An Intern's Perspective: How The Pandemic Has Shifted The Way People Work

If you ask me if there is any difference between working from office and working from home, there certainly is. This is how I adapt to the changes and how Danone's supportive ecosystem helped me in my learning process.

#Career Story #Meet Danoners #Internship #Work From Home
31 August 2020
“We want you to be successful and have a real internship experience in here.”

Hi, I am Muthia Syifa Chantinia, but people call me Syifa or Cipae. I just graduated from Universitas Brawijaya, majoring in Economics, in November 2019 and joined Danone Indonesia mid-December 2019 as Human Resource intern, more precisely Commercial Human Resource Business Process in Waters unit.

I mainly deal with administrative needs of sales and marketing department employees while also involved in HR activities in developing the organisation through a FGD review of sales and marketing employees to see the aspirations of employees towards the department concerned: ranging from KPIs, Career Paths, and technical needs. I was also given the responsibility to take care of all matters related to internships in commercial units, ranging from open job vacancies, recruitment, induction, salary claims, to the issuance of an internship certificate. Sometimes, I also help other units in finding internship candidates. Seems like a lot to do, right? Well, it is, but let me tell you how I think my internship experience is meaningful instead of draining.

So, as you might be aware, I started my internship before the pandemic has gotten worse in Indonesia, which means unlike Selly who has to work from home since day one, I had the chance to work in Danone office for a few months before working from home. If you ask me if there is any difference between working from office and working from home, there certainly is. As an HR intern, my work deals with having a lot of communication with other people and as an intern who is still learning things, I tend to ask around to make me understand my tasks more comprehensively. Before, I can do it easily by having a chat with my co-workers and mentors and since I can just visit their workspace and do it face-to-face, everything can be done quickly. Now, I have to do everything remotely and through the screen which can take more time. So, this transition is rather challenging for me because I have to re-adjust my efficiency and time management whilst the responsibility of my job stays the same.

To deal with it, I always remind myself of the sentence I just quoted at the top. It was said by my fellow colleagues and manager when I was a new joiner. I then remember the support they have been giving me, how they want me to not just be an intern that does the administrative and mundane works, but to come out of this internship as a more skilled, professional, and agile worker who is ready to be the top at my career. I also remember how my team involve me in every activity because they want me to learn from there. I can even learn things outside of my job description and explore the works of other divisions unrelated to my current role. Lastly, I remember them motivating me to work hard and recognising my every effort, making me eager to learn and contribute more. In fact, with the supportive environment in Danone Indonesia and the trust my team has already given me, I feel like I am not just an intern but an employee that they can rely on to carry on the company’s mission.

Aside from emotional support, I am also deeply grateful of all the benefits I have been receiving. When I was working from office, I don’t have to worry about my meals because I was given free lunch and healthy snacks everyday. Now, despite working from home, I was still given monthly stipend which helps me a lot during this difficult time. Yet, the most precious benefit I gained from this internship is probably the networking opportunity. Danone is very diverse, with my team consisting from undergraduates until seniors. I am very grateful working in such diverse team because I can learn new point of view and gain knowledge from people who have different background and different experience. They are also very open and willing to teach me many things and even give me guidance for my future career aspirations. Not only that, my mentor often gives me advice on how I should create my personal branding, which is not something you can get everywhere. This is such a lifetime investment and I really recommend you to not pass any internship opportunity because of this reason.

I understand that things are pretty hard nowadays, especially for class of 2020 who are graduating and becoming a new workforce this year. In a sense, I can feel your trepidation because I am also just beginning my career journey. From what I have gathered during my internship experience, these are some things that might help you: No need to rush, but have a faith in yourself that you can do it. There are many opportunities out there for you, but you have to dig in as deeper as you can and as far as you can. Once you enter that world, you will able to see and learn things you never have before. Remember that internship is not only for graduates, but also for undergraduate, so I really encourage fresh graduates and university students alike to take the opportunity to be an intern. It is a good investment for the future for it provides us to prepare our career earlier.