Non-tech students share their summer internship takeaways
Did you know that GovTech offers internship roles in non-tech capacities? For the recent summer internship period, we welcome a group of students to intern in the Corporate Services – specifically in the Communications & Marketing Group, Development & Organisation Transformation and People & Organisation Division (POD).
We spoke with two interns – Merlin Ng, majoring in Business Management at the Singapore Management University and Kerlyn Kwan, a Political Science student at the National University of Singapore – at our Young Talent Programme Office (YTPO) under POD, to find out about their experiences, especially with the default work-from-home (WFH) arrangement during their internship period.
Hi Merlin and Kerlyn! Can you share why you applied for an internship at GovTech?
Merlin: I was first introduced to GovTech by my friend’s sister who shared her past positive experience working at the Employer Branding Team. This motivated me to find out more about the opportunities GovTech offers to business students like me.
When I learnt about the role available at YTPO, I thought it was a perfect fit as I’d always wanted to be involved in outreach and engagement.
Kerlyn: It’s important to me that the work I do would directly or indirectly impact and improve the lives of citizens, so I find it meaningful to work in the public sector.
At the same time, I’m intrigued by the tech industry, so the combination of factors made me consider an internship at GovTech. Since I don’t come from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) background, it’d be a truly great opportunity to learn more of what’s beyond my discipline!
You were largely working from home during your internship. Do you think it affected the experience?
Merlin: I anticipated some difficulties owing to the WFH arrangements. However, given my previous experience from home-based learning, I set up a workspace in my room which improved my remote work experience.
Fortunately, I could go to the office a couple of times to prepare for an online event, so I was able to explore the office!
I believe what made the difference were how transparent my supervisor, Gillian, was, the team’s frequent check-ins with me, as well as feedback and guidance I received from them that has helped me professionally and personally!
I also had the opportunity to immerse myself in various projects and interact with GovTechies from different teams. This internship has truly been an eye-opening experience for me!
Kerlyn: Despite the default WFH arrangement, my internship experience was still an enriching one! Throughout my time here, I received plenty of guidance from my team on the tasks I was assigned to and I got to learn as much as I could. I believe the learnings gained and the help I received would have been like working in the office.
How did you and your team bond while working mostly from home?
Kerlyn: Outside of the heightened phases, we made effort to go back to the office for team meetings on Mondays and have dinner together! Otherwise, we had virtual lunch sessions at times when everyone would just eat and have casual conversations together over Zoom to bond!
Merlin: In addition, something interesting I participated in was a virtual escape room with the entire People and Organisation Division. Though attempting to solve the time travel puzzle gave us all a headache, it was nice to meet my other coworkers and we had a good laugh over it!
What’s great about working at GovTech?
Kerlyn: The people! Everyone in my team is so nurturing and helpful towards interns and they always try to make sure we have the best experience working here!
Besides that, our Agile, Bold and Collaborative values at GovTech help create a conducive environment for interns, allaying our concerns into asking questions whenever we encounter any issues.
Merlin: Agree with Kerlyn! People here are extremely friendly and helpful, and I thoroughly enjoy working with them!
I also like how, despite being an intern, I was treated and tasked like a regular employee. I was encouraged to speak up during meetings and I felt like an important member of my team.
Share with us what was the one memorable thing that happened/you did during your internship?
Merlin: One of my most memorable experiences was being allowed to serve on the organising committee for the annual GeekOut bootcamp. I was able to shadow my colleagues and learn about the process of organising an online event.
What was even more incredible for me was the opportunity to attend various workshops and learn about the various roles/functions each team performs, which most of us would not have had the opportunity to know. It was remarkable to see how different teams contribute to the country’s digital transformation and improve the lives of our citizens.
Kerlyn: The most memorable thing that happened during my internship was sitting in an interview with GovTech’s senior leaders for the final round of assessment for our Technology Associate Programme. I got to listen to them share their ways of assessing candidates and it was very insightful.
Lastly, what is one piece of advice you’d give to someone interested to apply for an internship at GovTech?
Merlin: I would encourage anyone applying for a GovTech internship to highlight relevant experiences on their resume! As recruiters receive many internship applications, it is crucial to customise the content of your CV to the internship position that you are applying for.
Also, keep your resume as concise as possible!
Kerlyn: Adding on to Merlin, keep an open mind and maximise the opportunity to learn as much as possible!
Looking for your next internship? We invite you to apply with us at https://go.gov.sg/internship.https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/non-tech-students-share-internship-takeaways