Ashland Singapore - Darcy Le
Darcy Le was in her third year of her Bachelor of Commerce (International Business) and Bachelor of Science double degree when she decided to enrol in FOBE300 and complete an internship overseas. An opportunity arose for her and another student to spend 18 days (80 hours) working for a global company in their Singapore head office.
Darcy and her co-intern were placed in the Marketing Division of Ashland, specifically the "specialty ingredients" team, with a focus on home-care ingredients. Their project was to develop a marketing strategy for the Asia-Pacific region for home-care ingredients.
On return from her internship, we invited Darcy to share her experience and thoughts with us…
Q. What was your specific role in the project team?
A. Within the team, my area of the project was to conduct competitor analysis, and collect data to understand the current market situation, and use Excel to create statistical market models. At the end of our project, we had to present our research and report on the marketing strategy recommendations to the Marketing Director.
Q. How did your internship experience compare to traditional university studies?
A. Through my internship I was able to take the theory I had learned and put it into practice. I was able to see a clear application of the theories we studied. The internship also gave me a very different experience in learning about the different culture,and working in a team environment. I had to learn to work alongside other personalities, and put any personal differences aside.
Q. What skills did you develop during your internship?
A. I learned how to conduct research, collect data, and then analyse the information and develop it into a presentation for the Director.Working in a cross-cultural environment provided me with the opportunity to learn how cultures and work practices can vary. The marketing team had a large diversity of backgrounds and personalities. I learned new software programs used in the industry for data modelling, and improved my time management skills as I had to meet set deadlines.
Q. What were the greatest challenges for you?
A. I found it challenging at first to go into an industry I had no knowledge or experience in [home-care ingredients]. Having a team of diverse backgrounds also presented some challenges at first, with different cultures and accents, as well as working with some personalities that could be difficult, but I was able to put that aside and work professionally with them.
Q. Looking back at your experience, how has it impacted your studies and future aspirations?
A. Conducting the competitor analysis, I began to realise that one of my strengths is in analysing data and working in a fast-paced environment. I developed a passion for learning about the innovative brands,and also really enjoyed learning about some of the chemistry innovation. It was great to be able to experience living overseas, the different lifestyles,prices, and cultures.
Q. If you could give any advice to a student considering doing an international internship, what would you say?
A. Don't hold back; take the challenge! Cultivate your time;you will never get the time back. Take the opportunity.
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