I had applied to the International Internship Program as a freshman, but unfortunately wasn’t accepted past the first round. After a year of growth and maturity, I figured I might as well try again this year. I ended up applying to the same firms; my interests haven’t changed evidently. Still, I didn’t really know what was in store, and I submitted my application not expecting much.
The first interview was straightforward: I answered questions about my interest in Singapore, venture capital, and the firms that I specifically applied to along with what I hoped to gain from the program. I was mainly nervous for the second interview– the one with the firm. Traditionally venture capital interviews are pretty difficult, replete with technicals as well as pointed fit questions. I stayed up all night preparing for my interview with Amasia, since my interviewer reached out one day before the acceptance deadline, so the time frame was pretty tight. The actual interview was even more basic than the first one– I simply described my interest and potential career aspirations, which ended up being pretty in line with what they were searching for.
I received the acceptance letter the following day. I shouted it to my roommate, texted my friends who had also applied to IIP, and contacted my parents. I felt a mixture of excitement, ecstasy, and relief that my summer internship search was over. I was going to Singapore.
The forms and paperwork were straightforward, albeit a bit inconvenient to keep track of. Our advisor Kevin Haines was absolutely fabulous at answering any questions, which made the process a lot smoother for me and many of my friends who had also been accepted. I settled logistics with my boss, including arrival/departure dates, weekly hours, dress code, and visa information.
I made sure to formulate a list of everything I needed to bring. Since this would be my first serious internship, I knew I couldn’t get away with dressing sloppily and had to go shopping for business casual, keeping in mind the extreme humidity and heat I’ll be facing every day. I had plans to travel on the weekends, so I also packed swimsuits, casual summer outfits, and flip flops. Otherwise, packing was not unlike any other regular travel experience.
A friend of mine who lives in Singapore had offered to house me, which made my arrival to Singapore a lot less intimidating. I simply got in a cab and gave the driver the address– airport cabs in Singapore are surprisingly cheap. For the duration of the ride, I chatted with the driver about interesting places to visit and examined the city through the windows of my cab. Most of my observations were comparing the city to Taipei, where my parents are from. In general, Singapore seems less crowded, cleaner, and more modern. My friend’s parents greeted me at the door of their home, ushered me into my room, introduced me to my maid, and explained the public transportation routes.
Currently, I feel very jet lagged, and I know it will take some time before I adjust to the city. I also know that this summer will be a special one, and I cannot wait to find out what’s in store!
-April Huang Amasia, Singapore