My Relationship with Singaporean Business
(submitted on extension)
In business school, we learn that maintaining relationships in key in business. I always knew this to be true, but did not truly understand it until completing this global internship.
It has been extremely easy to engage my coworkers in conversation. At first, they did not seem eager to meet the new and foreign face roaming around their office. But after meeting and working with different people from the office, I can say that I no longer feel this way. The structure of my internship fostered an environment where myself and my Singaporean coworkers conversed on a weekly basis. My manager structured my internship so that I had a new mentor every 1-2 weeks, and would have weekly and sometimes daily meetings with my mentors. At one point, I was shadowing a mentor for 2 hours per day and watched her participate in negotiations with a company in Hong Kong over the phone.
While none of my coworkers invited me into their homes, my farewell lunch certainly felt like home. My entire team went out to a vegetarian restaurant and discussed my experience with the summer internship program. We talked about what I worked on, how I grew as a professional, and what lessons I will take with me back to America. I only knew some of these people for a few short weeks, but we were able to joke around with each other like we were family. I don’t think it is necessary to earn a specific privilege like being invited into a home, but to me it is a very meaningful privilege to earn someone’s respect and trust.
A significant benefit I learned from this internship is the ability to learn new skills independently. My manager challenged me with tasks, knowing that I was not 100% equipped with the skills to complete it. Going through this internship taught me how to instill confidence in myself necessary to overcome any task that might be assigned to me. Another key benefit I got is the ability to be comfortable in a room knowing that I am the most different person. Through this experience I have learned that different is good, and it means that you offer a unique and therefore valuable perspective.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my global internship – maybe I will be an expat again one day!