Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Chronicles of an Intern: Dose of Wonani Takeover

Hello everyone. My name is Wonani. I’m so excited to be writing on one of my favourite blogs, Lessons From A Learner. As part of “Internship Chronicles”, I’ll be telling you everything about my internship experience and what I learnt from it. I promise I won’t write about learning to create spreadsheets.

I did my internship in 2020. It ran from August 2020 to November 2020. I’ve been trying to figure out how far back I should go with this but I suppose from the very beginning. Initially, I wasn’t supposed to do my internship in Malaysia. But then because of the pandemic, travel restrictions came about and I couldn’t leave the country. I had about a month to apply and find a place to stay during internship.

A month isn’t usually enough. I knew people who had applied to so many companies and struggled to find places. These are people who started applying many months before. That made me think I wouldn’t be able to do my internship at the right time and I mentally started preparing to have to take an extra semester. Explaining how that would be the outcome will take a lot of time so I won’t do that.

Fortunately for me, I did find a place to work. I also had to deal with someone saying no to me over the phone. Like I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want me to work for them. Anyway, I did find a lovely company to work with and I was scared really.

BEING AFRAID

I went to the same school from kindergarten to Grade 12. I never experienced being the new kid or the new person in a place. With zero experience being the new kid, and knowing that there was a 99% chance I would be the only black girl at the company, I was obviously scared. I thought about it for weeks and spoke to my flatmate about how I hoped everyone would be nice and they wouldn’t make me feel out of place or make me feel different.

Those were my biggest fears and I prayed about them every single day leading up to my first day of work. I was going through a lot at that time and so I couldn’t handle not being treated well.

GETTING READY FOR WORK

Of course, I wasn’t scared the whole time. I was excited to have found somewhere to work in a short space of time. Also, it was going to be a new experience for me. Meeting new people, being in a new place and a new environment. I needed new clothes.

I wear jeans, t-shirts, sneakers and sweats every day. I go to class like that. I was very aware there was a high chance I wouldn’t be able to dress like that at work. So months before my internship, I started slowly picking up formal clothes. I’d by a good shirt and formal pants when I saw some.

The game changer though, was a pair of loafers I bought. The day I got those, I went into 2 different stores and checked a good number of online stores, trying to find a pair of loafers that I actually liked but nothing stood out to me. Of course apart from a pair of Dr. Martens which were not in my budget so I had to look passed those. Sadly.

I tried a good number of pairs and my feet have never looked more stupid. Just to give a clear picture, I have a small but wide foot. When I was young, I’d look at my feet and they would look like I had six toes. Now, imagine a foot like that, in loafers. It was terrible. My friend, who accompanied me to get the shoes, laughed so much. The sad thing is I couldn’t leave without a pair so I found the best worst pair, tried them on, paid and left the store.

I also had to get my hair done because there is no way I was going to comb and style my hair every day for 3 months. Sadly, that didn’t happen so I had to comb my hair for the first week. Not every day of the week though. Trust me to add styling gel to my hair, lay it flat and sleep with a scarf every night so that I don’t have to touch it every day. All I’m trying to say is I don’t have the patience to do my hair every day.

MY FIRST DAY WEEK

I think the first day of work is the most important. It gives you a very good idea of how the rest of your time somewhere will go. I had to be at work at 8.30 AM every day. I have the worst sleeping pattern. I usually sleep really late, after 12 AM and before I had to go for work, I’d sleep in the morning and wake up around 1 or 2 PM. I wasn’t able to fix my sleep before my first day.

I barely slept that night and had to be up at 6 AM. I needed half an hour to do my hair and an hour to shower, get dressed and all that. I don’t usually eat breakfast but I am a huge coffee drinker. So when I went to shower, my roommate made me coffee and I came out to a nice steaming cup. So that was so nice.

