Be more creative than the people who work there already. Give them ideas!
Name: Rahma Al-Oballi
Course: BSc International Business and Management
Placement Position: Marketing Placement
Location: Zain, Amman, Jordan
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and new year. I know it may have been hard to enjoy it since exams were going on. Hope your exams went well!
I just finished my holiday. It was really hard on the first week to get back into my work routine, but I am getting there…patiently and slowly. Now I understand why people say after a vacation I need another vacation. 😉
Let’s not make it long, and go straight to my 4th blog.
I feel that I have grown personally by developing my skills, improving my career through life lessons from work (meetings, people with experience, tasks, solving issues) and social life. These things have helped develop my personality, confidence and awareness. As a consequence, my perception of life has also changed. I came to work with goals to achieve, but some have now changed and also some new goals have been added. I am working hard to achieve all of them!
My wish came true! Now I no longer feel like an intern at my current job, but I feel like a proper team member with a permanent contract. In addition, my responsibilities at work day after day are improving, and I am meeting people who are higher in the hierarchy (Directors and managers) on weekly basis. This has allowed me the opportunity to learn how smart decisions are made – by thinking smart, acting smart and speaking smart.
I really cannot wait to graduate and find a professional job. I may even come back to this same company, as I have had an offer to come back after graduation and work with a permanent contract.
Comparing myself from my first day at work to now, a lot has changed. For example, confidence, fear, awareness, communication, responsibilities, given tasks… and much more! Everything has changed for the better. In addition, my social relations at work have also improved, and now I know more people at work and I know how to handle a task and an issue with the related team. Since the first day my tasks and responsibilities are becoming challenging as I am learning many new things whether they are system related, handling issues, decision making, reporting, analyzing and much more. All of this has developed my skills and allowed me to witness many things that I could avoid in my future professional work. For example, my life style has completely changed. I am a more sociable person, I can communicate with confidence, and I can handle meetings (which are usually the hardest) because I got the opportunity to fit myself into the company and country culture.
Thinking that I will be finishing my work in few months is making me sad, as I will be losing another family that was my support and encouragement to survive in my first few days to become the person who I am now.
My advice to second year students who did not secure a placement yet: make that move, apply for that job, don’t be afraid of rejection, failure or struggle. There is no shame in trying. Live, learn and grow through every risk you take towards fulfilment.
# Advice 1 – You choose the person that you want to be.
We wish, we hope and we dream. These dreams will come true once we are working hard and dedicatedly to achieve our goals.
# Advice 2- Perfect practice makes you perfect!
Always remember this; the fact you are a trainee does not mean you are different from an experienced employee. You just lack some skills and confidence, so these need practice to be enhanced through joy and passion! Therefore, practice, practice, and practice.
It has been 5 months since I started work at Zain Jordan, and now I am completely capable at what I do. I am experienced in handling any difficulties and issues that arise at work independently, and solving other people’s issues makes me happy. Throughout my placement I am developing personally and learning about my weaknesses. I have realized that I am actually an introvert person who finds communication hard, but that does not mean that I am not working efficiently or that my supervisor is not satisfied. As they see me trying they are getting more satisfied each day and trusting me with extra responsibilities. Talking about this; GUESS WHAT?! My supervisor is giving me the opportunity now to make roll-outs and concepts on welcoming new products to the market. Usually a team leader or product owner would be launching a new product. Today I am getting the opportunity to launch a product so I no longer feel that I am treated as a trainee but like an employee. Yeah!
# Advice 3 – Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change
Comparing my self today with my first day…
Today I feel I am part of Zain, in other words… Zain is my family. On my first day, I felt like I was completely different and out of my comfort zone since I lacked the culture and traditions. With due respect to their culture, it took time to be part of the flow.
One of the things that I have enjoyed most and has kept me motivated is the recognition I receive. I really like the appreciation that I get once I solve an issue or the support that is given from other members and colleagues. Something else that keeps me motivated is the fact my supervisor is happy that I do things before I get told. Being eager at work gives my supervisor the opportunity to be proud!
