Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Always Know What Makes You Productive!

I’m a strong believer that it’s impossible for the majority of youngsters these days to figure out what they want to do with their lives and how they want to live it. Therefore, doing internships is one way to not only discover what you like, but more about what you don’t like.

And I know one thing for sure that I can’t stay in the office for 8 hours per day out of 6 days in one week.

I was admitted to work for a startup in Vietnam as a data analyst intern. My daily responsibilities range from analyzing statistics from the company’s website, getting insights from customer survey, to doing competitive analysis and researching about leads. I work in the office for 3 days per week, and work from home from Thursday to Saturday.

I know what people think by now. “You are an intern, you need to play by your boss’s rules”, or “You are lazy”. Mind you, by saying that I can’t stay in the office for 8 hours per day, I don’t mean I am not working as much as other people do. When I can work from afar, I always work in my favorite coffee shop 8 hours per day, even on Sunday. I find myself much more productive, creative, happy and focused when I can work in an open area. In fact, I could finish the work so early that I decided to also intern for another company in the area of brand building. In this position, I was also allowed to work from home full time and only go to the office for one day in a week to have a meeting with my boss about the work’s progress. I was pretty content with what I was doing because these two areas are always what I want to have experience with, and especially when both of my two bosses respect my working preference.

Again, I could have just stayed in the company, but I know what I like and what I don’t like by then, and I chose to go with my preference because I know it will not only benefit myself, but also for the company that I am working for. I know for sure that I can be 10x times more productive with the work.

It was scary though, indeed, to ask my bosses for this, and I am sure it was the same feeling for everyone to ask for something like that. As always, we automatically follow the general rules even though we are not happy, especially in the workplace. However, I think when it comes to work, we should know how we can be 100% productive and what our strengths and preferences are. It might sound scary in some cases to share your thoughts with your boss, and I can’t deny that not everyone is as accepting and understandable. Nevertheless, it’s not wrong to ask if you feel that there is another way you can contribute more to the company.

I take everything slowly because I want to have a full experience of it as I don’t want to leave without knowing whether I actually love it or not. Therefore, don’t ever be afraid to take any step that you think can help you have better experience with your internship.