13 Aug Leadership Journey through Wedu’s Internship Programme
Working as a Marketing and Communications Intern at Wedu was my first ever internship. I joined Wedu not knowing what to expect, but at the end of two months, I not only picked up new skills such as graphic design and social media management, but also honed my communication ability.
As Wedu has a remote-work culture, clear and effective communication is key to avoid misunderstandings and to forge cohesiveness in the team. In my earliest days with Wedu, I did not realise the importance of communication, which seems ironic for a Marketing and Communications Intern. Through my slip-ups, I learnt that sometimes, even a simple acknowledgement of a colleague’s email is so important, to assure them that their message and intentions got across smoothly, because ultimately communication requires cooperation from both parties. Communication can be as simple as replying with a “Roger” – short and sweet but nonetheless significant.
Communication is also a powerful tool to tie a team working together. Though members of the Wedu team are separated by time and distance, during the mid-year team retreat in June when everyone gathered in Bangkok, the room was always full of smiles and laughter. There and then, the unity and effectiveness of the Wedu team amazed me. It later occurred to me that the regular, weekly communication between team members was one of the driving factors behind it. Even though everyone was busy with meetings and work, they always made sure to set aside time to ask and chat about each other’s lives. They also make it a point to collectively celebrate the milestones of each other’s lives, like someone getting married or even having a new addition to the family!
Being a part of Wedu’s caring and positive culture has opened my eyes to how a leader can and should hold a team together – even if they are miles and miles apart.
Through this internship, I also learnt about the impact Marketing and Communications had on the people around me. At first, when I started creating social media posts on a day-to-day basis, it was easy to lose sight of the big picture and forget the importance of the role. Yet, when I began to create and execute social media campaigns, and started personally interacting with members of the Wedu Leadership Community, I suddenly realised that the work I was doing had a big impact on the lives of these individuals. By sharing the work or life story of a Rising Star through the #tinkeringtuesdays campaign or Malala campaign, she gets an opportunity to showcase her achievements to the world, and simultaneously inspire others in the Wedu Community. Perhaps these stories might even foster collaborations and enhance communication between the members of the Wedu Community.
By designing collaterals for Wedu’s events, and seeing my ideas materialise into banners, briefing books and mugs makes me feel proud and happy for contributing to the wonderful work that Wedu does – enabling and inspiring women around the world to become leaders and changemakers. At the end of the day, I realised that no matter how small or insignificant you think your role is, you will make an impact on the world around you – and that is certainly an amazing feeling to have!
Moving forward, as I step up to assume a new leadership position in the coming month, I will definitely take the precious lessons that I have gained from this internship and apply them to my best abilities. With my newfound abilities and sharpened skills, I am more confident of myself as a leader and I am ready to make a change in my own community.
Writer: Kay Lee, Yale NUS College, Singapore | Internship period: June – July 2019