# Advice 4 – Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and practice new skills
Through my placement I have had plenty of adventures and learnt lots. Going to a completely new place without a guardian was hard, and still is! Actually, it has changed me as a person. I feel that I am more experienced than before, and more responsible. I have learned the meaning of skills I use day after day. For example, ‘communication’. Jin Rohn once said “take advantage of every opportunity to learn and practice your communication skill, so when an occasion arises, you will have the gift and the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people”. However, I would say not only communication but every skill.
My advice to you: You have time to calm down, relax and focus on your exams and assignments now. Sit with your friends who completed their interviews, check the kind of questions that are asked. If you have an interview coming any time soon, please read about the company that you have applied for. For example, who it was started by (and when), what does it do (products, aim, vision), where it started, and has it ever been re-branded.
Good luck! You can do it! Trust yourself.
Seriously! Placement is an absolutely amazing thing that has helped me to find myself and know what I want to do in the future. Besides that, it has changed my way of thinking not only to think traditionally like books and theories.
Once I was advised that people are different so they should be approached in different ways. To be honest with you, I was like come on NO WAY! We are living in a globalized world; there is no difference between what could attract an American from British or an Arab. Relatively speaking, after placement and the appliance of wisdom to reality, I witnessed a difference between individuals not only country level. Societies are like a salad bowl; a mixture of different individuals all with their own needs and ways of thinking, even if they share the same background, tradition, culture and religion.
To date, through my experience at Zain, I have learned that knowledge can only be studied, but wisdom is acquired through observation and real practice. Not just that! Also, I have learned how to be connected with others, not just my supervisor and my manager but other colleagues too. This has helped me to distinguish myself at work and develop my communication, confidence and teamwork skills.
Day after day I am learning many new things and work is progressing. I am no longer doing mini tasks but I am actually getting involved with bigger projects. I own full control on some of these projects, which not all interns get the opportunity to do. Furthermore, I am responsible for completing the KPI’s and summary reports on a weekly basis that get reported directly to the CEO.
My new lifestyle is full of ups and downs. Being far away from home and fully independent is hard but also exciting because it created a stronger person inside me, but all of this has definitely worked in my favour.
But do you know what the funny thing was? People thought I was crazy because I am doing my placement in Jordan, they were like ‘who on earth would do their placement in an Arab country’? It’s actually better than they think, they are just not appreciating the environment that they are living in.
# Advice 1
“Live your life as if you are dying tomorrow, and learn as if you were to live tomorrow”
-Gandhi (Fathers of Nations).
# Advice 2
Break the ice. How? Easy; just join the club and laugh together! J Does not need much of an effort.
# Advice 3
You are the only one who can make yourself the best, and better than the rest.
There are many reasons that made me choose to work at Zain. Firstly, it is internationally well known in the Middle East. Additionally, it is the biggest and best telecom company in Jordan.
One of the most important skills I have learned is how to be fully independent at work and at home.
Finding a placement at a big company, especially in the Middle East, was tricky. Nevertheless, after I had secured the placement I felt relieved, as the fear became satisfaction.
Before I started my placement, I agreed to spend 6 months in HR and 6 months in Finance. However, when I arrived, I received an offer of working for Marketing, and I accepted. Now it has been one month of work; there is progress but I am still given mini tasks with limited responsibility. During my first weeks, each task used to take me almost the whole day, but now they take a maximum of 20 minutes.
Leaving the UK and living in another country (even though it counts as my home country) was hard due to cultural differences, traditions, communication and understanding. Not only that, looking from the other side of living alone, now I have to clean, buy food, wash clothes, cook and do many other activities that cause pressure. However, I am overcoming these issues day after day.
At the end of the day, it is a learning process. According to Kolb’s Learning cycle “we learn from our own experience not others”, and I think that is right.