Private or Public: 9 Attributes to look out for in an internship

Having done more than 6 internships in singapore, I think the question is no longer whether to work in the private or public sector. Every company has their own unique and distinct culture — a ministry in the public sector would be VERY different from a statutory board.  We should do as many internships and gain more exposure before starting full-time work. There's a pressing need to discover what we want exactly in order to achieve the optimal job satisfaction. After all, an office job requires us to spend more than 55% of our waking hours working! Here are 9 Attributes to look out for in an internship!

An OOTD at my workplace, thanks XUE TING! Hahaha!

1. Hierachical or flat structure?

Do you want to work in a large corporation? Usually, a large corporation requires many layers of approval before something actually goes out to the public. If the organisation structure is like a tree, you might at times feel that it is stifling. This is to ensure that every material is kept consistent with their vision, mission and goals... and sometimes, it comprises efficiency. A flat structure allows you to have a lot of flexibility and to create your own campaigns. I would recommend going for a flat structure organisation (usually, start-ups) so that you can learn a lot from doing things from scratch. The responsibility on your shoulders makes you a better person too!

2. Time flexibility

Are you okay with a 8.30 to 6pm job? Are you able to work more with less? There are some internships which allow flexibility in the use of your time — the bosses trust that you are capable in managing your own time. It is alright to ask if there is any time flexibility in your internship interview— after all, the ministry of manpower recommends a suitable matching between the employer, job position and the potential employee.

3. Location flexibility

Although it's rare, it is possible to find internships that allow you to work from home. This is especially so for those working in the design industry. I have not encountered any internship which allows me to do so, but some of my friends were able to work from cafes at their own expense!

4. Training and workshops opportunities

I had the opportunity to attend some workshops during one of my internship stints. I love learning — especially when it comes to upgrading the skills of the workforce and to ensure that their mindset is refreshed and kept up-to-date! These enriching workshops are not an excuse for you to cut off some slack, as you may have e-mails pending... but it's a great breather from your usual routine!


5. Scholarship grants for further studies

Yes, it is possible to request for a scholarship grant for you to further your studies. However, conditions such as a minimum of 2 to 6 years bond are usually attached. 

6. Social life in your team

Lovely interns — our fate is too short!
It's true — even if you are friendly to others, they might not return you the same level of friendliness. Large organisations with a hierarchical structure have several barriers when it comes to socialising — don't be surprised if interns would only hang out with interns in statutory boards. This is less evident in the private sector — your managers and colleagues would still hangout with you and would even invite you to the theatres after work!

7. The ambience tells a lot


Walk around the office — are there tall cubicles that offers much privacy? Are you able to see everyone's screens easily? Cubicles definitely results in a colder environment, as people are less likely to greet each other. 

8. Check out the pantry

The pantry is the sole place where you can discover how the organisation treats their employees. Is there an emphasis on employees' welfare by providing afternoon light snacks or nibbles? Is there a microwave and a refrigerator available? Does anyone use this refrigerator? 



9. Great mentorship, wonderful supervisor!



There are a lot of opportunities for you to do your Singapore internship, and it's best to have several internship stints during your summer break! Well, off to my next 'Internship Singapore' stint!


Private or Public: 9 Attributes to look out for in an internship Private or Public: 9 Attributes to look out for in an internship Reviewed by Shermaine Lau on 10:58:00 PM Rating: 5

3 comments

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  2. Great article as always Shermaine ☺

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