At Strengths School, we believe in creating a culture of empowerment for everyone who works with us, in line with our vision of “Seeing every generation live out their full potential.” For this reason, we actively seek out young people with the same heart to equip, nurture, and create transformative Strengths-based cultures within their various spheres of influence. Government initiatives such as Workforce Singapore’s Work Trial Program enables SME’s such as ours to take on interns who resonate with our vision.
The following is an interview with one of our interns, Patricia Chin. Patricia is currently a third-year student of History at Nanyang Technological University. She interned at Strengths School for six weeks at the beginning of 2017. We invited her to share about her experience interning with us.
1. What kind of roles were you exposed to while you were interning at Strengths School?
P: As an intern, I was very privileged to be exposed to many different tasks and roles to support the team. I got to assist and observe in the different Gallup StrengthsFinder workshops that Strengths School conducted. This enabled me to learn from the trainers as they facilitated the workshops. I was exposed to different kinds of workshops ranging from MNCs, government agencies, and schools. I also got to assist in the preparation of training materials and logistics for the workshops.
In addition, I was given opportunities to conduct workshops as a trainer in the Secondary Schools using the Gallup StrengthsExplorer tool, helping students to understand their strengths. The preparation for the workshops taught me to plan and deliver my content to the students and also how to make it a fun and lively session for them. Through this opportunity, I was able to grow my classroom management and engagement skills. It was truly an eye-opening experience to be able to learn on the job and apply all the new skills.
I also had the opportunity to do some content marketing and digital marketing. I learnt how to grow the company’s presence on the Internet. I was also given an opportunity to write an article for Strengths School, which was something I was hoping to do. There were also times when I got to follow Jason and Victor (the founders) to sales pitches and I got to understand what those sales pitches look like.
2. You’ve worked in other places before. What makes Strengths School different?
I got to work in very different fields for my polytechnic internship and have also taken on different part-time jobs as a university student. This internship with Strengths School was something new to me as it was in the training and business consultancy industry.
What I really love about Strengths School is the strong community and team spirit. The mentorship I received from different individuals and the passion within each individual in what they do and their vision for the company builds a very positive and warm environment for work and learning.
Through my short stint with Strengths School, I was very privileged to not only fulfill my role as an intern, but also take away valuable lessons and input from the team during the one-to-one conversations that I had with the different team members. I truly appreciated the deep and honest sharing sessions with different individuals. Their heart of nurturing and passion in impacting lives resonated with me deeply through my time in Strengths School. It made the internship experience much more valuable than I expected it to be.
3. What were a few highlights during the internship? (Share 3 instances.)
I had the opportunity to take on the role of a trainer in the Secondary school cohort workshops. These student workshops are very large scale and we usually train close to 300 students at one go, with two trainers going into each class. I was very glad to be part of the trainers’ team as we took on the challenge of running the cohort workshops. I learnt lots of things through the preparation and execution of these workshops. Through these student workshops, I got to learn about the Gallup Strengths-Explorer profiling tool on a deeper level. I was then able to share this knowledge to the secondary students to encourage them and to help them see that their strengths can help them reach their goals in life.
The second highlight was the opportunity to assist with the various corporate teambuilding and leadership workshops. These helped me understand the Gallup StrengthsFinder tool. Through these workshops, I got to see how the different trainers in the Strengths School team engaged the audience and the various applications of the StrengthsFinder framework to hit business objectives. My exposure to the corporate sector sparked a deeper curiosity to continue learning from the team.
I also enjoyed my day-to-day tasks in the office when I wasn’t out for workshops. I got to try an array of tasks and I saw every single task as an opportunity to contribute to the team as an intern. The roles assigned to me by the different team members also allowed me to understand them better as I assisted them with the tasks. These day-to-day tasks allowed me to learn different things and skills on the job as they were so willing to teach me when I had any questions.
