“Hello. This is Student.com. What can I help you with?” This is how we typically greet the students when they phone in. This summer, I worked as a booking consultant in Student.com, a UK-based company that helped students who are looking for overseas accommodation.
I mainly helped with processing the students’ application for housing. I was never considered as a good public speaker, and often froze when put into social situations or presentations. Customer service is an area that I never expected to engage in, but I took on this job position as a challenge for myself. I still remember how nervous I was when I dialled the first call to a student. I pictured the scene in my mind for a thousand times and imagined all kinds of questions that the student would probably ask before calling.
TO ME, BEING A GARAGE CADET MEANS OVERCOMING MY FEAR AND EMBRACING THE CHALLENGES WITH CONFIDENCE.
Confidence in communication is essential in all aspects of our life, regardless of whether it’s for study, work or for social situations. But it’s especially important in the context of work because I not only represent myself but also the company. Thus, it is essential to possess self-confidence and provide peace of mind for the students when we carry out the application procedures. I learned the importance of possessing a desire for self-improvement during this internship. Shyness may seem like an immovable barrier for me at first, but I tried to push it out of the way a little at a time. Thanks to constant practice in these three months, I was given opportunities to improve on my communication gradually. This experience allowed me to improve in the areas that I excelled at and develop in areas I could perform better. I was grateful to have my colleagues who put me at ease when I felt frustrated at work. I have always been a worrier. I can only imagine how tedious it must’ve been to have someone like me on the team, constantly asking questions regarding the booking process and different landlords. I know I made mistakes in my work. Instead of blaming me for doing things wrong, my colleagues helped me work through it with tremendous patience. They were also generous in providing us with snacks when our stomachs started grumbling in late afternoons. Having helpful and friendly colleagues who helped me adapt to a new and fast-paced working environment was something of a lottery. Thank you so much Garage Society for giving me these months of summer internship experience. I believe that this experience could help transform me into both a better person and an employee in the future.
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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.