When the CEO of the Design Prodigy, Marc, went around asking the interns to sum up the internship experience in a single word, I had chosen to describe it as “thought-provoking”.
“Interesting, very different from what previous interns picked”.
By Wong Li Fang
National University of Singapore, Linguistics
Emerging from the Valley of Death
Perhaps because of my internship position as a CEO Office intern, or perhaps because of the different approach the company had taken toward this internship cycle. Whatever it was, I never experienced the ‘valley of death’ that so often accompanied the signature Design Prodigy internship experience. The ‘valley of death’ is a uniquely DP term coined to describe when the human mind has exhausted every conventional solution possible. As Marc describes it, past the ‘valley of death’ the human mind pushes beyond the constraints of the perceived problem and adopts a new way of perceiving it and subsequently, innovating a novel solution that tackles the problem.
Even then, I struggled with the cognitive dissonance between my ideals and the unwanted reality. Yet I realised in the weeks ahead that the internship was a valuable stop in my personal journey.
Mind-stretching Tasks From the CEO
To be honest, I did not know what to expect when I first started the internship. The job description on the internship brief had merely been a vague “helping out the CEO with various tasks during this period of expansion”. But the way the Marc had described his company and their environment resonated with me and had me convinced that it would be a worthwhile experience.
I knew nothing of what to expect, except that I would learn something valuable, perhaps something new, while doing whatever business-like thing that I would have to do. Yet, in my first week, I found myself writing a marketing prediction whitepaper for the company, and later on, designing pages for their brand new website. While it was a task that was familiar enough for me to complete comfortably as a writer, it demanded a different sort of writing – by working within a time crunch. This was the last thing I expected to do on a list of “business-like” things a CEO would need done .
A Worthwhile Takeaway
On the tangible scale, I left with a sense of a newfound aptitude for copywriting and a gauge of the skill of writing in the world of business. On a more abstract level, this internship was my first taste of the real world, unbarred by the microcosm of school life. I saw, from the inside, how businesses operated, how others before me lead their lives, and how people connect and interact to produce something really worthwhile.