Being part of Hong Kong’s most sophisticated workspace and think tank may be the most unforgettable experience of my summer vacation. As a former business student, I was always told to be bright and brilliant, so that I may enter the city’s largest companies, big brands, and world leading multi-national corporations. However, after the 6-weeks internship program with Garage Society, it is time for me to redefine the meaning of what a desirable job is.
A successful business first comes with great minds instead of company size. A great mind does not always imply to innovative ideas that change the world — it is sometimes about how people jump out of their comfort zone as to change themselves. In this think tank, I saw the traits of a CEO, a hard-working white-collar, as well as a dreamer all in a single person. They are leaders, but at the same time, they are the only one to take up all the trivial work that comes with the job. From sales and marketing to photocopying, a startup business CEO is the one who will do anything it takes to make things happen. I have always wondered how these people leave their comfort zone in order to make a business happen from scratch. In Hong Kong, people believe in the ‘perfect plan’ defined by our society. From college to university to our graduation job, each stage of our life is defined by the society, whether it is good or bad, or whether or not it’s suitable for us. We would say, someone who got a business degree from a top university, owns a Maserati, and a sea view apartment as a person who is successful. In contrast, a parent could hardly accept their kids to work as a free-lance artist, or work in a one-man company.
Students are walking along a planned route, doing planned work and living in a planned life. It’s clear that this is not a suitable environment to hatch a new batch of future business leaders. Meeting dreamers every day in my internship has been my most precious experience in Garage Society. I feel more comfortable to walk my own little trod than the main road with the crowd. I am glad that my first internship can serve as such a great eye opener and I am now ready to find my best job.
Today’s entrepreneurs do not like getting tied down and are inherently drawn towards options that let them progress at their own growth-plan. Personalisation and a sense of creative freedom has picked up the pace and is here to not only rule but also dominate the work culture.
As part of Garage Society’s Well-Being Month, we sat down with Dutch entrepreneur Madelon van de Ven, to learn more about her flourishing plant subscription startup and her mission to get more urbanites to experience the health and well-being benefits of plants.