REFLECTIONS FROM OUR INTERNATIONAL INTERNS AS BORDER REOPENS

Pre-Covid, Chab would welcome interns hailing from all over the world every few months. Now, thanks to the improvements in Covid-19 cases in Singapore, Chab has been able to welcome more international interns in recent months! Their excitement to gain global experience is refreshing, and it’s a good sign that we are progressing towards post-Covid times!
In this article, we hear from two of our Junior Event Executives, Mathilde Loubiere and Mehdi Ait-Chalal, on how their experience has been since joining us in sunny Singapore from France.

1. How has Singapore been for both of you since you’ve arrived?

Mathilde: On arrival, I was most surprised by the heat and humidity of Singapore. Apart from still adjusting to the heat, it has been great!

Mehdi: I was very impressed by Singapore as I could clearly see from the moment we arrived and on the transfer from the airport to our flat that Singapore is a city that combines nature and the future. 

2. What has been the biggest challenge and difference coming here from France?

Mathilde & Mehdi:

Of course, the first thing was the jet lag and the rather strict Covid-19 restrictions that we no longer had in France. As we arrived in February, the Safe Management Measures (SMM) were still quite strict.
Then, not being able to see our families and friends while having to adapt to a new culture, new gastronomy and a new language.

But we were lucky as the government relaxed the Covid-19 SMM restrictions in early April. This will allow us to enjoy Singapore and its surroundings fully, and with the further easing of restrictions that were just announced, we can’t wait to be able to explore Singapore and hopefully travel to nearby countries as well!

3. Share some experiences you’ve had since joining us here at Chab SG!

Mathilde: We have both been lucky enough to work on projects in collaboration with prestigious luxury brands in various fields. Notably for myself, on my first week of arrival, I worked on a project for a whisky brand for whom we created a tailor-made project in an exceptional location – a heritage church (CHIJMES). I also executed a hybrid event, where at the end of the day, we brought the attendees on a boat ride along the Singapore river!

Mehdi: For myself, I am currently working on a top secret project for a luxury jewellery brand, and I am excited to be able to deliver the project soon! We have also been able to learn the ropes of organising digital events, which has been exciting. With the easing of restrictions, we’re hoping to be able to do more of both digital, live and even hybrid events!

4. Talk us through what a typical workday looks like for you here at the Chab SG office.

Mathilde & Mehdi:

As we live 45 minutes away via public transport from the office, we start the day at 7am and are in the office by 9am. Once there we go through our Google Calendar which we’ve filled in every Monday morning according to the project we were assigned to. During the day we usually have meetings related to our projects and also personal work time to do the tasks given to us by our managers. (e.g. sourcing a venue for an event, researching activities for an event, sourcing products…). Day to day, it is very different. Some days, we may even be out of the office, at a site recce!

5. What are you most excited about for your next few months to come, especially with the easing of SMM for events?

Mathilde & Mehdi:

We are very excited to be able to participate in future physical events with fewer restrictions imposed by the government (safe distance, number of guests, new closing times…).
With the reopening of the borders we can also organise trips, seminars, team building for new clients beyond the Singaporean borders which will allow us to combine work and travel. We will finally be able to discover another facet of our work by participating in this type of event, which is even more motivating for the months to come.

6. What is your favourite local Singaporean food?

Mathilde: I was pleasantly surprised by the different dishes you can find here from different cuisines (Indian, Chinese, Mexican…). My preference is for the cheese naan and chicken cutlet. Not to mention my favourite $1.70 dessert, the chocolate pandan waffle!

Mehdi: I was very surprised by the huge food centres (hawkers) with several small shops or merchants who each cook different specialities. Among all this choice I have a preference for the chicken pau (I could eat 10 in one meal) and the sushi. The Indian food, especially the butter chicken with cheese prata, is also very good.

7. What has been your favourite experience here in Singapore so far?

Mathilde: So far we have really enjoyed visiting the area where Arab Street is located and we have loved visiting and eating in the markets or bazaars that are open during Ramadan. It is such a bustling culture and it’s so interesting to see such a melting pot of different cultures.

Mehdi: The city of Singapore remains an experience in itself with all these cultures present and all these architectures more original than the others. It has been so interesting to explore all the different areas of Singapore.

8. What are your 3 top tips & advice you have for anyone who is considering doing an internship or a work experience overseas?

Mathilde’s 3 top tips : 

  1. Don’t hesitate to discover the local culture by trying out the culinary specialities, spending time with the locals and ignoring any culture bias you may have.
  2. As soon as you arrive, look at all the possible activities and visits you can do to plan ahead. TIME FLIES!
  3. Don’t lose touch with your family and friends, you’re bound to feel a bit down and they’ll be there to help you feel better.

Mehdi’s 3 top tips:   

  1. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen between 10am and 3pm. Don’t be stingy on it; the UV index is 11. 
  2. Try everything you can and be open to the local culture. Just be careful when it says “SPICY” – it has nothing to do with Ty Dolla feat Post Malone’s music!
  3. Here in Singapore, never go out without your umbrella. At any time you can look like this: