Enderun Entrepreneurs Society: Internship Stories During the Pandemic
Last September 29 to October 1, Enderun Entrepreneur’s Society hosted a webinar entitled the BA & BSE Internship Series. In this 3-day series, the organization aimed to share the stories of the Enderun students that have undergone internships during the pandemic. The featured students representing the various courses under BA and BSE shared their journey from applying to numerous companies to accomplishing seemingly impossible work tasks. The narratives of their internship experience serve as an inspiration for everyone to make the most out of the work-from-home setup and to remain resilient in the process of internship.
On day 1, the main speakers of the event were Kiara Gamboa and Chaela Nuñez. Kiara is a current Senior that is taking BS Entrepreneurship. She talked about her internship experience working for an online yoga studio company called ‘Embody Me’ as a business development intern. She first expressed her struggle in looking for the right internship company and how, despite this, divine timing led her to work for Embody Me. From then on, she was able to maximize the opportunities brought by the online setup, which allowed her to take her work along as she traveled to Austin, Dallas, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Sedona, and Las Vegas. Kiara’s main takeaway from her internship was inspired by a quote from her company:“if you want to be the best leader, employer, founder, parent, or partner you can be, you must take time for yourself.” She mentioned that the internship truly taught her the value of working with a sense of balance, that when you are managing both your personal and professional life, you will be able to achieve the best version of yourself.
Another speaker was Chaela Nuñez, a fellow senior taking up Business Administration.. She took her internship at Philam Life Genova financials as a career ambassador under the Human Resources department. Chaela gave a preview of her work experience—attending meetings, creating presentations, and participating in training. Chaela explained how despite certain levels of uncertainty and stress she faced in the process, her internship remained a fruitful experience. Before she ended her presentation, she shared some advice to the attendees of the webinar in regards to the process of internship applications. She emphasized the importance of doing research on your desired companies and to do your best in interviews by being transparent and direct. In becoming the best intern you can be, she shares that you must always give your 150% in all the tasks you are given, and that it is essential to manage a balanced work-life schedule that allows for your professional and personal growth.
In the Q&A portion of the event, the two speakers gave even more insights and advice based on their internship experience. They were asked if they ever experienced burnout at work and each gave a different perspective. Being in a wellness company, Kiara was fortunate to have managed work responsibilities while ensuring that she took care of her mental health. For Chaela, she acknowledged that while she did not experience burnout on her first internship, she felt overly-productive in her second. She was able to overcome this by communicating it to her supervisors. This is why Chaela advises future interns to be open to communicating these concerns as to create a better compromise, while Kiara mentions that time management is also key to ensuring time for oneself.
Related to this, the two were also asked to provide some key tips for better time management. Kiara answered that you must discipline yourself. As the work-from-home setting easily allows us to get sidetracked, it is important to know one’s priorities throughout the whole internship journey. Chaela recommended writing down all your activities to get an overview of the tasks needed to be accomplished. This can also help you manage your own ideal work to life ratio that fits well with your personal agendas.
On Day 2, the students featured in the event were Lexy Anusevicius and Joshua Javier. Business Administration senior Lexy took her internship at Voiz, a company based in the USA that writes sustainability reviews on products in order to encourage people to make eco-conscious choices when purchasing products. She explained how she was fortunate enough to be approached by the company and how this was rooted in her established reputation of being a ‘plant-lady’ and climate activist since her high school years. This is why Lexy advised everyone to start building their reputation based on what they want to be known for as this could potentially lead to unexpected opportunities. From doing research for reviews to being a social media manager, she shared how her internship became a learning experience for her and encouraged everyone to perceive their internship in the same light.
Joshua Javier, a Business Administration senior, provided his testimony as an intern under the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines where he was assigned to the Business Consultancy and Services department. He shared how he applied his skills in technology in handling European clients. In his internship, he has generated over 350 databases, added more than 650 new LinkedIn connections to the company’s profile, and so much more. His main advice for students in finding a great job placement is constant self-development through taking free online courses, taking advantage of Enderun’s resources, and constantly revamping your resumé. He also reminded students to grab every opportunity and to even seek discomfort by constantly challenging themselves to discover their true potential.
By the end of the talk, the students asked for ways to manage a heavy workload. Lexy answered that she managed difficult tasks by perceiving them as opportunities to gain new skills. She advised everyone to be prepared in receiving tasks you are unfamiliar with and to have an optimistic take in the process. On the other hand, Joshua mentioned that he received numerous major tasks in his internship, and the way in which he coped with this is by being honest with his supervisors regarding the amount of workload he was given. He advised future interns to not be afraid to be transparent to their managers and that they will definitely be willing to help along the way.
On Day 3, the two featured seniors were Gilly Rustia and Anna Fabiana. Gilly Rustia is taking up Operations Management and was able to take her internship at Buskowitz Inc, a solar energy company in the Philippines. Gilly acknowledged the difficulty in applying for internships, especially during the pandemic in an honest sharing of her experience. She expressed her struggle with the interview process and shared that the bigger the company, the harder it is to apply. She managed to land a position in the Financial Department and explained that despite its misalignment with her course, she believed it was worth a shot. From managing the company’s financial accounts to navigating new online software, Gilly remained resilient in accomplishing all her tasks despite the challenges.. She provided tips to future interns by letting them know that it’s normal to struggle in finding a position. She also explained that asking questions is important to ensure a task is done right and that feeling bored with the repetitive cycle of workload is normal. Still, lastly, she emphasized that initiative is essential in making the most out of your internship.
The last speaker of the webinar was Anna Fabiana. She is currently a Financial Management student and managed to land herself an internship position at Chimes Consulting, a digital marketing and information technology-based company. Anna was in charge of helping with the firm’s market research and collaborating with web developers. She admitted how, at first, she was unfamiliar with the process of web development and how this struggle provided her with the opportunity to do more research and to improve upon her communication skills. Based on this experience, she learned that the main skills that employers look for in their interns are research, willingness to learn, attentiveness, and effective communication. To all the future interns, she shared her three main pieces of advice which are to always be prepared, to be continuously persistent, and to have passion for the work that you are doing.
For the Q&A portion, two speakers were asked about how they can convince students to take up internships despite the online set up. Anna answered that despite the internship being online, interns still get the opportunity to learn new skills whether it be technical or personal. She asserted that an internship will benefit one’s growth and will teach you to become more courageous when facing the uncertainties of the online set-up. For Gilly, she mentioned that having a digital internship makes it more accessible for students to learn the different skills and softwares that are demanded by employers today. That being said, she encouraged students to maximize this accessibility to learning. Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, she also explained that it would be better to do your internship now as this setting may extend in the future.
Towards the end of the webinar, Anna and Gilly provided some work-life management tips to the future interns. Anna mentioned that it was a struggle at first as heavy tasks led her to work beyond office hours. She then advised everyone to only work within the set hours so that you have more time for yourself and to prevent burnout. Similarly, Gilly mentioned having to extend work hours to accomplish her duties. She mentioned to everyone that it is important to understand how you accomplish your own tasks and to schedule work according to what personally works best for you.