We sat down for an interview with Katrina Lee to learn more about her experience of working here at The Water Agency (TWA) / Myanmar Water Portal (MWP) in Yangon, Myanmar as her stint is coming to an end soon.

Could you share with us more about yourself?

Hi, my name is Katrina Lee and I am going into my second year of Business Administration at National University of Singapore in a month's time. Right now, I am in my final week of a 8-week long marketing internship in TWA / MWP and I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.

How did I get an internship with TWA / MWP?

Around April of this year, I decided I wanted to do an internship at a start-up over the summer. I wanted to get some real-life experience in an area relevant to my course and work outside of Singapore, so I decided to source for overseas internship opportunities through AIESEC. AIESEC is the world's largest youth-run organization that offers a Global Entrepreneurship Programme at start-ups in 126 countries from 6 to 78 weeks. Through the AIESEC website, I found and applied for the 8-week Marketing internship opportunity at TWA / MWP in Yangon, Myanmar.

Why I wanted to do an internship with TWA / MWP?

I found that the internship's role description and main activities suited my capabilities and interest. Seeing that TWA operates in 5 global water hubs and had a network of local and international companies and organizations, I wanted to step out of my comfort zone to gain more global exposure through working in a new environment with a young dynamic international team that comes from many diverse cultures and countries. I would like to make a positive impact on the work I do, so TWA's vision and mission aligned strongly with what I believe in, to address the region's most pressing water issues.

How did you feel when you found out you got the internship? Has the feeling changed?

It was quite surreal for me as the whole application and interview process went pretty fast and smoothly. I had a few pleasant conversations with the managing partners of TWA where I got to learn more about the company and job scope, and also at the same time contribute ideas and suggestions for improvement. I had a clear idea of what my responsibilities were so I was pretty excited to start work. Looking back at what I have contributed, everything worked out the way it did. Hence, my feeling now is pretty similar to how I felt when I was notified about my internship. Working here has really surpassed my expectations.

What was the most surprising thing about working here?

I was really impressed with the people. I was always made to feel very welcomed and a part of the team even before I start work and continued through my internship. The people around me were always genuinely interested in who I was and how they could help develop me. Before I started work, I was invited to join a few company skype meeting where I was introduced to the team and learnt more about what each person was doing. There was a flat hierarchy structure and open culture where I could share my feedback, suggestions and ideas easily with my colleagues and top management in which they welcome and hear my opinions. Hence, change gets implemented quickly and I could measure the success of what I implemented.

A Company Outing After Work With The TWA / MWP Team

What were some struggles you faced?

One of the biggest struggles I faced was doubting whether my abilities can match up to the work that I was assigned. As an intern, my technical knowledge about my assigned work was not very high. I was doing a lot of marketing tasks I had never done before, using software and tools I have not tried, and had to understand terminology and concepts I had never learnt. Everything moved really fast so at times, it seemed hard to keep up. I was hoping to find ways to contribute and add value. Fortunately, I had some great colleagues around me and mentors assigned to me, so I was able to seek their help and feedback for the tasks I was given. I also took the initiative to research online resources to learn more on how to do certain tasks and use certain software.

What kind of projects did you work on?

I was assigned to help in Marketing for Myanmar Water Portal mainly. Some of the activities I did was collecting and organising market information about Myanmar water projects, programs and events, strategic networking which includes building relationships with the water community in Myanmar such as government, private sector, universities, communications which includes publishing regular content for the portal, monthly newsletters, and social media page. I also supported the organisation of events in Myanmar such as the communications training.

I developed a snapshot which analysed the unique selling propositions, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the portal's website and social media pages, and identified a few practical recommendations to implement. I designed a statistics dashboard for the Portal with a few key performance indicators. I also developed a plan to improve the portals SEO by setting a baseline and targets. I also created a proposed membership package with commercial propositions for MWP partners.

A Typical Day At Work In The Office With The TWA / MWP Team

What skills did you have to learn to keep up?

As a huge part of my job scope involved marketing analytics, I had to develop my analytical and technical skills when learning how to use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to analyse the monthly website performance, Mailchimp reports to analyse the monthly newsletter performance as well as Facebook Insights, Twitter Insights and Youtube Analytics to analyse the monthly social media page performance respectively. I also had to develop my designing, writing, and creativity skills to create infographics, new monthly newsletter logos, marketing campaign posters, and videos.

You're working on some remarkable stuff. If you had to do it over again, what would you change?

I would probably ask more questions and contribute more suggestions during company meetings. Working here has changed my outlook as it made realise how much I still have to learn. I am pretty excited to continue to learn so that I can develop myself further and thrive in the types of situations and tasks I will find myself being in charge of in Marketing.

Any advice you will give to interested applicants?

It will be a productive and meaningful time working here as you will be more than just an intern. With the wide variety of tasks given, you will get the opportunity to apply your creativity skills in creating regular items on water affairs in Myanmar, as well as apply your analytical skills for the company's website and social media pages. It is such an incredible opportunity to network and just gets to know more people inside and outside the company. All in all, my internship in TWA / MWP thus far has been fantastic, and I recommend others to apply here as well.

Thanks for all the valuable contributions you have made towards TWA and MWP, Katrina! We wish you all the very best and good luck for your future endeavours.