Equity Labs
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Equity Labs

The ‘FunConventional’ Workplace

In The Eyes of a Conventional Intern

Image from pexels.com

I’m gonna be completely honest, it’s almost the end of a 2 month internship with UpSmart, yet coming to the office every day still has its way of surprising me. It’s like what Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” I was hoping to eat dark, my favorite, but all I got was milk, which is also another flavor I love. This is one way the office encourages me and my colleagues to wake up fresh in the morning, go to the office, and get another day’s worth of work done — the “keeping me on the edge of my seat,” exciting way.

My workmates and I are challenged with an important choice every morning before leaving for work. Determining the attitude we’ll have for the day is everything, and the choices we have are either going to work only for the sake of getting things done so I can get my pay, or going in with a huge smile and a pumped-up attitude knowing that I will be making an impact for our clients. At the end of the day, choosing the former is the easy way out, but may result in a mediocre outcome. The latter, despite being more challenging, allows us to realize that everything we do is bigger than us and will definitely yield amazing results. It’s a difficult choice, but I make sure to always choose the positive attitude.

My associate once told me, “I’ve been with this company for nearly a year, yet I still don’t know what to expect every time I set foot in the office. Literally anything can happen.”

A Typical Day in the Office

“Good Morning!” says our boss, who lives right next door from the office, and is the epitome of consistency every single day. The perfect greeting is best paired with either 2 cups of green tea or 2 cups of freshly brewed black coffee, sometimes both. He then turns around from the pantry and asks if anyone would want a cup too.

As an intern who’s watched countless movies of how the typical corporate company is run, my only thought at that moment is, “since when did the boss make the coffee for the employees? Isn’t it the other way around?” Then I proceed to raise my hand with a smile on my face to ask for a serving of freshly brewed coffee.

A powerful, yet humble leader — the key ingredient to a great tasting cup of coffee.

When One Cooks, Everyone Cooks

Working with this company is like working with your college friends on a group project, but a project that earns you a living. Coming to the office will give you vibes of those nights spent cramming for a project back in college, but this time, you’ve already learned your lesson.

It’s the perfect balance of being relaxed and disciplined among my colleagues. The rules are simple in this company: as long as you get your work done with utmost quality, you’re good to go.

There’s a vibe that just makes me smile working with my colleagues. People are chatting up a good conversation in this corner of the office, someone’s eating a hot bowl of noodles in that corner of the office, and sometimes, I find myself cracking up a good joke with my boss.

Ever wonder what the quickest way to plan and execute a party is? Well, when one cooks instant noodles, everyone cooks instant noodles. Just like that, we have an instant noodle party. (Just imagine how good the office smells)

Down To The Last Second

Learning never stops. It can happen in any place at any time. That’s why a lot of great minds came up with a concept called the “Growth Mindset.” This means that no matter what situation you are in, whether in success and glory or in utter failure and disappointment, there will always be something to learn.

In this office, not a day goes by without us learning something valuable. There are two extremes in this company, either we’re jam packed juggling several client engagements at the same time (even going all the way to Rizal or walking 50 minutes to get from one point to another in the Makati area [yes, 50 minutes… good workout though]) or chilling by the office table in our down time, watching Youtube videos and chatting with our colleagues. The point is, even in our down time, our boss would always encourage us to learn, be proactive, and do careful research on any relevant topic that interests us because, as consultants, there is no such thing as “too much” knowledge; the more the merrier.

So after reading this article, get up on your feet and go outside for some fresh air. There’s a whole world out there waiting to teach you something new.

For A Change

“Every established company, be it a startup or multinational conglomerate, will face the challenge of trying to create the so-called “perfect” company culture.”

In reality, no one really knows how to create it since there technically isn’t one yet!

There is, however, a variable that defines what kind of culture a company will have, their people. Although some mistake it to be the other way around. This is the very reason why no two companies will ever be the same, similar at the most. When a new member enters the company, there is a huge possibility that the company culture will change. Sometimes these changes are obvious and may take effect immediately, but others may take time to reveal themselves.

At the end of the day, no company will ever be “perfect.” It is human nature for people to have their own preferences, needs, and wants, but what keeps the boat afloat is how well the employees and the company cooperate and adjust to each other.

To All The Company Founders Out There

I hope that my experiences, stories, and pointers will help you see your company in a better light. Hoping to cross paths with you one day, so you can tell me all about your stories as well. Because overall, I had one heck of an internship this summer.

Huge shout-out to my colleagues and of course, my other co-intern (you know who you are). If you come across this article, thank you for the past 2 months and for being a part of an interesting summer. It’s definitely one for the books. See you around, and cheers to our next noodle party!

About UpSmart

UpSmart is the premier financial consultancy firm in the startup, SME, and social enterprise industry. UpSmart specializes in strategic finance (e.g., structuring and restructuring of legal entities, valuing and modelling companies, serving as chief financial officer of companies) and operational finance (e.g., optimizing business processes and controls, accounting and bookkeeping support, financial reporting and analysis).

About Kenn

Kenn is a junior from the Ateneo de Manila University taking up A.B. Management Economics. He is currently the Vice President for Social Enterprise Consulting in the Ateneo Blue Consulting Group (Ateneo BCG) aiming to empower Filipinos to create social impacts together.

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