35 Nudge points for Interns

May 26, 2021 1 Min Read
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35 Great Insights For Interns to Consider

Since coming back to Malaysia after completing my PhD at Duke University in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with more than 100 interns from various backgrounds and experiences. For the upcoming class of 2021 OKM Interns, I thought that it would be value added for me to share with them, in advance, some of the NUDGE points which I've accumulated over these years in the hope that they will find these nuggets of "wisdom" useful for their internship and beyond.
In no order of preference... here goes the list...

  1. Put in as much into this internship as you want to get out of it (There is a virtuous cycle)
  2. There are NO stupid questions – please ask (each other, other constituency staff, myself) if you don’t know / are not sure of anything.
  3. Treat each other with respect – like how you would like to be treated.
  4. There is no need to suck up to me (or other who are above you). Just do your job.
  5. Don’t give excuses, find solutions or alternatives.
  6. Learn how to TRIANGULATE. If you don’t know what this is, please find out.
  7. Learn about the NETWORK effect. If you don’t know what this is, please find out.
  8. Follow me on twitter (@imokman), Facebook and Linkedin – If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, please start one and start filling it up with some activity.
  9. Don’t get angry, find out the root cause of your anger and address that.
  10. Don’t ask anyone else to do something that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.
  11. Own your mistakes, don’t blame others and try not to repeat them.
  12. Save your files (word, ppt, excel) using the following format: Title of File_Your Initials_DateofFile e.g. OKM Interns 2021 Nudge File_OKM_16May2021. Remember, the file is not only for your own reference but for the reference of others too.
  13. Explore ways to increase your effectiveness by working in teams.
  14. Respect those at the bottom of the food chain as much as you respect those at the top.
  15. Be honest, with yourself and with others. I prefer that you have integrity over and above having capabilities. Of course, even better if both can go together.
  16. The devil is always in the detail. Don’t overlook the devil and the details. But don’t be overburdened by the details.
  17. Always try to involve others in the conversation and / or activity.
  18. Listen more than you speak. Speak when you think you have something worthwhile to share or if you want to ask a question.
  19. Always try to add value, not destroy value.
  20. Learn about yourself, especially your strengths and weaknesses.
  21. Improve on your weaknesses and accentuate your strengths, but not at the expense of others.
  22. Help others accentuate their strengths and cover for their weaknesses, if worthwhile and possible.
  23. Have fun! Especially when doing work!
  24. Learn how to use technology but don’t be over reliant on it (easier said than done!)
  25. Feel free to share articles and network in the official OKM 2021 Intern whatsapp group. Feel free to set up an alternative WA group without me as well 😊
  26. Always keep a to do list.
  27. Always take and keep notes.
  28. Don’t forget those who have helped you along the way.
  29. Look for win-win-win (and then win in the future in ways you don’t even know) solutions
  30. Learn the 5Bs - #belajar (learn) #berlatih (train) #bersenam (exercise) #berehat (rest) #berpasukan (teamwork) (This is in Bahasa Malaysia, Malaysia's nation language. I use BM for for the nice alliteration)
  31. Initiate projects which you are interested or have interest in.
  32. Listen to podcasts during your free time.
  33. Develop and enhance your empathy.
  34. Test your theory on the ground and update your theory after testing.
  35. Try to be prepared always but don’t over prepare.

This list is a work in progress. Subject to edits / additions / deletions over time...

Read More: Ong Kian Ming's previous post - Life After SPM "I Would (Not)"

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Article Republished with Permission

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Tags: Starting Young

Ong Kian Ming is currently a member of parliment (MP) in Malaysia for Bangi (P102). He was previously the Deputy Minister for MITI in the Malaysian government. He lives by the saying "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

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