Diary of an NUS Museum Intern : Tan Yeeling

Note: Diary of an NUS Museum Intern is a series of blog posts written by our interns about their experiences during the course of their internships. Besides working hard and fast in their cubicles, our interns have travelled to Bandung and Malacca, organised symposiums, waded through tons of historical research and pitched in during exhibition installations. At NUS Museum, each internship is as different from the last. If you would like to become our next intern, visit our internship page for more information!

For the month of January, NUS Museum hosted 5 interns as part of Temasek Junior College's WOW! 2012 Attachment Programme where the students were given the opportunity to engage in real world situations and to provide insights or solutions. Each week, each student will take it in turns to blog about their experience and give us a little glimpse into their world.

Tan Yeeling rounds up the last of the blog posts from our interns from TJC.

As succinctly as I can put it, after one month of seemingly endless MRT rides to Clementi, spending pre-lunch with the usual cries of “I’m hungry. Where shall we go for lunch?” and enduring the unpopular post lunch lassitude with cups of coffee, I am proud to declare that we have finished an entire month of internship at NUS Museum.

My friends have mentioned earlier in their respective blog posts about our tasks for the entire internship and our progress throughout the weeks. To briefly summarize what was required of us, we had to bring an exhibition over to our school: Temasek Junior College, create an itinerary for the “Camping and Tramping” Exhibition, and to create 2 sets of worksheets for the newly set up exhibition “Family Intimacies”. 

We were ideally well paced in our advancements, and even within all the work that had to be done, we still found time to satisfy our hunger with 1 hour lunches, and choose to rewatch Sherlock episodes on our own laptops. What was impressive was the fact that every morning, we would plan out what had to be finished at the end of the day, and despite the occasional procrastinating, we always finished the workload before heading home. In between all of that, there were no strives, no major disagreements, and we always found time to crack a joke or two.

Listening to friends talk about their own internships, we were indeed very lucky to be chosen by the NUS Museum. We were given a reasonable amount of time to finish everything at hand. Unlike our peers, it was neither too little, nor too much. We were never physically drained by our workload, but we always had something that we could start on, or further improve on. And above all that, I am further impressed by our group’s need to treat our projects with dignity. We brainstormed thoroughly for ingenious ideas, instead of choosing the easy way out of doing everything in a slipsloppish and cliché manner. Research was done thoroughly and drafts were constantly revised before any of the prototypes were started.

Personally, I believe what made the internship as meaningful as could be was well beyond the projects and our tasks at hand. It was the physical environment that we had to work with, that reminded us of what to better expect in our own future. The office, lunch hours and people in the office helped us to gain an insight to one of the many possibilities our future working environment could be. An example, yes, the train rides everyday were unanimously something that we agreed was physically draining, but it is a personal reminder that these people that board the trains every morning could be one of us someday. Even little things, like coffee in the afternoon and having conversations with colleagues remind us that despite stepping into a working environment, even with the increasing workloads and never-ending burdens, these things remain an intrinsic part of our lifestyle and we don’t grow out of it even if we fail to realize.

As we close doors to one month of our internship, I know I speak for everyone when I say that it has been a very eventful internship. True, there were no remunerations for our work but it was unnecessary and would have rebuked the necessity of gaining exposure and experience in a working environment which was ultimately the point of the internship. Also, we are grateful to all the help that Michelle, our mentor and all the other people at the office who have gladly welcomed us and helped us in this month. That said, and as a last note, we apologize for our occasional outcries of joy, or simply, incessant longing for food! 


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