It took me about 15-20 minutes to get to work with a cab that cost me RM25 (about K130) for a one way trip. I got there around 8.00 AM, dressed in a black and white polka dot wrap-top, black pants and my best worst loafers. When I got there, I realised I needed an access card to get into the office and I obviously didn’t have one. I then realise that I didn’t get anyone’s number and so I had to stand outside and wait for someone to get there. Someone eventually got there, looked at me, smiled and asked if I was the intern. I said yes and they let me in with them.

The first few minutes there were probably the most awkward. No. Actually, the most awkward moment was definitely during my farewell speech but we aren’t there yet. I was given somewhere to sit while I waited for who I was supposed to report to. Everyone who walked past me looked at me and gave that “I see you” smile which I returned because I was not going to be rude.

I eventually met most of my colleagues and was given my own desk to sit at which was cool. I was also invited to lunch with everyone else which was so nice. My first day went well and so did my first week. I absolutely loved it.

Money, Money, Money

Let me give you a breakdown of my finances: I spent about RM65 (K340) in a day and I was going to spend roughly that amount every day for 5 days bringing my weekly expenditure to RM325 (K1711) and monthly expenditure to RM1300 (K6,850). RM50 more every week and I’m spending enough to get a new pair of Nike AF1s every week. This doesn’t include rent, house bills, house groceries and other expenses to just get around. I was only getting paid RM 500 (K2650) which is actually more than what my friends at other companies were getting. WHAT?!

I don’t know how but I underestimated how much I would spend. So by the time the first month was coming to an end, I had spent so much money. So obviously, I had to figure out how to cut those expenses down. In as much as I wasn’t the one directly paying for any of those things, I knew that those expenses were unnecessary.

The first thing I did was pack lunch from home. I made sandwiches, wraps and all those quick work lunches to avoid spending money on pricey food at work every week. I then had to figure out my transport situation. I discovered that there was a free bus to home from the mall near work. So, I had to adjust my wake up time (which I hated). It is clear that the chances of me ever being a part of the 5 AM club are slim to none. Sorry. I ended up spending about RM 50 a week on transport which was great. Of course, I still used cabs when I woke up after 5 AM but that was acceptable.

Funny story, the first time I used the bus, I was using the map to figure out my stops and I somehow managed to miss my stop one time. I’ve never talked about this (the embarrassment) but I am convinced I ended up in another city. I then had to get a cab back to work which ended up being almost the same amount of money I would have spent, had I used a cab initially.

I must say though, I was never ever late to work. I was always punctual. I hate being late. Also, I learnt that I could still wear jeans or sneakers to work as long as I still looked smart so that was a relief. I’m in the engineering field so obviously dress code is not so “suit and tie” every day. I still wore my formal pants because I spent money on them but I loved that I could wear actual shoes and not the best worst loafers, if I wanted to.

THE ENVIRONMENT

I loved it. People were so nice to me it was sickening. I’m joking. It was not sickening, it was in fact, healing. Everyone was friendly. Everyone wanted me to try their favourite local foods. I’d get to work and sometimes find curry puffs (my fave) waiting for me. People would take me for lunch sometimes so I could try what they liked. I even had a full vegetarian meals once, and in as much as it was tasty, I was not and still am not ready to commit to that lifestyle.

All my fears about being in a place where people made me feel different or where people were mean were all baseless. Going to work was actually interesting. Something I looked forward too. I learnt so much from there.

On my last day at work, they threw me a little farewell lunch which was so nice and I had to give a farewell speech. It was either that or I sing. As much as I know I sound like Beyoncé, no one is ready to hear that part of me so, speech it was. It was so awkward. Maybe it wasn’t but I’m just an awkward person. I almost cried because I hate goodbyes.

I’ll tell you more in the next post.

XX,

Wonani.

Advertisement

4 responses to “Chronicles of an Intern: Dose of Wonani Takeover”

  1. […] Chronicles of an Intern: Dose of Wonani Takeover […]

    Like

  2. I had a smile plastered on my face all through this read. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad!!💛💛

      Like

  3. Wow 😳

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: