I am Macalino, an intern from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) in my first year pursuing a degree in Telematics. I have spent the last few months in the Emergency Call (eCall) team from IC BU, learning about the sophisticated world of Information & Technology (IT) and automobiles and wish to share some of my experiences with you. When I first joined Continental as a year one student, the topics covered were briefly touching on the fundamentals of engineering and IT, and nothing too specific about automobiles. At the beginning, I was so excited and at the same time scared of all the abbreviations being used such as CAN/TCU and etc. It was soon after that I came to know, that these were actually year two and three modules. Therefore, I feel like I have a slight advantage over my peers as I was introduced to them beforehand.
A little bit more about myself. My prior internship experience was in the area of quality engineering in a bank, as I hold a diploma in engineering and business. Everything at the bank was conventional in terms of the business attire – leather shoes and plain shirts. When I stepped into Continental on my first day, I was dressed like that and was shocked to see my colleagues walking around in jeans and t-shirts. I immediately thought of all the money I was going to save not having to stock up on my formal attire. My other thought was – what are people going to wear on casual Fridays when Mondays to Thursdays were already this casual. Thus, right from the beginning I could feel a different business culture which was new to me and there were more surprises to come.
I especially love the lunch break on Thursday as all interns get to eat together on this day of the week. I am excited to meet people who are working in different areas in the company. It is always interesting to hear about them and their personal backgrounds. Although I wish the lunch sessions would be held on Mondays to fight the Monday blues, I believe there is a special reason behind it taking place on Thursdays. During the interns’ lunch sessions, our HR team would take the opportunity to listen to our verbal feedback and suggestions to make our stay more pleasant. They also organized a series of talks by managers from various departments. This has given me inspiration to join another department for my next internship year, just to explore the different interesting things they do here at Continental. Please do join us for lunch on Thursdays if you have not done so.
Another highlight of my internship experience was when Brenda, the HR intern, invited me to a company event – the annual Bowling tournament. I always thought that interns were not invited to participate in such events. Even though I did not win a prize, I was glad that I could participate as it was a joyful time. The invitation alone shows how much Continental appreciates the interns. Furthermore, there are also some interest groups at Continental such as basketball and soccer to name a few and I know some interns are already actively participating in them. Please do sign up if you are interested as I think they are more than welcome to see you.
Lastly, as an intern I believe we must continue to be hungry and seek for practical knowledge as much as we can since some things cannot be learned just by reading books. To grow and develop in our profession, we must have the courage to ask questions, the strive to give our best at work and inherit a One for Another mentality. When following these ideals, I am sure that we as interns not just become more professional for our future careers, but at the same time can be valuable assets for the organization.