Shin Yiseul, our very first intern at Funding Societies, shares her greatest takeaways from her 12-week internship with us:
Everyone dreams of finding a job they love. Like many other undergraduates, I spent several summer breaks in various internships, letting each experience guide me in discovering my passion. This phase of gaining work experience helped me develop particular interests in two areas – Enterprise Development and Financial Services. That was why I was exhilarated when I came across Funding Societies’ internship advertisement through NUS Career Centre newsletter. It was described as a FinTech platform which aims to help SMEs grow through digital lending. At that moment, I had no idea what this meant, or what exactly ‘FinTech’ was all about. However, I was intrigued enough to want to delve deeper.
My encounter with Funding Societies has been extraordinary from the very beginning. The interviewer and I had an equal share of time to introduce ourselves. Unlike other interviews where candidates are selected by the hiring manager unilaterally, the balanced two-way communication gave me opportunities to discern whether we would be great fit for each other.
I learned that I was being offered to join Funding Societies as the first ever intern! The past 3 months with Funding Societies have been full of magical moments and learning experiences. Here are some of my greatest takeaways:
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1. All initiatives are encouraged, even the crazy ones
At Funding Societies, I am given as much autonomy as everyone else in the company although I am ‘just’ an intern. I am constantly encouraged to input my opinions, feedback and suggestions. While discussing about improving productivity, someone casually proposed moving our weekly sharing sessions from Monday morning to Friday just because – Monday Blues, and it actually happened! Such open culture allows me to become more and more comfortable in speaking up. I find this an enjoyable process because even the most ridiculous-sounding ideas are taken seriously and discussed thoroughly before deciding whether to be implemented (Stay tuned to learn more as we roll these out!). Having the power of choosing what I want to work on also means work is never boring!
2. Challenge yourself constantly
I got to be part of the competitive and fast-paced start-up scene. New competition emerges every other day and the only way to thrive is to move faster than anyone else. Allocating the limited resources with most efficiency is critical. Freedom and autonomy come with a strong dose of responsibility, and this period was a test of my discipline in time management. I was constantly challenged to reach my maximum potential. I have always believed that a fulfilling career isn’t a destination but a journey. Hence, it’s important to grow together with the company, and Funding Societies gave me this remarkable experience.
3. Your work matters – a lot
At Funding Societies, any work done on each day serves an immediate purpose. I was involved in meaningful projects that are crucial to the company and saw it through from planning to implementation. No words could describe the sense of pride and achievement of seeing my work published on the website for the first time. I enjoyed interacting with our clients through our chat feature on the website because I know our conversations have a direct impact on their actions, and often results in Funding Societies gaining new borrowers or investors. I was inspired to take ownership of my work and continuously strive towards providing the best experience to all Funding Societies’ clients.
4. Supportive team makes all the difference between good and great
Being surrounded by people who share the same goal and passion really brings about an amplified effect in productivity. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that all my colleagues, including the founders, are willing to find time to respond to my queries no matter how busy they were. I was able to receive quick advice and feedback from managers with ample experiences and they have been of great help to me in getting my job done. If I were to answer what I love most about Funding Societies, I will not hesitate in answering – ‘complete absence of office politics!’ I appreciate having the well-bonded team where difference of opinion can be resolved through a healthy discussion because I have seen in my previous workplaces how detrimental office politics are to work productivity and motivation. Here at FS, we are aligned in many ways to achieve progress and help one another grow.
5. Earn solid returns on my investment
‘Skin-in-the-game’ philosophy is widely practiced at Funding Societies. This resonates with my personal beliefs the most. I know what I am working on has a positive impact on society and I am proud to be part of the solution. As such, I have started investing in our platform alongside other investors. It has been a positive and meaningful investing experience so far because our investors’ money is deployed into efforts that not only result in stable returns, but the funds are also making a difference to help SMEs grow in Singapore.
All in all, interning at Funding Societies for the past 12 weeks has been stimulating and satisfying, and the steep learning curve has enabled me to grow significantly as a motivated individual.
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