4. After this internship, how would you describe Strengths School to potential interns?
I would definitely say that it helps them not to have any preconceived mindsets about what an intern job entails, as many people often view internships in a less positive light. I’d tell them that as an intern in Strengths School, I was exposed to many different areas that I did not expect. During my internship, I felt free to try out many different tasks and roles. I felt stretched (in a good way) as I took on new responsibilities.
I would also tell them to be flexible and to have an open mind to learn the tasks assigned and projects that they might be involved in. That will help greatly in preparation for what can come their way during the internship stint. An open heart and a deep desire to learn in Strengths School will definitely help them go a long way.
5. Share some of the values you caught during this internship.
Passion – It was truly humbling to be able to work with a team filled with individuals who are so passionate about their work and who use their work to impact lives. Passion drives the team, and that created a very positive environment for me to work and learn in. Each individual’s passion in what they do at work deeply encouraged me to continue to pursue my passion.
Nurture – I was able to catch a glimpse of the team’s nurturing heart through individuals and team conversations where they shared with me their journey, their life experiences, and their job expertise. Their openness and honesty in our conversations were like little seeds of investments in my life to help me understand my role in the company and also to help me understand how I can further enrich my experience as an intern.
6. Through this internship, what did you discover more about yourself?
Before the internship in Strengths School, I did not really have any clues as to what my strengths were, but I've always known that I was a person who could adapt to different working environments quite easily. Picking up new things and skills along the way was not difficult for me. However, this ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ mindset made me think that I was not really good at anything until I learned more about my strengths in this internship.
According to my Gallup StrengthsFinder Top 5 assessment, I have Includer, Connectedness, Empathy, Developer and Belief as my top 5 talent themes. Through what I have learnt during the internship, I was able to identify that a large part of my strengths are in the area of relationship building. I’ve never thought of relationship building as a type of strength. As I learnt more about StrengthsFinder, that helped me to embrace my identity and to own my passion for people. I used to think that this was merely something I enjoyed, but I never knew these were actually strengths that I could tap on. I am thankful that now I can be more confident in who I am and what I am passionate about.
7. How did you use your strengths during this internship?
Since I discovered that my strengths lie largely in relationship building, I was able to tap on my desire to get to know individuals in my work. As a trainer in the strengths workshops, I embraced the opportunities and time I have with the different students. During the workshops, I was able to engage in conversations with the students, helping them to understand their strengths and understand themselves better as individuals.
I also took the chance to develop my friendships with the team members at Strengths School. Through the many one-to-one conversations, or the meal times, I could connect with the team on a more personal basis, making work so much more enjoyable as real relationships are built. Through that, I felt I was able to give my best in all the job tasks.
8. How would you describe the two Strengths School Founders, Jason Ho and Victor Seet?
Jason brings in a lot of fun energy into the workplace. He is not only passionate for StrengthsFinder but he is very passionate about his design work as well. He took time to share with me the principles he employs to do his work, especially in design. I appreciate Jason for the times he offered valuable advice through our conversations. Those conversations helped me to take away so much more than what I expected through this internship.
Victor believes in building up and investing into the lives of others through the things that he does. I value the coaching conversations I had with him. He helped me break down the way I see my strengths and see things that I was not able to see. Despite being new as an intern, Victor, who is great at delegating and assigning roles and responsibilities within the team, entrusted me with several tasks and taught me different principles of work at the same time. He took the time to invest in me during this short 6-week stint, and for that I was very glad to be on the team during those 6 weeks.
Closing Thoughts: Passion is contagious! At Strengths School, we're a tightly-knit team who share a common vision to nurture and develop individuals and impact our various spheres of influence. We're always on the lookout for individuals with the same heart, so if you're interested in joining our team as an intern, contact us and we'll be glad to have a chat with you. We look forward to seeing the full realization of our vision: Seeing every generation live out their full potential!
Written by Tan Meiling
As a Gallup-Certified StrengthsFinder coach, Meiling is passionate about helping people discover their innate potential and celebrating who they are. To that end, she enjoys writing articles and regularly posts on her blog, MeilingTan.com. Meiling is also actively giving StrengthsFinder coaching to individuals and facilitating workshops in Singapore.