Internship in Kingmaker [Applying my StrengthsFinder Talent Themes]

(This article was written by Gladys, our intern at Kingmaker! Her StrengthsFinder® talent themes makes her a Hands-on, People-Centric Bicultural Practitioner who values challenges and provocative thinking. She is passionate about learning the diversity of cultures.)

Hi all! If you haven’t read the subtitles, I’m Gladys and I have been working at Kingmaker as an intern for the past 7 months. I’m writing this article as a reflection of my journey nearing the end of my 8-month internship, and I hope to share my growth with all of you!

Let me start from how I got this job.

Interning in a Strengths-based Company

Nearing the end of my A levels, I was determined to find an internship for myself in order to better prepare myself for not just the workforce, but also to learn more about mass communications, my university course. While sourcing for an internship, I chanced upon Kingmaker’s recruitment poster, which stated “suitable for mass communications and psychology”.

Both mass communications and psychology were in my field of interest, and obviously, being the action-oriented person that I am, I went for it.

Thinking back about it now, it was truly a hilarious experience; the director of the company contacted me for interview the very next day, but because I went for it so brazenly, I only started reading up on Kingmaker on my way for the interview, and I’m pretty sure that my lack of knowledge and understanding was extremely apparent during the interview.

Despite that, I was notified that I was selected to be an intern for Kingmaker. I was overjoyed; afterall, I did fulfil my goal of finding an internship aligned to my potential university courses.

The first day I entered the company, I was ushered urgently to join in a team meeting, and MY GOODNESS, it was INTENSE. The Kingmaker team were having their yearly discussion and review of their performance in the year, and everyone was fiercely contributing to how the team could improve, voicing out the gaps that need to be filled.

Despite the fact that it was LITERALLY my first time there, my colleagues and the directors were all very open and intentional in including me in the conversation; explaining the situation to me and even asking me for my input.

Until today, their warm welcome still holds true so shoutout to KM for such a tight family!

Using my StrengthsFinder Talent Themes

I entered Kingmaker during their “down” period, basically the best time to develop and refine training curricula. As such, my first assignments were to translate collaterals from English to Chinese, for a corporate workshop in Chinese. Even though the job was a bit tedious, it was a good runway for me to get a better understanding of the company as well as the StrengthsFinder language. And my Input Talent was greatly satisfied – knowing all 34 talent themes during this! Other than the translation work, the bosses made sure I had the opportunity to understudy not just different modules, but also the different styles of training from different trainers.

Thanks to the mass exposure, the learning curve for me as a trainer became less steep. Before I joined Kingmaker, I had no public speaking exposure at all; in Secondary one, I would even blush when the teacher asked me to answer questions in class. Fast forward to today, I had trained classes at different levels, and even spoken in front of cohorts. While I’m still not a natural at public speaking and would still struggle at impromptu speeches, I became much more comfortable standing in front of a crowd, and I am proud of my own development, and I must thank Kingmaker for giving me this opportunity.

Besides training, I also did back-end work, including operational administration and curriculum development.
What do I mean by operational administration? For all the workshops that are conducted, logistics are needed, be it speakers, markers or worksheets. Operational administration simply means that I have to pack and prepare these logistics. While on the surface it might seem like the mundane job that has absolutely no takeaway, it was during the preparing of logistics that I learnt valuable lessons of being detailed and responsible for my projects and logistics. I was also allowed to apply my Restorative Talent, to come up with new and more efficient ways to organize and pack the handouts.

It was also then that I spent long hours talking to my colleagues, bonding and learning to get to know them as individuals (the Individualisation in me is happy!) During my time at Kingmaker, I learnt how to interact with different people, not just as colleagues, but also as friends. Over the course of 8 months, I managed to forge genuine friendships as many of my “senior colleagues” gave me life advices on different things, such as university, finances and even relationship matters.

My bosses, Yeang Cherng and Hee Guan, they taught me a variety of skills, and exposed me to life beyond the education system that I was so used to. They taught me how to manage something that I wasn’t used to having– free time. As a JC kid, I never had free time and was constantly racing to finish as much of my never ending pile of practice papers as possible. Coming into Kingmaker, however, I was introduced to the concept of having your own identity and hobbies, be it volleyball, dance, or even simply just watching dramas.

Besides the invaluable life lessons that I was bestowed upon, I also learnt many things in terms of skills (Yay to Learner!)

For example, as previously mentioned, I was involved in curriculum development. That meant that I was given the liberty to conduct my own research and produce classroom content that were used to teach students. I am very lucky to have the directors of the company to train and coach me personally. They taught me how my choice of words could affect perceptions, and how to choose the most suitable words. They taught me how to organise my content such that information were in bite-size pieces which people could digest. They taught me how to make content interesting, such that I could still retain attention even while delivering content-heavy modules.

Some of the modules that I had worked on include Study Skills with Strengths, Harnessing Media Multi-tasking for Maximum Academic Productivity, Intellectual Property and many more.

One of my personal favorites is Multiple Intelligence. We were to plan classroom activities to help students learn about their multiple intelligence experientially, and we came up with various activities for the differing Multiple Intelligences. The reason why it was so memorable was because I saw my hard work being used and implemented in the classrooms, and seeing the students enjoying the activities gave me a sense of achievement that could not be replaced by anything else in the world.

As an intern, I would be the supposedly lowliest life-form in many other companies. However, in KM, I was given so much opportunity to grow and develop myself. The entire company, be it the directors or my senior colleagues, were concerned over my well-being and growth as an individual. The Strengths-based culture of the KM family really helped me to harness on my talents, and grow and develop as a person.

“The traffic light has 3 different colours–green, yellow, and red. Everyone knows what the red and green are for, but many people often neglect the yellow. While the yellow seemingly does nothing, it is actually the key to ensuring the “go” becoming a “stop” smoothly.”
Loh Wen Wei, Life’s Greatest Lesson 1, 2018

As I continue to transit from teenage-hood to adulthood, I will remember my Kingmaker experience as the runway and guiding light that gave me direction in the face of a confusing intersection of life.

Thank you Kingmaker, for being the best yellow light I can ever ask for.