I'm pretty sure most of the local tertiary students have gone through some form of internships in Singapore, at least once in a lifetime, right? I had been through Singapore internship once personally, during my uni days.
Though mine was a modest, short 2.5-month stint, I thought I should still share some tips on acing in internships :) Ok, I wouldn't say I had excelled in my internship exactly la (though I remember I did score an A for it), but it got me a permanent position one year before my graduation at least! Besides, these tips are adequately simple and may be helpful in other areas in life too!
Even if it may be a short internship like mine, set some goals you want to achieve in these few months. You may wanna do it with your supervisor so that he/she can guide you along to set practical and measurable goals. Otherwise, doing it on your own is fine too, especially if it’s a self-sourced internship that doesn’t require you to report back to school, or you’re paiseh or afraid that you may not achieve the goals and don’t want a third-party to know.
Stay open and adaptable
We would all have our own reasons for doing a certain internship with a certain scope at a certain company or location – our ideals. However, we all learnt that ideals may not be realizable more often than not. It is not uncommon for interns to perform work that are out of your expected scope or even get shared by a different department sometimes. Stay open and adapt fast. Unless those additional tasks are overwhelming that it affects your fundamental reason for doing that internship, raise the issue and discuss it with the supervisor.
Set right remuneration expectation
With so many employment portals available online, it’s easy to do a benchmarking of what you’re getting against market rates. However though, keep in mind that the work experience and exposure matters more in an internship than the money. I would stay in an industry or company or position for internship even if I get paid peanuts or only transport allowance because it is an industry/company/position I like or would benefit me in the long run. That is what I believe in personally, otherwise, find a permanent job instead!
After experiencing real work after I’d graduated, I came to realize helpful people are very much appreciated. You may not be the smartest of the lot, but if you could take initiative / some extra effort to help someone out, it will benefit both parties greatly! You learn something new, the other party gets task done more quickly (because 2 brains are better than 1). I guess this applies everywhere in life!
Stay in contact
Well, ideally stay in contact with colleagues and superiors so that they can keep you in the loop when there is an open position after your internship. I got an offer before my internship ended, and got transferred to my requested department. Nonetheless, I still made an effort to stay in contact with my peers and seniors because we have so much shared memories in that few months of joy/struggles. Also, in future, those faces will be the ones you will see daily at work and some may even become your closer friends because they totally understand you in terms of work/career!
Now, that’s all I have for internship Singapore. What’s yours? :)