By Isabelle Janine Marchand, Year 3, CNM
This summer I interned with Bayer, a German chemical and pharmaceutical company. Not many people are familiar with the company, but if they are everyone will refer to Bayer as “the company who invented ASPIRIN”, the little white pill that treats headaches.
Bayer actually has three sub-groups: health care, material science and crop science. During my internship, I was allocated to the communications division of Bayer CropScience in Japan.
Before I started my internship, I did not care much about the agricultural business and was not aware of its reach and impact. Primarily, I was excited that I had secured an internship in Japan since I have a great interest for the country and its culture. I did not think much about the industry I would be dealing with, which is why the first two weeks I was assigned to read up on the industry and the company itself.
I probably would have been demotivated and disappointed by the fact that I did not actually have to work and write things at the very beginning of my internship. But the communication management classes at CNM have me one important lesson: that the most crucial step in doing public relations is the first step – which is to become an expert in the industry that the company is sited. Otherwise, you will not be able to effectively communicate within the company or with the company’s publics.
My desktop mugging paid off. After learning about the industry and the company’s history, I got to do a diverse range of things – I was part of the organizing team for its 150th anniversary celebration. I wrote speeches for the CEO and was responsible for recording them for all employees across Japan to watch. I had a hand in building the company’s intranet to enhance its internal communication. I got to go on business trips and documented them by shooting photos and writing articles.
My work stint was not always easy, but I managed to tackle all challenges and I believe that what I studied in NUS has helped me in making the best out of my time with Bayer CropScience. Team work, presenting, media tracking, writing speeches and articles, planning and organizing events and creating engaging presentations are all skills I developed during my communication studies at NUS and which were valuable in the real life working environment.
My working experience in Japan showed me that the time we spend in NUS should not just be about studying for the next test or exam. It should be about learning and exploring new things every day. These things will sometimes push us to our limits, but are the very ingredient which will give us a great foundation for the working world that awaits us outside of NUS.