UPDATE: As of 2017, we are no longer taking interns as we have very little time to train interns. However, we will make an exception if you have something interesting to offer. If you do, then send in a video of yourself (no more than 1 minute talking about yourself or a topic that strikes your fancy.)
This blog post below is written by one of our interns, Wilson Ong, who recently completed his 3 month internship with us at Redbox Studio. He was one of the two interns that we chose after an unorthodox interview session in February.
Whenever we take in interns, we want them to experience real work. They are not treated like interns at all. In fact, they were given tasks and mini projects to complete (they were given our Redbox Easyweb to use and earn money for themselves besides helping others).
Basically, we are re-creating what we would have loved to do if we were interns again. Plus it had to be a fun, rewarding and engaging experience – and let the young people know that managing a business can be tough but it can also be fun. (Oooh, do I sound like a oldie now. Sigh!)
We don’t have to have phones ringing off the hook in the office to stress everyone out (we don’t even have a landline phone but that’s another story for another day) and clients seldom, if ever, step into our studio.
Yet when we get down to work, work gets done.
Plus we’re probably the only people to tell these interns “It’s OK to take a nap or go to Uniqlo in the middle of the work day if you want to”. We care more about results than the time they spend in the office.
In fact, we want our interns to have fun and be curious because only then will they be able to produce work which really matters. If you don’t enjoy your work, you’ll produce substandard work. If you love your work or the tasks given to you, you will be excited to go to work.
Anyway, here’s what Wilson had to say about his internship experience with Redbox Studio.
By Wilson Ong of Universiti Malaysia Perlis
From what we heard from our seniors and lecturers, internship means working as an office boy. Work like sweeping floors, making coffee and writing letters are common tasks for interns. Yes! We did water plants, once a week, but there are only two pots of plants to water… haha.
Honestly, my mindset towards incubator training did not change much as I know some friends of mine are doing work like that – I must admit that both of us (Sang Gita and I) are having a rather different internship life here.
These 3 months of internship training benefitted us in a lot of ways. Aside from exposing us to the real business environment (we know it is difficult, but without experiencing it firsthand, it is hard to know what “difficult” really meant), we’ve come across many useful business theories. We brushed up our critical thinking such as realising that we can learn a lot from simple videos, advertisements or movies.
[Krista’s note: Learning from multiple formats and sources is often best. Watching and then discussing the movie helps everyone understand concepts and ideas better. We even forced them to stand up and present their ideas in front of us. Having the ability to communicate is a key skill sorely lacking in today’s undergraduates. This weekly practice helps them overcome their fear of public speaking.]
We were exposed to many online software and programmes and I strongly believe all these skills and knowledge will help in our future studies and work, and even in our daily lives.
Overall, working here is quite enjoyable!
I doubt my friends would believe when I tell them we are watching movies, playing cards and Facebook-ing all day long and yet we aren’t slacking (we are working and doing research!).
We are not bound by strict rules. We could take a break anytime we felt we needed to or go for a bite when we are hungry. We were allowed to use Facebook or access Youtube. We could even take more than an hour for our lunch break and we were told by Nic we should go to the shopping mall during work hours (we did not however). In short, our work hours were flexible.
Of course, there were horrible moments for us when we were asked: “how were your sales?” (We were given a mini project where we put our entrepreneurship skills to test by setting up a website to sell thank you cards produced by a local NGO. To do this, we were given a website product called Redbox Easyweb to use for free).
We felt so uneasy and guilty when we did not reach the target sales we expected. Luckily, we started getting customers after weeks and weeks of trying and working. This again tells us that identifying a target market isn’t easy.
I would personally suggest that future interns at Redbox Studio be given the same online shop project as this is the best yet risk-free way to let students know about entrepreneurship and selling.
I suggest that future interns should be ready with their online business plans even before they attend the interview session. Understanding what they are going to do with a plan in hand is definitely better. With a complete set of plans ready, they would not be as lost as we were in the initial few weeks.
I would also think that interns should be given a chance to attend the ongoing Tech Tuesday sessions if convenient. This session exposes them to the common website and business problems as well as the many ways to solve them.
Finally, I hope I can apply all that I’ve learnt at Redbox Studio in my future – studies, career and business life hopefully. Even if I become an employee, I hope to be one that’s sharp and logical.
For sure I will be a changed person when I go back to the university for my final year studies.
Interested in becoming an intern? Know someone who could benefit from this experience? An internship with Redbox Studio is like being thrown into the deep end of the pool and then some. We can guarantee it’s nothing like you’ve ever experienced or heard of. A minimum of 3 months is needed. If you have 6 months to spare, that’s even better. We’re looking for people with a good attitude, high on EQ and highly curious. Grades don’t really matter if you’ve got a heart. If you think you fit the bill, then write to us.