What I’ve experienced during my time as a travel intern at LokaLocal.
Even before the start of university, I had planned to join an internship programme after completing my first year of studies. Truth be told, I didn’t put much thought into and figured that finding an internship program wouldn’t be all that hard.
But, boy was I wrong! Application after application, I wasn’t getting calls back or was either told that it would be more appropriate to apply during my penultimate year.
Just when I thought that my chances of finding an internship were slim to none, bibbidi bobbidi boo, LokaLocal popped up! As soon as I saw the words “Travel Intern” and the job description, I was hooked. It was everything I was looking for and more!
Being in my first year, I honestly had no idea of a career path in mind, no specific job position or even an industry for that matter. All I knew was that I wanted to work. Truthfully, LokaLocal was a blessing in disguise.
And I’ll tell you why.
An experience beyond the office!
As soon as I received an email from LokaLocal congratulating my acceptance, I was ecstatic yet nervous. Countless “what ifs” circulated my mind; what if I can’t do a good job? What if they don’t like me? But I decided to tear away those negativities and told myself that an internship is a life experience, good or bad.
And it was beyond expectations!
The first week into my internship, I was offered a chance to join Dyllon’s Sri Lankan Kelantanese fusion home-dining experience. Being an extreme foodie, I was ecstatic and the food was a definite HIT!
This wasn’t even the end! During a meeting, I was asked by the CEO and Rachael if I would like to join them on a Penang work trip. I couldn’t believe my ears! Me, an intern that would only be working for a month? I was unsure at the start but decided to go ahead with it. I mean why pass up such an opportunity?
And the opportunity that turned into a treasure with endless diamond and gold.
The trip taught me so much and opened my eyes, showing me what Penang offered beyond the infamous street art and markets of Georgetown. There were hidden and vanishing traditional crafts and traits that should be the highlight of Penang. We went around speaking to various individuals and their motivation to showcase Penang culture and food.
Towards the end of my internship, I joined the team to attend Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) and witnessed the various tribal groups from Malaysia and other countries, such as Indonesia and South Korea.
Life in the office
A huge importance in enjoying your job lies in the working environment. And LokaLocal embodies this element, the team was small and close-knit, giving the chance to interact with everyone, even those from different departments. A benefit of working in LokaLocal was the opportunity to dabble in other departments, all you have to do is ask! Sat across from me was the web-developer team and it was so easy to speak to them if there was ever an issue I came across.
I remembered learning the complexity of understanding photographs and the stories they tell from our photographer, as well as having a majority of my photos rejected. To all photographers out there, I have gained a newfound respect and appreciation to you!
The whole team was extremely hilarious and inviting. There was an incident where I sat in the office and learned that they even had a dictionary of words that held specific definitions to their office life. One that I learned and made me laugh was “luar dimensi” – a task that would be impossible to complete.
Stepping out of my comfort zone
My first day in, I was told that a large part of my role would be writing. Honestly, writing isn’t my best forte and especially writing to inspire action. But thank goodness for Rachael, for being there for me when I had any questions and encouraging me to feel comfortable in writing.
Here I am writing my fourth article!
It was through writing the articles that I found how useful they were in advocating the hidden gems and showcasing the dying traditions of Malaysia. With a majority of our lives being online, everything that calls for our action births from the internet. I realised that I could keep these local traditions alive by writing and sharing with the wider world.
Everything I’ve learned so far
Prior to my internship with LokaLocal, I didn’t hold much love for Malaysia, I know how could call myself Malaysian? But after my time with LokaLocal, you could say that a newfound love and affection for Malaysia started to cultivate. I came to appreciate the multi-diversity Malaysia encompasses.
My time with LokaLocal, though short, was immensely memorable. From the people I’ve met to the skills I’ve gained. I consider myself quite fortunate, although my short internship duration, I experienced so much, especially during the publication phase of our Penang experiences. From writing out various descriptions and reaching out to multiple local experts.
It has taught me to push through to achieve our goal, not an individual, but together as a team. Everyone in the team was extremely supportive and helpful, especially our CEO who would give us moral support and pep talk to motivate us even more.
Upon accomplishing my one-month internship, I felt somewhat determined in expressing myself through writing. And also learning of what Malaysia has to offer but yet discovered, telling those around me the beauty of Malaysia that I once ignored.
At LokaLocal, we are constantly looking for interns who are hungry for adventure, travel and self-growth. Join our LokaLocal Start-up Internship Program for an opportunity to grow in a fun, fast-paced and interactive environment!