Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#InternLyfe at Unilever Indonesia

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you don't stop - Confucius

I live with that quotes for the last 5 years. It reminds me to make peace with failure and to keep moving on....just keep swimming, dory said. At first, I thought accepting the offer to work as intern in Unilever Indonesia was a step back. I mean....when almost everyone that I know already got a job as staff, I work as intern! But thanks to that quote, I gained my confidence and never regret the decision I made to work as intern in the biggest FMCG in Indonesia.

HR Indonesia Team with Unilever CHRO, Leena Nair

Before telling you about my #internlyfe in Unilever, let me start with the story on how did I become intern for Unilever Indonesia.

It all started when I didn't pass Unilever Future Leader Program's (UFLP), management trainee of Unilever, assessment center, which is the last stage of the selection. I was disappointed and decided to believe that this company isn't for me. Few weeks after the last stage of UFLP, I got call from Pak Hidayat, from recruitment team, and he asked whether I want to work as intern for HR division or not and had interview session with the user. At that time, I was grateful because finally what i believe was wrong, but confuse at the same time since I already on process with a capital venture company. But then, I said yes to the interview offer and went to Graha Unilever (was in Gatot Subroto before move to BSD) to meet my user to get to know what i'm gonna do as intern. The interview went well and i felt that this might be a great opportunity and such a good deal. But, I was afraid to say yes to the offer because my user, Mbak Asrining Tyas, told me that i'm gonna work as intern for HR Business Partnering (HRBP) for finance...i mean....i have no idea about finance! So I told her that I need time to think while waiting for the other company's interview result.

Well, I think you already know the answer to the offer, right? Yep, I said 'yes' and started working on December 1st 2016 until May 31st 2017, which is today :") Why I took the offer? At first, I said to myself that i can't do this job, i have no clue about finance, someone said to me that i may not belong to Unilever's HRD and i believed it. Then, I remember an answer from Pak Nanang Chalid, HRBP Director for CD and Corporate Function during UFLP assessment center. He said that Unilever believe that he actually can do something when he believed that he can't. So, i took that chances to change 'can not' into 'can' with Unilever Indonesia. Other than that, I already discussed with my cousin, my mom, and my boyfriend about the offer and they persuaded me to take the i did.

HRBP CD and Corporate Function Team Dinner

My main responsibility during internship was to help HRBP corporate function (Finance, HR, and IT) team on managing talent, helping our business partner to develop through some activities (e.g. training), and create a platform to keep the continuity of the good culture in finance . Even-though my title is HRBP for Corporate Function, my focus during the internship was mainly for finance function, so I interacted quite a lot with finance team. How about my fear on handling finance? It just disappeared because my line manager, mbak Vania Callista (replacement for mbak Tyas since she had maternity leave for 6 months) and all finance people that I interacted with, help me a lot. I may not have full understanding of the process in finance, but at least I can understand their culture and some financial terms. Beside my main project, I also involved in other projects, one of them was Unilever Internship Leadership Program (ULIP) day, where all the interns in Unilever organized music session during lunch time for all unilever employee.

Unilever Interns

Yes, I wasnt the only intern in the company. There are around 20ish interns, from different education background and work in different function in Unilever. At first I joined Unilever, there're 4 of HR intern: Myself, Della from UI, Boban from Brawijaya, and Ryan from Unpad. Then, weeks after I joined the company, I met Raga from Unpar and Ando from UGM. And about a month ago, I met Angela from Malaysia .They are my closest friends during internship program, since we work in the same function and sit not too far from each other. I also close with Noni, she's from UI and worked as intern from communication division and sit not too far from HR department. We love to hang out together, especially during lunch time, where all intern have the benefit to enjoy lunch from the canteen for free!

I had a lot of ups and some downs throughout the program. I still remember that I had hard time adapting with the new environment since I believed that i didnt fit with HR...I was afraid to meet new people because i didnt want to make a mistake...I was afraid to ask and pretended that I can do it by myself. (In fact, i got sick on my first week of internship and got help from Unilever Clinics).

Then, having weekly catch up with Mbak Vania Callista, my line manager for the last 6 months, help me a lot. Not only catching up on the projects, we also discussed about my career, my personality, my fear, and food! She helped me a lot to discover what I want in life, what I have to do for my future. She's my line manager and also feels like she's my sister. I always remember her advice: Don't be afraid to ask, don't hesitate to move...because when the fear and hesitation stopping you, you won't improve. I am so grateful to have her as my boss, as someone who listen to me and facilitate me to be the better version of myself through some cool assignments. She's one of the best teacher that I have.

As I mentioned before, I had a lot of ups too! The first ups was having the opportunity to be a buddy for Soe from Thailand. She's UFLP from Unilever Thailand and we live in the same building, so Pak Nanang assigned me to be her buddy during my internship. We loved to walk from our apartment to office (it's only 1KM away) during the first two weeks after she arrived in Indonesia. After that? She's my uber/go-car buddy :p. FYI, I always want to have friends from all around the world (that's why I started penpal-ing) and the opportunity to be Soe's buddy was making me superb happy! Another ups that I had was when I got a chance to visit  Unilever Learning Center in Mega Mendung to help U-Finance Camp, where I can meet a lot of inspiring university students + fresh graduates who have the same dream with me: working for Unilever Indonesia. I was so excited to see how Finance in Unilever select their future leader during the event. I also had a chance to join 7 Habits for Highly Effective People Training for two days, where I organized the event with Learning Team. The latest Ups that I have was to participate in a Town Hall with Leena Nair, the CHRO of Unilever Global last Friday! I won't have those cool experiences if I said no to Unilever back then :)

If I followed my doubt, followed the ideal life of fresh grad, I might not be who I am right now. You may think that my decision of taking one step back to work as intern is crazy and definitely wrong. But from my experiences, nothing wrong with taking a step back. Taking one step back means we got a chance to reflect our life, review our capability, and seek for the opportunity to improve our self, personally and professionally. For me, accepting the offer to be Unilever Indonesia's intern is a great chance for to taste the water before deep dive into the ocean, a chance for me to explore what I want for my career, what I want in life.

For that, I would like to thank Unilever Indonesia for the great opportunity, especially to HR team and Finance team who help me and taught me a lot for the last six months. I'm definitely gonna miss my #InternLyfe in Unilever Indonesia so much. Hopefully, one day, I can come back and work for this great company again...not as intern :p

So dearest fresh graduates, don't be afraid to take may not know what future will bring. Of course we have to be selective when we decide to take internship after we graduate, but whatever decision you take, be responsible with it and always look for the bright side.

What I'm gonna do next? Let's explore more!