A Love Letter to Wantedly: What I Learned From My First Internship
Whether you’re waiting for the school semester to start, or have your degree done and dusted, an internship is the best way for you to discover yourself and what you want to do in the future. Besides gaining some relevant experience and getting a leg up over your peers, it could also be your golden ticket to get your foot in the door of a new industry.
Flashback to six months ago, I was fresh out of the navy with that sun-kissed tan and ample time on my hands before my University course starts. So I thought to myself, “Why not get some practical experience with an internship?” That was when I discovered Wantedly and immediately signed up for their 6-month Client Success internship opening.
Just a few days later, I was scheduled for a video interview with the Client Success team at Wantedly and the rest is history. In retrospect, the last six months spent at Wantedly have been some of the best times of my life and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Having ticked off countless first-time professional encounters and inadvertently gaining mentors and connections, here are some of my tried-and-tested tips to getting the most out of your internship:
Dive in with an open mind and a hunger to learn
Maximise your time in the company by grasping every opportunity to learn as much as you can, even from the smallest of tasks.
During my internship, I was hungry for opportunities to learn. In fact, I was even on the lookout to organise a client event. Yes, you read it right! From creating the event collaterals, helping with marketing outreach to the simplest tasks of liaising with food vendors, I thought the team was lowkey crazy to actually let me do this! (Well, they are crazy, but in the best way possible 😉)
Whoever thought that a mere intern like me could successfully organise a tech event for 50? 😱
Actively approach and connect with people
Take this opportunity to expand your professional connections; network with people outside your team and beyond your company. Not only will you end up creating great memories and make new friends, you’ll also widen your professional network.
Forming professional relationships is one way to establish yourself and let everyone know what you’re all about. If done right, these newfound connections will remember you, and even recommend you for a role down the road. The connections you make today can provide guidance, advice and help you in your job search in the future.
Friendly reminder: The Six Degrees of Separation theory is real.
Get hands-on with projects
What’s the best way to build your portfolio and credibility? Getting your hands dirty leading projects, of course! That said, try not to bite off more than you can chew; there’s a fine line between pushing your boundaries and overwhelming yourself.
Taking up more projects could seem like a mountain of self-doubt waiting for you to conquer, but trust me, it will be an incredibly rewarding experience! You get to test your limits, and the next time you facilitate a meeting or host an event, it will be a lot easier.
Immerse yourself in the team/work culture
Workplace culture is different for every company. If you’re as lucky as I was, you get to come in everyday and work with people who feel like family. At one point, I was the youngest member of the Wantedly family (#GenZ represent!) and I learned so much more beyond client servicing, mastering spreadsheet formulas and picking up on marketing lingo (ROI, CTA, etc.)!
Everyone in the team has personally shaped me into a new and improved person through 1-on-1 meetings, after-work events, happy hours and team breakfasts. As you could probably tell from my gradual weight gain, I was happy and well-fed 😂
Of course, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies all the time. Being part of a small team means that everyone has a line of sight to everyone else. Each person brings something unique to the table and everyone’s aware of the successes, the failures, the circumstances and the expectations. I never wanted to let my team down, so stepping up to expectations and meeting deadlines became very important to me.
On a macro level, I also got to work and interact with the international Wantedly team across Japan, Hong Kong and Germany. I’ll never forget how our global company-wide meetings involved coordinating video conferences across time zones and the respective public holidays.
In short, an internship is the best place for you to gain invaluable working experience - to learn, to make mistakes and most importantly, HAVE FUN! I sure did. Even if it’s not at Wantedly, there’s so many other companies hiring interns right now: sg.wantedly.com
Wee Teck, signing out 😎✌