Stroopwafel time! The story of a Dutch intern at Supplycart
For the past months I had the honor of calling myself the Marketing / HR intern, why an honor you might ask? For most (ex)students like myself, an internship can mean traveling from your desk, to the coffee machine, the printer, your supervisor’s desk and back to your seat. Yes internships can be a long period of just keep smiling and waiting till it's over.
But! There is hope, my experience has been totally different and I'm excited to share my experience at Supplycart. This is the story of Dutch delights, come up with crazy ideas without people telling you can't, swimming lessons and Tony Chocolonely (only the best chocolate of the world). Oh and of course of ChaCha the office cat, that got adopted.
Why travel 12677 kilometers to get an internship in Malaysia you might say? To begin with, I wanted to come out of my comfortable little bubble in Amsterdam, experience something totally new. With that I was especially curious about exposure to other cultures. During my internship I experienced different (working) cultures. For example; Dutchies like to be very direct and might come of rude with this, we value honesty and appreciate people telling straight to the face what they think, even when this is not nice. From what I've noticed, in the Asian culture, people value relationships better instead and therefore don't share their (negative) feedback easily. With Supplycart I've observed other ways of giving feedback, without going for the direct "honest" truth. Which might actually be more convenient and saves the relationship as well. Let's call it the Asian-Dutch way, you should try it ;).
First days are scary right! How to dress and act, what do they expect you to do? What if your colleagues don't share the same humor and what if you can't find it at all?! But before I came into the office, I got a message with the question if I was sure I could find it. After I arrived at my desk there was a note saying, Hi Melissa :D! And an email in my inbox with the welcome kit, from my desk I went to my first meeting straight. Although it was a little overwhelming, it felt like a warm welcome.
This feeling set the tone for my time at Supplycart; you will be overwhelmed since you are expected to participate, give your opinion and come up with new ideas. This might be uncomfortable sometimes, but out of discomfort you will grow. My lesson learned; take ownership and rock your ideas! Or at least try. Along the way you will be guided and coached. Another thing that I've learned is just ask for help if you are struggling, a fresh pair of eyes see more than one.
You could say that my internship was to short to excel in everything I got involved in, but I managed to get an holistic view of a startup in Malaysia. In my opinion Supplycart really has an unique #workhappy culture, which for interns may be the perfect ability to learn and grow, that is why I challenge the interns out there who've defined their learning goals and looking for an internship; just check for opportunities here or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Supplycart family; thank you for sharing you culture and happiness, your patience with my accent and more importantly, for all the fun moments that we shared. In a strange country, with different cultures (Chinese, Indian, Malaysian), sometimes strange languages (three languages all in one sentence?) it were the colleagues at Supplycart that made me feel home and gave me a #workhappy experience that I will cherish and take with me for the rest of my journey.
That our paths may cross again!
This is Melissa signing off!