to take charge of their digital marketing efforts. That included running social media campaigns and carrying out data analytics. Working in a start-up was a vastly different experience. There were no SOPs to follow or guidelines that I had to adhere to. I was given the opportunity to freely express my ideas and come up with plans for it. This may seem daunting if you do not enjoy ambiguity but for me, it was a chance for me to try new things and take ownership of the work I have done. This style of working helped me to see how my work being translated directly into results and from there, make improvements to it.
The interactive game map programmed by our talented friends!
My internship in Hatch truly opened my eyes. One of the projects I was assigned to was the National Day Ground Up Party 2020, a celebration held by Hatch and some of its other partners in the social sector. Due to COVID-19, we had to move the celebration online and this required a lot more planning behind marketing efforts to generate publicity as well as ensure that the entire process was free from hiccups. With the help of our partners, we designed an interactive map-based webpage. This map held different zoom rooms which upon joining, had different activities that participants could take part in.
National Day Partying (Socially Distant Edition)
This project taught me a lot about planning for online events and the social enterprise community in Singapore. Seeing different speakers share about what they are doing to help the community in Singapore really made me rethink a lot about my priorities as I had initially believed that it was extremely important to find a decent paying job and that money was the most important thing. Additionally, I always had the notion that my individual effort of helping the community would not amount to any impact, but I could not be more wrong. These were the selfish thoughts that I had and seeing how these speakers share the impact of their work made me realise this fact. Now, I believe that every little action counts. Despite how insignificant my actions may seem; they have the potential to impact the lives of others. Monetary compensation is no longer what I value most in a job. Now, I seek a career that provides self-fulfilment and leaves a positive impact on the community.
I was also given the chance to help take charge of redesigning our website which we felt had looked a little outdated. Redesigning the entire website required a lot of planning and reiterations. We had to do a lot of research about our competitors and consider how the UIUX design of the website would affect the customer journey. It took me almost 3 months to fully redesign our website but seeing it come together made the process worthwhile. Take a look around our website now! I hope you find our new website design to be more modern, minimalist, and informative! We spent a huge deal of time revamping our website and I must say, I am proud of how our website looks now.
Hatch runs a flagship program which we call the Hatch Immersive+. This program is catered for vulnerable students and Hatch provides them with fully-funded training programs in either UIUX design or digital marketing. At Hatch, we believe in looking beyond paper qualifications when it comes to employment. Just because one does not have a degree or a diploma, it does not make them any less capable. We believe that by equipping them with the right skill sets and presenting them with the right opportunities, these students will be able to produce work that is on par, if not better, than others. Through this, I saw first-hand how our program was positively impacting these students.
Our students showing their works during demo day
I was also given the opportunity to understand these students and their lives. I still remember seeing the students stay behind to work on their projects. I was really proud that they were so motivated to produce quality work, despite the distractions or struggles that they were facing in their lives. This showed a lot about their character and abilities. These experiences taught me that at times, people are restricted by their environment and circumstances. However, what is important is one’s attitude and how one works around the problems he or she faced. Bonding with the students and seeing them graduate from our program with new skills which will aid them in their employment really made me feel fulfilled.
What does “Growth Careers” mean to you? How has working at Hatch changed that opinion?
In the past, “Growth Careers” simply meant a career that offers regular progression or a career ladder that one can work towards.
At Hatch, I learnt that there’s more to just reading “Growth Careers” literally. Having a “Growth Career” means taking on a career that not only allows you to progress upwards, it also empowers you to improve your technical skills, your leadership abilities and more. These experiences that you accumulated allow you to not only just progress upwards, but it also enables you to transit laterally, moving into different industries, different types of roles or even coming out to be an entrepreneur.
To sum it up, it enables one to grow their wealth of experiences, abilities, capacity and thus, providing one with the ability to pursue their goals.
Thank you Hatch team for showing me how to work hard and play hard!
Looking back on the past 6 months, I have truly learned a great deal and gained a lot of experiences. I had the chance to learn more about digital marketing, campaign management, online event curation, and social innovation work. These are experiences that truly broadened my horizons and clarified my outlook on life.
Special shoutout to my colleagues in Hatch! Thank you for making the past 6 months of the internship so enjoyable and memorable. I truly enjoyed coming to work every day and the friendships formed will be held close to heart. I believe in the work of Hatch and see great potential in the company. I can already visualise Hatch being one of the top employability start-ups that improve the quality of life for everyone who goes through its programs.
I will always be rooting for you guys! Hatching... Now!