I started my internship in the midst of Singapore’s circuit breaker. Offices had to close, and everyone had to transit into a purely work from home environment. During this strange period, I joined foodpanda as a content intern. The internship lasted for 3 months, through the circuit breaker, so it ended up being a virtual one, which was a definitely interesting experience.
Despite the new set up, the internship was an enriching experience, and the foodpanda team is one that is open, kind, and helpful. There are opportunities to learn and grow at every corner.
I spoke to two of my fellow interns, Cheryl-Ann, a HR intern, and Benedict, a business intelligence intern, and we shared about our experiences working in foodpanda.
Best things about foodpanda
To me, the best thing about my internship experience at foodpanda is the people. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming from day one. It was also very helpful and kind that I had an internship buddy to help me along the way. There were many fun virtual activities that were held, from virtual lunches when there were new hires, to the string of activities during wellness week, that included streamed HIIT classes and nutrition talks. Other than that, I learnt a lot about employer branding, which was something that I wasn’t very familiar with. I had the opportunity to try many new things, from analysing social media posts to writing blog posts such as this.
To Cheryl, her experience with foodpanda was incredible, from the people, to the work that she did. As interns, we were all given responsibilities and the autonomy to make decisions and initiate changes. There is the freedom to express ourselves and we are given chances to add value to the company. She felt valued by foodpanda, and found the work environment to be a safe space for growth and contribution. She managed to work and create a HR portal from scratch together with her colleague. It was a rather big project and she learnt a lot during the whole experience.
Benedict had similar sentiments. He was given the opportunity to take on various responsibilities and roles, and he felt lucky to have a wonderful direct manager. He was given the opportunity to build a dashboard for his role and he was exposed to many other departments and knowledge.He was also given the opportunity to tackle certain tasks that weren’t exactly part of his job scope. And of course, one could never forget the $20 perk that we are given every thursday.
What was it like to have a virtual internship?
A virtual internship meant that travelling time is drastically cut short – from a potential two hour commute back and forth, it has reduced to a mere 1 minute walk from my bed to my desk. But it also meant that I spent the days alone, without the physical presence of colleagues. The lack of physical presence was strange for me, as I usually need to bounce ideas of people, or rely on the presence of others to generate ideas. But we still had ample access to help, guidance and opportunities.
To Benedict, the WFH situation was not a hindrance at all, although he did find that sometimes there could be some instances of miscommunication and misunderstanding. At the beginning, he would have daily calls with his manager at 2 pm to sort out any issues that he might have.
Cheryl, like me, found the whole virtual set up a little strange at the beginning, and we were slightly disappointed as we were both looking forward to being in an office environment. But foodpanda was very kind, and careful in giving us ample support and opportunities. The virtual nature of work made her a more effective communicator, and taught her clear lines of communication.
Any advice for future interns?
Ella: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and voice your opinions. There are lots of opportunities, and don’t be afraid to ask to try out new things!
Cheryl: Come with an open mind and learn as much as possible, never be afraid to ask questions – your colleagues are always willing to help, and build relationships with the people around you – you never know when an opportunity will present itself.
Benedict: Be proactive, ask questions about tasks, and anything else that you want to help with, and do, ask questions about other departments too.
foodpanda is dynamic, fluid, and has many opportunities for interns to grow, and learn. During the entire internship, it never felt like we were forgotten, and our managers were all very concerned about what we can learn, and learnt. They are all willing to help us and guide us through any problems, issues, and questions. The virtual internship is indeed, as Cheryl puts it, an internship to remember.