“What the internship made me look at was to manage my team’s emotions and morale. Being in charge of the team, I felt responsible to set the pace and the right mood, call for breaks, align the team, and it was a great opportunity to put my management skills into play.”
Inspired and motivated.
The start to the Ungoogleable Challenge left me feeling very inspired, excited, and full of ideas. We were showed the two videos, the cosmic eye as well as flatland, and that stuck with me because it reminded me of two things: one was how things may seem unassuming to us but can be so wondrous just by changing the angle or perspective of looking at it, and two the need for an external party to push us to discover and explore possibilities from a new approach or lens. It sets the mood and energy for me to dig deep with an inquisitive mind, and the initial exploration was simply invigorating. I don’t think I’ve felt so motivated to find an answer or crack a challenge from my studies in NTU.
Valley of death.
What Marc would mention as this “valley of death”, the points where we felt like we’ve exhausted all possibilities, was definitely something I resonated with. The emotional management of that aspect was something I felt personally I had control over, but what the internship made me look at was to manage my team’s emotions and morale. Being in charge of the team, I felt responsible to set the pace and the right mood, call for breaks, align the team, and it was a great opportunity to put my management skills into play.
As the weeks progressed, things would start to feel draggy and dreadful, working as if with no end in sight. The times through the internship we would feel like we hit roadblocks, we would feel demoralised and helpless. We had a check in with Vicnan and David and I really liked Vicnan’s point; he talked about how roadblocks are self imposed only because the path taken is something that is paved by oneself. He recommended that it is only right to review the next better course of action, and to take a look at the goals again to always remember what is the problem at hand, who are we trying to solve the problem for.
Towards the end, I felt more hopeful of the end result and thankful for the experience as well. I feel a greater maturity in thoughts with a broadened perspective, fed with different ways of thinking from various touchpoints. One was about understanding the marketing lingo and actual marketing problems faced in organizations and businesses. The other was about the different concerns because of the different levels people were in the organisation or the nature of the industry and work. It was a real great eye-opening introduction to the business side of things, especially when marketing is core to a business function, and with me coming from a largely engineering background. I’ve also learnt know how to work smarter, resetting and reviewing the goals to achieve along the way, and to put the agile way of working into things. On top of those, I made great connections to executives in the scene.
My biggest takeaways in this journey are:
- That pain is only temporary, everyday should be a fresh start
- Wrote in one of my reflections, struggles are a necessary condition to growth; you have to be pushed out of the comfort zone in trying new things and also seize learning opportunities from failing or making mistakes
- Remember why you’re here/why did you sign up for this
It was definitely a great misfortune that I fell ill with dengue, thereby not being able to complete the final presentation with my team and fellow interns. It did seem like a gruelling session and the participants surely had a lot to deliberate. Comparing it to many other webinars and sharing sessions I’ve attended off of some organisations (outreach to NTU for career talks etc), the final presentation was definitely very well structured, presented and styled.
If I would say what would be a shortcoming of the program, it will be the lack of clarity on the challenge. It seemed like the focus was not nailed and constantly changing based on feedback from the Human Libraries. I think an allocated day of “retreat” or break from work will also be nice to prevent fatigue or burn out. There is a great tendency generally for interns with this kind of drive to overwork and overcommit and allocating breaks on our own may not pan out.
Nevertheless, it was a great run and I would like to thank the people in Design Prodigy for the opportunity and the grooming. All the best and hope to keep in touch with everyone!