If I’m not wrong, I’m the first intern who joined The Social Space’ retail team as part of their school’s graded internship. I’m not very good at being emotional with words (I’m more of a cry-and-hold-back-from-puking person) so this is the best I can do. To be honest, I’ve written plenty of reports and given plenty of presentations about the technical parts of this internship so I won’t bore you with that too. I will however format it like a report because it’ll just look like word vomit if I don’t.
Retail & Marketing Intern
The Social Space
After graduating secondary school, I realised how I had always put on this persona of a girl who knew how to navigate everything. I wanted to be put together and mature and cool and smart and friendly - but it was just never me. In the process of losing the little girl in me, I also lost a great deal of empathy for myself and the world around me. It just felt like I always wanted to be bigger than my body.
It was a shock for many around me when I took a step back and became less of an adult at 18 than I was at 16. But to me, I was finally growing at the same rate my body and heart was. I had space to be immature and let loose a little. I didn’t care what anyone thought of me when I started dyeing my hair every two months or getting new piercings once the old ones healed or dressing up like an avatar from girslgogames.com or collecting figurines of anime boys and little babies. I also talk in run-on sentences the same way I type.
The Social Space - Observations and Learning
You see, everyone (teachers, parents, seniors, etc) will tell you that an internship is like your first step into the “real world” aka the “working world” - your first taste of adulthood, if you will. So obviously, it just felt like I had to go back to where I worked so hard to run away from.
To put it simply, The Social Space was comfortable. I was treated like a 19-year-old who was on an internship. There were expectations that I could comfortably meet, and expectations that I could comfortably struggle with. I had room to make mistakes and learn from them. And most importantly, everyone else had that too.
What I admire so much about The Social Space was that everyone was flawed, and they acknowledged it. You’d be surprised to see how many supervisors and bosses easily lower their head to apologise when they made a mistake. But it’s really because of them that any member of the team could do the same, and that’s what made them so willing to do better together.
I’m most thankful that people talked to me - which is a weird thing to say now that I typed it out, but I really mean it. I always thought that being a mature adult meant being able to survive anything yourself. But I grew to love working alongside others as I spent more time idling around the cafe to start new conversations. It’s hard being honest about the fact that I used to struggle with empathy because that’s basically synonymous to being a bad person, but of all places I’m greatly thankful that it was here that I got to be better - even if its just a little.
Was it always smooth-sailing? No, duh. Some days it feels like the clock is moving at half the usual speed and you’re taking shorter strides to the toilet so you can catch a breather. But that’s just part of the process. That’s the real world - which by the way - is not out there. You’re already here in the real world, because your life should be more than being an adult and working till you drop.
I’m not that different now. I’m rearranging my room so I can display my figurines better and I started planning my avatar outfits and I’m booking a hair appointment soon and I’m still writing run on sentences. But at least this time round, the put together and mature and cool and smart and friendly persona I’m wearing is a little more me.
Rosman, Insyirah. (2023). Intern Blogpost. Google Docs.
Reading the other journal entries, I understand now why you don’t see much about what the work entails but more about the people and the culture of The Social Space. That’s the best kind of balance to strike when you’re in the “real world” - where you can comfortably fulfill your professional tasks in a place that will get you back up if ever you fall.
If you’re ever curious though, here’s some tips:
Hard skills: You’ll learn them
Soft skills: You’ll learn them
Food: Eat them well
Lol, just read the Job Description and ask a lot of questions so you’re not going in blind. You’ll be fine!