A Reflection on My Summer Associate Program during COVID-19

Rex Ericson Bamba | MBA Class of 2021 | Student Experience

I came with a lot of hope, full of life and excitement but the reality was a hard take on what it is really out there. I was fortunate to get a chance to work in Khazanah Nasional’s (the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia) headquarters despite the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) during the summer of 2020.

I always told myself that I am one of the lucky ones to be given the opportunity and be immersed in a new workplace environment where the #newnormal was to be working from home. I am a person who is a half-glass empty but for some reason, I made a conscious effort to put myself out there and be more open to things and take on what is given to me with much enthusiasm and rigor. The harsh reality is that even in your best days, there is something that is going to go wrong. But that’s what I love about being placed in a real-life scenario because with that, I was able to think on my feet, pivot, and shift my strategies in order to make things work despite the roadblocks being thrown at me.

There was one day that I just felt I was about to give up. I was expecting an important internal document that I needed for my project, and it turned out that the information inside the report is too sensitive to be shared. I was feeling absolutely lost and becoming extremely nervous. I had to think quickly and make adjustments so I can make my project work. With the #SharpXSmart skills that have been instilled in us at #ASB, I was able to work out with the team to get more data points without breaching their stringent confidentiality protocols, and in the end, I was able to pull through.

 

 

Overall, these are the three things that I have gained from my SAP experience:

 

1. When the going gets tough, don’t be held back; rather, conquer it.

At the end of the day, what is important is the journey and not the destination. If you have poured yourself into a difficult situation and solved it, you have already won. Even the results you wanted are not the ones who expected, at least you were able to make do of whatever has landed in your lap. Sometimes, you would be surprised that the results are even better than what you initially thought they would be.

 

2. Never take no for an answer.

I had a difficult time doing this, but it was the only way I could complete my project. I was able to conquer my inner saboteur and just powered through it, and I made sure I get what I needed. And guess what, I was able to collaborate with my project stakeholders to provide me the tools to finish my project.

 

3. Be vulnerable – it is not a sign of weakness.

We always paint a person of strong stature as someone who never folds and never shows a sign of vulnerability, but I beg to differ. There is so much you learn about yourself when you let it feel the emotions and muster them to be a better and bigger person. It is never a sign of weakness to show your flaws, for I believe there is strength in being vulnerable.

This article was originally posted by Rex Ericson Bamba’s on LinkedIn. View his LinkedIn profile here.