When in school, 4 months of summer break means going on vacations and enjoying with friends. But in university, it often means getting yourself an internship or job so that you can build your work experience, and subsequently your CV. And that’s exactly what I did this summer!
Towards the middle of my first year in undergrad, I started looking for companies where I could utilize my summer break to the fullest. I consulted my lecturers, discussed with my friends, used websites like JobStreet and Glassdoor… basically did everything I could to find an internship. I applied in companies like Motorola, Intel and Dyson… but to no avail. Just when I thought I would be spending my summer binge-watching TV shows at home, I received a 3-month internship offer from Alpha Academy!
Alpha Academy is a financial planning and IT education firm, which also runs the Chumbaka franchise in Johor. In fact, it was through a children’s coding competition held by Chumbaka, that I first got to know about Alpha Academy.
During my first six weeks there, I was primarily tasked with designing the official website for the company, which I managed to do using Wix, a web development platform. Initially, this was exacting as Wix was a new platform for me. However, within the first two weeks, I had gotten used to it.
The last six weeks of my internship saw me create promotional and educational videos for Alpha Academy, covering a variety of topics relating to financial and investment planning. Once again, this was challenging initially as I hadn’t done video narrations and animation prior to this, and didn’t have much knowledge about the topic at-hand. But after the first couple of videos, I had gotten the hang of it.
Additionally, to assist Chumbaka with the co-curricular activities they were holding in schools, I would teach primary and secondary school students to code using Arduino and Scratch. For this, I taught myself Arduino using Scratch and C programming language, by making miscellaneous projects of my own.
A massive privilege I had during my internship, was the fact that I could choose any 3 days to work during the week. This gave me plenty of spare time to spend on self-learning! Among the additional skills I learnt over the break was 3D printing. Since Chumbaka has a 3D printer at the office, I was free to use it whenever I may want. So I took full advantage of this and designed numerous models of things I could use everyday, with the 3D modelling program SketchUp. I also studied the computer-programming language Java through Codecademy, a website that provides coding classes. This proved to be simpler than most other languages, as it was similar to C++, a language I had previously studied.
All in all, undergoing an internship programme in my first year of undergrad was a great experience, as it helped me develop new skills and put my knowledge to good use.