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Gen Z Speaks: After spending most of my poly life at home, a year-long internship in an actual workplace is a welcome change

I am one of the many young adults who started tertiary education in 2020 during the pandemic — a Covid-19 student, in other words.


It is now my 10th month into the internship. 

As part of the mobile development team in OCBC’s group operations and technology division, I get to work on introducing new features to the bank’s business banking mobile apps, develop skills learnt in school, understand industry standards and get the latest updates on enterprise technology.

I was able to apply the things I learnt from my polytechnic modules like the mobile application development and solutions design and development classes I attended in my first and second years in NP.

These skills I learnt from school helped me to understand technical concepts and the process behind designing an IT solution.

Several months into my internship, I was given a task to revamp one of the features in the OCBC business banking mobile application, and I worked with my colleagues to create a better user experience for customers using the application.

One thing I have learnt, coming from the perspective of a “Covid-19 student”, is the mantra that work happens in person.

My colleagues and I have the option to work from home, but on most days, I choose to commute from my home in Jurong to OCBC’s offices in Tampines every weekday, despite the long commuting hours. 

There are so many benefits: from being able to discuss difficult coding tasks in person, to the celebrations shared when my colleagues and I solve a bug on an app.

Despite being a “mere intern”, I felt a sense of pride that I have participated in something bigger than myself by helping to improve something that actual customers use. 

It is not something that I would have experienced had I just stayed in school, and is certainly an experience I can take with me and speak about in future job interviews.

In any case, it feels as though I have already embarked on my first “real” job, since I no longer need to return to school for classes once I complete this internship.

The past ten months have been invaluable to my personal growth into adulthood, all thanks to the guidance of my colleagues at the bank and my academic supervisor at NP, Mr Andy.

It is their spirit that drives me forward, and I will cherish these experiences when I begin my actual career elsewhere.



Chua Jun Hong, 18, is a third-year Ngee Ann Polytechnic student studying information technology, and is also an OCBC Ignite intern.

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