The Changemaker Talent Development Programme (CTDP) is Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka’s flagship trainee programme, aimed at nurturing talent with real-world experiences and opportunities to create impact solutions. The team checked in with Natalia Shahrilnazim, a Human Resource Intern at Biji-biji Initiative, to find out about Natalia’s experience.
Hello! My name is Natalia Shahrilnazim.
- I am a Human Resource Intern at Biji-biji Initiative, and I have been working with the organisation for three months.
- I have just graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and I have always been fascinated in understanding about the personal development of individuals and what drives them to do better as a motivational factor in a workplace.
- I am an avid reader of mystery thrillers, and I have a grey cat named Luna. My go-to genre for movies is animation, and I love all things Nintendo.
What are the learning experiences that you have encountered working with Biji-biji Initiative?
I started my internship amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2021, when the organisation implemented a work-from-home policy for all employees. I was curious at first: how will they execute their work entirely from home, and how well will they communicate with the team when everyone is working from home?
What I have learned is that Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka have made working from home a breeze, and I still feel connected to my team, although some of us work from different locations and countries.
I was introduced to several organisation software and platforms along with communication tools to connect with other employees behind our computer screens. The software and platforms were new and foreign for me, but I was able to catch up on them within a week, and I felt a sense of accomplishment while doing so.
Other than that, I was also exposed to what it was like to work in Human Resources. As I gained opportunities to collaborate with other teams on recruitment, branding and marketing, I developed friendships with other team members too!
Apart from that, I handle the recruitment side of things, from shortlisting candidates, to onboarding and to exit surveys. It has been a great experience working with the hiring managers and candidates as I get to understand their requirements and their perspectives as different individuals.
The Best Internship Experience
Working with Biji-biji Initiative for almost three months has made me truly appreciate the mission and values of the organisation . I was exposed to the world of sustainability, social innovation, and the circular economy. The team is career-driven, empowering, and hardworking while still making time to attend weekly meetings and huddles to catch up and spend time together.
The family culture at Biji-biji and Me.reka has been great, and we have bonded over small things. We even have online monthly meetings to commemorate our monthly achievements with an award ceremony via Zoom with everyone in the organisation. Working with Biji-biji Initiative has been fun, impactful, and enlightening.
Interns in the organisation also play an essential role in the organisation. Our voices, opinions, and feedback are always acknowledged. We have weekly huddles with other interns, as well as one-on-one sessions as part of our monthly checkup – the family culture has been tremendous, and we are all treated equally.
What are the challenges and opportunities that you have gained?
I may be considered as a person who is more introverted. Especially during the global pandemic, it seems that my social skills have been deteriorating as we don’t often interact physically with others. When I first started working with the organisation , it was a massive leap for me as the people are so welcoming and supportive, and I was often quiet. But my supervisor and my colleagues have been supportive and encouraged me to interact and share more ideas. Now here I am, onto my third month, and I am moderating onboarding sessions with new hires every week. Who would have thought that someone as shy as I am can now handle an onboarding session with a bunch of strangers on my own? Even my friends and family were surprised.
I am about halfway through my CTDP internship with Biji-biji Initiative, and I can confidently say that working here has been insightful thus far. I love how working with the organisation as an intern is not just getting side tasks or just handing handovers from the team; I get to experience working independently and proactively with other departments and handling tasks of my own.
I feel like a real-working adult in this organisation, and I have built a sense of trust and confidence with my supervisor as she believes that I am able to handle these tasks, but is also always there to guide me when I require help.
For me, working with Biji-biji Initiative is not just a regular internship. We were given a chance to build a friendship with the team, our supervisors, and other interns, having weekly huddles with everyone in the organisation, and I was given the opportunity to work independently with my tasks; what are the chances of getting all of that working as an intern in an organisation?
With this opportunity, it has made me more responsible, self-determined, and empowered.
Do you have any advice for other CTDP fellows?
#1: It is okay to make mistakes, but make sure to understand and learn from them.
#2: Remember that tomorrow will always be better than today, because you will get the chance to do better, so make the best out of it.
#3: If there are times when things get overwhelming, remember to breathe and work on them one at a time.
Connect with Natalia Shahrilnazim on LinkedIn here.