From Intern to Inspired: My Unforgettable Journey at HYC

Hello! I’m Audwin, just an average student and I came to HYC with a couple of others from a program introduced by my school which I am grateful to be part of. There were multiple choices but I’ve chosen HYC and the name sounded more intriguing since we (or well, at least for me) don’t see the word humanistic or youth center everyday.

Overall, it just seemed like the more interesting one since I thought I was able to work with other youths. It was also a great opportunity to find out more about Tzu Chi since it’s not widely known. The program lasted for around 8 days which flashed through.

At first, I was uncertain and slightly nervous as I thought that it was just an ordinary experience with strict supervisors and job roles. However, it was completely different. The staff members weren’t those fierce, demanding or intimidating ones like you’ll think. They were warm, welcoming and were there when you needed them which made me feel I could be my true self and to look forward coming to work everyday. As “interns”, it was quite ad hoc as we didn’t have a specific job scope and only helped out when needed. We ranged from moving furniture around, interacting with children (in the Kidz Hideout program) to designing posters. In particular, we were quite fortunate to be able to make it for HYC’s 4th anniversary, so, for preparations work, we designed coupons, vouchers, posters to promote the workshops and events that’ll be held on the day. It was a blast on the anniversary with lots of people flowing in, indulging in the workshops and activities planned, leaving the center with a smiley face that made me feel contented too!

Discussing Instagram content with the team.

Besides, we were also tasked to create Instagram content which was a fun process involving lots of brainstorming, picture taking and edits. This was a rare opportunity for us (as students) since we wouldn’t be able to promote any brands this oftenly. It was also a rewarding experience as it allowed us to gain more insights on how a company does their branding through social media platforms and was also able to provide a clearer idea for us to know if this is a possible career path we would like to pursue. We were also lucky enough to join the monthly staff pilate session where everyone was together stretching, hanging on the hammocks. At some point, it was challenging as it required us to fully leave the ground, hanging on the hammock and turning upside down which most of us weren’t confident in. However, everyone was so encouraging and eventually, most of us could actually perform it well! (although I was worried that the hammock would tear)

Throughout the whole “internship”, it was lots of personal growth as I found myself being able to pick up lots of skills. Particularly, teamwork. For example, in HYC, everyone is so well coordinated together that makes operations flow smoothly and when a task is given to us, we would naturally split the work so that no one is on their own or overly worked and the task was able to able to be finished quickly with the top most quality with each other’s time and effort. Additionally, I also find myself being not that introverted nowadays, the people at HYC were truly warm, open, encouraging and the hospitality which influenced me to be more self confident to express my thoughts and step out of my comfort zone. 

To end off, the food here (Slow Bakes, Real Food) is absolutely amazing, it’s not so green-ish (but they do offer it if you prefer it) like how you would think a vegetarian dish would be, the butter kaya with chocolate bread and the broccoli pizza was unexpectedly palatable too, it may look and sound weird but it’s something out of the world. On a serious note, though it was a short one, working at HYC was frankly an enjoyable one with lots of laughter everyday in the office and I do hope to work at HYC as a staff member impacting other youths positively eventually in the future. Tolong ah! 😉

Real Food restaurant, the food is amazing!

This blog is by a student from Naval Base Secondary School in collaboration with the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre for the World of Work Programme, which enables students to shadow professionals and acquire practical work experience.

Writer: Audwin Ong