Challenges of Internship: Looking at the bright side of life

By Nurman Lazim

This is a story of a journey of a 22-year old man, living a corporate life during Ramadan, I would like to share.

Throughout the first week of Ramadan, I started a new life as an intern with Tourism Malaysia, a government tourism agency in Putrajaya. For a beginner, I went through a lot of hardship when starting my internship life, and the hardship doesn’t end after getting a placement in the organisation.

Surviving Ramadan is quite a test for me. I thought even for those who lived for 100 years, they still face hardship during every Ramadan. This article tells about the experience I went through every day during Ramadan as an intern which I found a great lesson for me.

Let me start my story in chronological setting.

For the first week of my internship, I can say that staying awake after Subuh prayer would be really hard for me who used to stay up late in the night in campus studying for exams and doing assignments. Adjusting to biological clock is certainly very diffcult, especially when you only have a few days to adapt to the new setting.

So, the moral of this first week is to always be prepared, don’t study “last-minute” and get a good sleep. Not getting enough sleep will not only affect your sleeping schedule, but it can ruin your mental and physical health. Lack of sleep can lead to diseases and also distract your focus of attention during the day. Those are the things that you don’t really want to be part of your life forever.

During my second week, I learned that internship equals cheap labor. However, this cheap labor doesn’t mean that it brings nothing into your life. During this time, most of the staff are comfortable of giving me the tasks, as compared to the first week when they were still not familiar with me, and that I was also busy with attending briefings and learning a few things from my senior interns and the supervisor.

At first, it is quite fun to be told to do things because you feel that you are contributing to the organisation. However, after moving to the next stage where you realised that they are giving you the task that they themselves won’t want to do it, you start to whine to yourself each time you get a task to do. During this stage, if you do the things half-heartedly, you will fail and you won’t be able to enjoy your internship. This is because you are missing the fact that the officers are building trust on you so that they can involve you in serious business. The lesson learned here is to always look at the bright side of the story and you will find your way to success in life.

Moving on to my third week of internship during Ramadan. It has been three weeks that I have to go back and forth from Shah Alam to Putrajaya, and every time getting back from the office, I get stuck in a long crawl of traffic jam and sometimes it takes around an hour and half being in the car after eight hours of office work.

To make things worse, 3 out of 5 days of working, there’s a road accident happening in the route that I am using to get back to Shah Alam, and at some point, you run out of patience because your body feels tired.

Nevertheless, this is what Ramadan is all about; to train yourself to become a better person. During the first week of getting through the traffic jam, it was hard for me to practice my patience. However, after adapting to the real fact, and comparing myself to Muslims around the world who are suffering worse things in life, what I am facing now is just nothing. Every now and then, I will remind myself to stay cool to whatever happening on the road.

Finally, during the final week of my internship in Ramadan, I felt that all the tasks assigned to me are paying off because my supervisor gives me a week off for Eid Fitri holiday. All of the hardship that I went through, Allah is compensating me with something that is better.

If you have anything that might jeopardise your status as an intern, do keep it to yourself and share it with our beloved Creator, because in everything that he has planned for us, there is wisdom behind it. Other than that, during this holy month, I realised that we have to seize every opportunity to get all the rewards from Allah so that we can permanently become a better Muslim. After all, working is also part of ibadah in Islam.

To sum up, my internship during this holy month of Ramadan has changed me to become a much better person, and a disciplined Muslim too. I can tell myself now that I am ready to face the reality of life out there and to bear all the hardship after completing my four years of study in IIUM. That was the experience that has taught me useful lessons in life. ***

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