Loes Vanhouttem made the big move from the Netherlands to join our agency for a six-month internship as a Human Resources and Marketing Intern. Driven by a keen desire to explore a different working culture and to gain experience working at a digital agency, she chose to work here in Singapore. She’s had quite a roller coaster ride in her six months here – moving to Asia, immersing in the Chinese New Year festivities, getting a post featured by LinkedIn Editors and helping the agency navigate the Circuit Breaker period.
With such an interesting journey, I was curious to hear more from her. As we entered Phase 2, I grabbed a chance to sit down with her over a cup of coffee to ask about her internship experience with 2Stallions and her adventures in Singapore.
Let’s dive right into what she has to say about her intern life here at 2stallions.
1. Hi Loes. Tell us more about yourself!
Hoi (Hello in Dutch)
I’m Loes and I am pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in HR at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences back in the Netherlands. As part of my degree, I have to do an internship, and I took this opportunity to go abroad. I enjoy working with people and assisting them to thrive in their jobs by creating and implementing the right tools. I chose to study HR because I think people can do so much for a company if you have a good foundation (that foundation being HR).
During my free time, I love to travel. Getting to know different cultures, food and people is something that I enjoy a lot. Travelling to Singapore for this internship was also my first time in Asia! I had researched a little about Singapore online but I had no idea what it would actually be like to live here. Luckily this wasn’t my first time alone in another continent because I moved to Colorado to work as an Au Pair back in 2016-2017
2. What attracted you to 2Stallions?
I started looking for internships in Singapore because I wanted to understand Asian culture better. Up until February, I have never been on this side of the globe, but I have always been intrigued.
Finding a good company was a challenge. But after I was introduced to 2Stallions and had a conversation with Daniël, I knew 2Stallions would be a great fit. I have always preferred to work in a lean team, and 2Stallions amplified what makes such a structure so lovely. The culture is informal and very open. Everyone is friendly and passionate about their jobs. I’ve met so many team members who love to share their knowledge and are never hesitant to help whenever I ask.
What I value the most about this internship is that I could contribute and have ownership of the projects I work on. Together with Pauline (the HR Manager), I was able to implement many tools and even set-up a new HR system. The management is always encouraging and constantly come up with new solutions to improve the way things are done.
3. How has Circuit Breaker affected your internship?
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on my internship. It highlighted a different side of HR and provided me with new challenges to overcome. Something that I value in this company is how flexible they are. Working from home was implemented quickly, and new ways of communication followed soon after. It included online team calls, sending out weekly internal newsletters and organizing online team activities.
4. What has been your favourite project at 2Stallions?
Organizing online team activities is a responsibility I took on. With everyone working from home, it’s important to stay connected with each other. I made a pub quiz and a Kahoot game for the team since we couldn’t conduct physical monthly team outings.
We also implemented a new HR system that allows employees to write something about themselves on their profile. I used this information to create questions about all the employees. We had our India, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore teams join in on one big video call. It was great seeing all the different teams come together and have a great time together.
About halfway through my internship, I wrote about my internship experience on LinkedIn. As one of the few students left of my school to stay abroad during COVID-19, I thought it was a good idea to write a short piece about my experience. A couple of days later I found myself featured by the LinkedIn Editors in their news story “A disrupted rite of passage”.
5. What would you miss most about 2Stallions and Singapore?
I think my favourite part about 2Stallions is the people that work here. Everyone is so kind and helpful. Even when working from home, everyone puts in the effort to stay in touch.
What I will miss about Singapore is the fantastic weather, beautiful nature and the unbelievable amount of food establishments. Food is a big part of Singapore’s culture and I enjoyed every single part of it! Before Circuit Breaker, my co-workers and I would walk over to Maxwell and they would show me new food every single day.
6. What’s next for you?
After six months at 2Stallions, it’s time for me to return to the Netherlands. I will start my final year of my Bachelor’s program in September and, at the same time, start my (pre) Master’s in ‘Learning and development in Organizations’ at Maastricht University.
The time I spent at 2Stallions has made me realize that I like working for lean teams like SMEs and startups. That’s because there is a sense of comradeship among a smaller team and everyone is always passionate about the job which felt inspiring to me.
The trust that the management has in their employees to come up with new ways to do things, is also something I hope more companies would do. The people that work for 2Stallions are not only ambitious experts, but they are also welcoming and kind to all who walk in.
During my short stint here at 2Stallions, I had a very happy working experience. I’m grateful to my team members for making me feel at home and giving me this opportunity to work with you guys. And a huge thank you to Pauline for being an exceptional mentor during my internship.
We’d like to thank Loes for her contributions over the past 6 months. It has been a joy having her around and we will definitely miss her bubbly personality in the office!
If you’re looking for an internship opportunity in the digital marketing space, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do remember to attach your resume, portfolio and tell us your internship availability period!