During an internship program in British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (BritCham), I obtained the opportunity to be a new member of the BritCham’s events department. BritCham’s events department is responsible for all events and activities of BritCham. Performing as an organizing committee gives the department a vital function in succeeding all events management. Some subjects learned in classes in the previous semesters could be well applied such as Desktop Publishing, Marketing Communications, Presentation Techniques in PR and the practice of networking.
Internship is also a link between education and business and certainly the theory taught in classes is totally different from what is practiced in the working environment. In the involvement in the design process for the events’ “marketing communications”, I could use some of theories gained in classes as practical skill as the theoretical matters are strongly essential for each specific entity required. I could strive new knowledge about designing means of marketing communications for commercial events and activities of a chamber of commerce.
Working with the events department coordinator of BritCham offered me opportunities to improve and develop both personal and professional capabilities, as most Britcham’s events required a good sense of personality, professionalism and hospitality with the members and guests. It is what is called knowledge transfer; from every event management, I learned further how to resolve particular problems appeared unexpectedly, to critically think of some analytical problems as well as how to work in a team when working on the organization’s events.
In the first event – Breakfast Briefing on September 5, at the Financial Club, Jakarta – I was involved in, a lot of new practical knowledge such as “the art of networking’ had been well learned. While, in the second event – Networkers Meeting on September 6, at the Mercantile Athletic Club, Jakarta – I learned about business and networks referrals, and on the Networkers Meeting on October 18, I was given an opportunity to give a one-minute presentation to the members. The intern also had an opportunity to deliver the first presentation project on BritCham Toastmasters Meeting on October 12, at the President Business Institute.
Working with BritChams’ weekly and monthly events offered chances to me to achieve the learning objectives and the scopes of work. Getting involved in some BritCham’s events gave clearer vision of what particular subjects learned in classes that can be applied in practical matters. Besides that, through some events, I captured many practices that will be very helpful for me to use in professional career.
I also had many opportunities to join many BritCham’s networking-event and in fact, all BritCham’s events aim for expanding the network and links. Through those events I could directly practice how to start building a network, maintain the network and handle problems appear when the network is in (communication) crisis. I strongly emphasize on networking part because this is also about Public Relations. I figure out that a PR practitioner should have a very broad network in order to broaden the scope of its work and to ease its jobs if the network is wide and well built.
Furthermore, through networking, I could well practice and improve my public speaking skills ability and interpersonal communication skills, about which I have previously learned in classes. So, definitely, through an internship in BritCham I could put some theories I studied into real practices. Not only that, by designing some flyers, brochures, notices and etc. I could directly use Desktop Publishing – that I learned last semester – into practice and identify which one is better to use.
In addition, working together with BritCham staffs particularly the business manager, events coordinator and sales and marketing officer gave me new outlook and idea of how to work in a national-scale organization. I have learned a lot, in BritCham about applied organizational behaviour all the way through the events organizations (Business Networking and Networkers Meeting), projects (Global B2B and CTIT) and design assignments given. Those gave me not only a glance overview but also deep knowledge to polish myself as a future PR practitioner.
Networking activities of BritCham’s events certainly opened the door for me to verify that a person to another can get connected through a third party or even from somebody that we never knew before. To sum up, what I benefited the most from a two-month internship in BritCham is the advantage of networking activities. Another point to consider is to create an integrated network database for the benefit and the ease of BritCham when searching for particular link to support some BritCham events in the coming future.
During the internship program in British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (BritCham) Business Centre, Jakarta, I learned a numerous new thing like organizational behaviour: organizational culture, organizational communications as well as the value of work routine, working relationship with BritCham staffs, interpersonal and non-verbal communication skills, events organizations, public speaking, networking, leadership characteristics, motivation, compliance to accept everyday jobs and sustaining overall performance.
Organizational behaviour is about how to understand BrtiCham’s whole scope of work as a foreign chamber of commerce. I have learned how an organization’s works and activities differ from a corporation in terms of behaviour and culture. I have integrated this into an organizational communication concept.
The value of work routine is another point I learned that the day-to-day work is somewhat offered an insight experience of how to handle a daily routine and regular events that are organized weekly and monthly.
Working relationship with nine other staffs is another aspect to consider as BritCham has a small team in its business centre with high activity load, I learned that I should work fast and smart and independently and sometime not under supervision.
Another point learned is interpersonal and non-verbal communication skills. Being a new member of BritCham Events Department requires good oral communication skills when talking with members and guests of some events, besides non-verbal communication skills in writing articles and press releases of the events.
Other important points to learn are events organizations, public speaking and networking. During the involvement in BritCham events, I learned a lot about events organizations, which required high self-dedication. To work with events coordinator also entails good public speaking and networking skills, besides ability to design some promotional tools like brochures.
Motivation, compliance to accept everyday assignments and sustaining overall performance are other points to learn when interning in BritCham. I designed almost all of the events notices and some advertisements as well as using personal creativity to make design layouts and settings.
Finally, I also learned organizational leadership characteristics in BritCham how they handle particular organizational situations and conditions.