|Name||Great Eastern Life|
|Full Address||303, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,303, Jalan Ampang, 50450,Malaysia|
Great Eastern Life
|Support & Guidance||
|Environment & Location||
HRDear Malaysians aspiring to break into the financial services scene, that bubble is not confined to just banking, consulting & audit. Interested in entering a niche? Less mainstream? Here's an idea; insurance. Full review »Andrew Chin , Accounting & Finance, Year 3, HELP UniversityRatings
Enjoyment Support & Guidance Environment & Location How Rewarding Was It? Average 3.5How many weeks was it for?10 weeksDate of completion08/2014Monthly payRM 650What did you do?
I had the opportunity to co-host a recruitment interview for a potential employee. After, I was asked to critically review the candidate & pitch the review to the hiring manager. There was also a chance to conduct a referee check on another candidate. Creating new Excel templates for processing our raw data on staff headcount & turnover were two of my major assignments involving data.
I also had to design the slides providing the analysis of the data. One of the more glamorous projects I was involved in was participating in our school adoption program, where our representatives conducted fun sessions for primary school kids to improve financial literacy & creating brand awareness. I was part of the organizing committee to host some fellow undergraduates on an industrial visit to our company. My internship tenure happened to fall during a time span where our company was conducting a major exercise to refresh all our aging IT assets & I was asked to coordinate the project for our HCD's side. Before I left, my last assignment was one of the funnest I ever had, which was taking photos of employees who were in line to receive the annual staff appreciation award.
It was really exciting to interact with so many employees of the various departments. Not taking into consideration the various ad-hoc tasks I was given, one may observe for an intern in the HR department, I was not confined to the narrow typical job scope most of us interns usually get.What did you learn?
In one word, exposure. That is by far the biggest take-away anyone considering an internship will make off. It should come as no surprise that at the end of the day, you may find that your internship did not equip us with skills & competencies that easily translate into CV building blocks. What it does provide that many undergraduates overlook is the key insights the experience provides into the industry you are trying to breach & the local corporate scene. I now have a more informed understanding of how our organization is structured & the various functions that make up an insurance corporation, majorly thanks to the being placed in the position of HCD. My stint in HCD has also helped to cripple some nasty stereotypes I had about the HR as a relevant business function, as a professional & the perceived incompetence of it's staffing.
Aside from the technical expertise in everyday digital tools, I grew more in the areas of soft skills. Communicating in a professional environment may not sound all that hard, but my tenure has led me to understand it is an art form that is not teachable, but only experienced. Time management & impression management were some of the few things I took for granted in university life & my tenure here has served to reeducate the hard way. Lastly, as an intern who needs to prepare a weekly report of my progress, you sort of learn the importance of keeping track of your personal progress & conducting a critical reflection exercise.Was your supervisor supportive?
She did not really look at the QUANTITY of work I put on her table at the end of the day, but more on the EFFORT I had put into continuously perfecting the quality of my work every time I submit my work-in-progress. One must understand that compensation & benefits are one of the busiest teams in HCD. Free time was a luxury this particular line manager did not have for herself in a daily work day, let alone for an intern like myself.
So in terms of evaluating my progress on a regular & in-depth basis, time was scarce. A lot of time I would have spent directly enquiring on how to perform a certain task or to pursue an interest was not possible. At least, I was a little bit lucky to receive internet access as she felt bad she could not spend as much time with me as she wished she could. To most of you, this may sound irresponsible but embrace this universal truth of interns. However, the experience made me appreciate the precious 15 minutes you get every morning to spend with your supervisor to explain your job progress before she goes back to clearing her backlog. Criticism, praise & encouragement became all the more meaningful because I wouldn't be getting it all the time.
Yes, she tried her best to be personally in touch with my progress . Yes, she was very approachable to address questions relevant to work & the industry. Yes, she gave me credit when credit was due with a touch of constructive criticism. BUT, all these instances were infrequent, at best.What could be improved? What could you have done better?
I believe Great Eastern's internship program seriously lacks overall structure & continuity. I am hoping that in the future, interns will be able to undergo a short (perhaps half day) orientation workshop in order for them to familiarize themselves with the organization & especially their department. The weekly progress review exercise also a one-size-fits-all type applied to interns of various departments. Goals could be discussed between the intern & supervisor on a biweekly basis, so that interns are able to gauge their work expectations. Despite the nature of most work in the company being P&C, I believe supervisors in general could be a little more trustworthy in letting their interns just come in to observe how they conduct high-level meetings every once in awhile, for instance. This could be done without unnecessarily briefing the intern up to speed with the current situation or problem discussed.
Although I was privileged to be given the opportunity to rotate & cross-contribute in the other teams of HCD, I know this was not possible for other department interns. I strongly suggest this to be address as it narrows the prospects of learning. Another side note to make is probably the questionable denial of internet access to most interns despite the fact our weekly review format encourages us to research. On a lighter note, a coffee dispensing machine would be lovely.Advice for future interns?
As a department, HCD employees are the miniature representation of the company's image. You will be expected to uphold the model of an ideal employee, in areas of compliance & professionalism. Your dressing, punctuality, speech, body language & work ethics. Company-wise, Great Eastern is a company that is very keen on creating a brand that champions life; a central theme that can appeal to anyone on a personal level. "Life is Great!". Learn to associate yourself with the company's bright & philosophical take on life. The slightly cliche tagline also embodies everything that passes off as general advice for anyone interested in becoming an intern.
Embrace your internship like how we all should all positively lead our life. Cherish all the memories you'll make with your colleagues & fellow interns. Explore & network without self-imposed boundaries. Be ambitious but practical in grabbing any opportunities. Cultivate a hunger to learn. Embrace hardship in whatever form it may come.
Alright, enough philosophical advice. Let's get practical. Parking? Abundant in the morning, but if you intend to patronize the many delicious food haunts in Ampang for lunch, learn to pray. Traffic? Every single road I have experimented on to get to work on time is affected by the morning rush. Avoid Jalan Jelatek if at all possible! Specifically for aspiring HCD interns, do not drink the pantry coffee. Don't ask, just don't.