A Journey from My Early Career: Internship Reflections
3 mins read

A Journey from My Early Career: Internship Reflections

Today, I’d like to pause from our regular business strategies and share a personal story from my early career. As business owners, we often focus on the macro view, but sometimes, reflecting on individual experiences can yield valuable insights.

Let’s travel back to 2006. I was a student who found little joy in attending classes. The traditional lecture format seemed dull and uninspiring, so I gravitated toward the more interactive and engaging tutorials. One day, my teacher presented an opportunity for internships. It was a chance to gain hands-on experience, but I missed the initial window. Determined not to let it pass by completely, I approached my teacher and asked for another chance. Luckily, we reached an agreement, and I was allowed to apply for an internship.

This marked a pivotal moment in my life. I secured an internship that paid RM400 a month and was only a 10-minute commute from home. This was a significant advantage, especially considering that many of my friends in Kuala Lumpur had to endure 2-3 hour daily commutes. Despite their higher salaries, the long travel times were exhausting. My short commute saved me time and energy, allowing for a better work-life balance. This experience highlighted the importance of convenience and quality of life when evaluating job opportunities—a lesson that applies equally to managing a business.

During that period, my company had a small, close-knit office. My boss would frequently approach me directly, and a charming marketing professional worked nearby. Our team consisted of just three people: my boss, the marketing expert, and me—the sole programmer. I wore multiple hats, serving as a senior, junior, and intern simultaneously.

This dynamic environment provided me with a wealth of experiences that have been invaluable throughout my career. Being the only programmer meant I had to manage all aspects of our software projects, from coding and debugging to some project management elements. It was a steep learning curve, but it taught me critical skills such as adaptability, multitasking, and time management.

A key takeaway from this experience was the importance of communication and collaboration. Working closely with the marketing professional gave me insights into how different departments can work together to achieve common goals. This cross-functional interaction enriched my understanding of the business and underscored the value of teamwork.

Another significant lesson was the level of responsibility I was given. As the only programmer, I had to ensure that our software solutions were robust and reliable. This responsibility pushed me to improve my coding skills, develop efficient debugging techniques, and enhance my problem-solving abilities. It also taught me the importance of writing clean, maintainable code and thoroughly documenting my work.

Reflecting on this period, I realize how much these early experiences shaped my career. They instilled in me a strong work ethic, a commitment to continuous learning, and an appreciation for the diverse roles within a company. I encourage fellow business owners to consider how they can create similar growth opportunities for their employees. Empowering your team members, encouraging cross-functional collaboration, and fostering a culture of continuous learning can lead to a more dynamic and resilient organization.

In future posts, I’ll share more specific stories and lessons from my internship days. I hope these reflections provide some insights and inspiration for your own business journey. Stay tuned for more, and thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane.

For more information on how can help your system, head to our websites at https://www.operion.com.my/.