In my Business course, all students are required to participate in a 5-month internship and they can either find a company on their own or choose a company from a list that was provided by the school. Being doubtful of my ability to source for good companies, I’ve decided to choose the latter and trust that my school will include companies that aren’t too shady or full of demanding superiors.
Fast forward to the present, I am 3 and a half months in and spoiler alert — the internship is not entirely what I’ve expected and I want it to end so badly.
Out of curiosity, I’ve downloaded a countdown app to count the number of days left until my internship ends. The app says:
47 days left.
Are you kidding me?!
As a marketing intern of a Food & Beverage SME (Small-and-medium sized enterprise), I thought that I would be able to create marketing campaigns, learn to use programmes like Adobe Illustrator to create posters and post advertisements every day. I love putting my creativity to great use and that was why I’ve become a Marketing student. In a Food & Beverage company, there are many areas where I can apply my creativity and make my ideas come true. I was more than ready to be busy and stay in the office after work hours.
However, my expectations were, sadly, not met.
During my first week, my mentor, who is a marketing executive of the company, told me that he didn’t really have much for me to do and asked me to do some research on marketing strategies.
Let me tell you — doing research is VERY boring. I spent most of my office hours scrolling through the internet and at times, I got distracted and ended up looking at the front page of Reddit. There were even days when I read an entire book (What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, great book btw!) in one sitting. At that moment, I knew that the rest of the internship won’t be pleasant. From then on, I dreaded going to work and my first after-work activity was to rant to my friends about how boring my day was.
That was until a few weeks ago, I had an epiphany.
Why was I focusing on the negatives when there are so many positives?
Instead of ranting about an internship which I don’t love, why don’t I focus on the things I love about the internship?
Things I love about the internship
- My working hours are flexible and short — I reach the office at 10.20 a.m. and leave at 5.30 p.m.
- I don’t have to wake up early — No need to wake up at 6.30 a.m.
- I have a nice boss and generally nice colleagues — My boss would often treat us for lunch and would not dump a pile of work on me.
- I can listen to my music with my earphones on — I love being in my own world while doing work.
- I don’t have a strict dress code — Just a plain t-shirt and a comfy pair of jeans.
- I don’t have to bring work home — No stress, just relax after work.
- The office building is only 30 minutes away from my house — Save on travel fare and time
- I don’t have to meet strict deadlines — I can finish it whenever, as long as I am reasonable with the duration.
- I don’t have to do overtime work — I have never stayed in the office past 6.30 p.m.
- My pay is good, considering how my workload is insufficient — Free money?
Once all these points crossed my mind, I’ve become more appreciative of what I have. Even though this internship is not something that I would love to do, it does not seem so bad after all.
As the popular saying goes,
“Life works in mysterious ways.”
There are many times when we have to do things that we are forced to do or things that we thought we’d love but as it turns out, they sucked. I’m pretty sure that the majority of us would complain about those horrible things to our family and friends.
Such examples include:
- You thought that studying overseas would be fun but instead, you faced the harsh reality of being all alone in a foreign country.
- You want to watch Netflix but your mum forces you to wash the dishes first.
- You want to pursue your dream job but life got in the way and now you’re a housewife with 3 kids.
However, if you really take a closer look in these situations, they aren’t as bad as you think. They are only bad because you are so used to focusing on the negatives in every situation. I’m not saying that you cannot do that, just that sooner or later, you have to let them go.
Find love in the things you do
If you are stuck overseas alone, think about all the freedom you have while traveling. You don’t have to think about the preferences of your friends and do whatever you want. It’s also therapeutic to spend some time alone.
If you have to do the dishes first, think about all the clean plates you’ll have for tomorrow’s dinner. Think about the fact that you alleviated your parents’ stress as they don’t have to wash the dishes after a long day at work.
If you are a housewife who couldn’t pursue your dream job, think about the joy that your kids give you. Think about what an amazing family you have. Perhaps, in the future, your kids would give you the chance to pursue your dreams.
All in all, I’m not saying that you can’t pursue the things you love but sometimes, we don’t have the luxury to do so. It happens. Instead of ranting and moping around, why don’t you try to see things in a more positive light and make the best out of every situation?
Life would be so much happier and peaceful that way.