Global Challenge – GSK – Singapore Blog 3

Second Half of July….

Work is going well. Lots of projects and meetings to prepare and present, which is keeping me busy. One of my main preparation tasks is to set up 3 2 hour training sessions for 30+ suppliers based over 2 days. The perk of this is that I am travelling to Malaysia to conduct the sessions.

Singapore is a place that loves to develop. Anywhere you look there is some sort of construction going on, it’s crazy. Near to my office there is a construction site which I walk past every day. One Monday I was at the crossing thinking ‘gosh, why does it look so open?’ I couldn’t work it out until I went back to the crossing in the lunch break and realised that they had built a whole new 5 lane road over the weekend (next to the road that was there before). Maybe it’s because it was boarded up and I didn’t see, but I’m sure they must have done it over the weekend. It’s amazing how fast you see a building come together. This construction near the office is for a new subway line. When I started my internship there wasn’t much on the site, now there are buildings and other structures. I predict that the buildings will be fully completed by the time my internship finished. It makes you wonder what builders in England are doing each day. It would be interesting to see a building competition (maybe an idea of a new sporting event or television program).

Outside of work I have been making the most of my time in Singapore. Most of my time is spent in the office, so it’s nice on the weekend to do something different. One visit that I made was to the Gardens by the Bay, which had only recently opened. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Maybe it was because it had not had time to become established, but it looked a bit sparse and not very colourful. I suppose for Singaporeans, this may have seemed a haven, due to the lack of green space elsewhere, but for me, who has experienced greenery and vegetation in England I have to say it wasn’t very impressive. I do feel bad saying this but I guess you can’t think everything is amazing. Another downside to these gardens was the constant construction noise going on. So much for a relaxing ‘time out’. It’s ironic too, that it’s a garden and supposed to be natural, but the main features are these giant metal tree like things. I don’t really know how to explain them really. But they light up in the dark, so I guess that would add some colour.

So after somewhat of a deflating experience, I decided to visit the Botanical Gardens (on another day), and this was more to my liking. The plants were more established, it was peaceful, open, colourful and beautiful. Definitely a place to get away from the crowded, noisy city life and take some time out. I think it will be my ‘go to’ place for a bit of escapism.

One day I decided I would do something a bit more active. So I found out where there was a park where I could rent a bike. Once I knew where I was going I had the last minute decision of bus or train (I am so indecisive, it really took until the last minute to decide). Bus won, just because it came first, but it took aver 1hour 30 minutes to get to the stop I needed to change at. Which I guess was good because it gave me the chance to have a bus tour of Singapore. Another perk to the journey was that although I was on the bus for such a long time, it only cost around £1.00, which is great considering the distance I went. So after changing buses and finally getting to the park, I think the whole journey took over 2 hours. The things I do for a bike ride. The park was nice. The track ran along the coast and it was handy to have a pedestrian and bikes separated by a line, although some didn’t seem to understand that the picture of feet meant no bikes, but oh well, no major injuries were seen. As that was all I did, there’s not much else to report on that outing.

Reflecting on culture differences, I’m beginning to wonder if some people can actually see me. I know I walk 10 times faster than everyone else, and I get frustrated when people are just all over the place not going anywhere but slowly moving. It’s making me think whether people are just here in body and not mind. The number of times I have had to manoeuvre around people because they are just walking right at me is incredible. It’s not like I don’t stand out either. I am so pale I think the sun just reflects the light now so I can’t get a tan, I have blue eyes and sometimes I am more than double my width with bags. So I’m really confused why no one seems to see me. That will require some more investigations. Something else that has grabbed my attention is the lack of concept for personal space.

All in all, so far my first month has been quite enjoyable. I have been working hard and gaining so much experience from this internship. I am confident now that I want to pursue my career in Procurement, so this internship really has been a great eye opener. In some ways I don’t mind that I don’t have time for too much exploring because I am learning so much at in my internship that I can use to improve my future employment prospects.
Hopefully, August will have more exciting findings and experiences!


About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s