Coming from a science stream student perspective, my analytical and critical thinking skills have been developed since I was in school, but my thirst for new knowledge pushed me even further to be an adventurer and grant myself another perspective of looking at the world - through the lens of business. Growing up as a logical and adventurous individual, my restless mind led me to the ocean of Business Analytics.
As a Marketing and Projects Intern in the Beauty segment, I work under the Beauty Business Analyst team. Our team tackles beauty segment operations across Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The basic analysis of sales and campaign performance, as well as supporting and contributing to ongoing projects using a data-driven approach, are all part of my daily work duties. I also conduct market research and identify competition trends to aid in strategic planning. Last but not least, I also touch on ad-hoc duties.
I find meaning and purpose in my work by creating a personal mission and carrying it out during my working days - to learn. As an intern who is still pursuing my studies, it was quite challenging to switch between the roles of a student and an employee. The transition was not entirely smooth for me - I’ve made some mistakes at work, and the feeling of guilt and self-blame was overwhelming. Whenever this happened, I would always remind myself that I am here to learn and that the process of learning is never easy. Thanks to my caring reporting manager, Jenna, who provided me with enough space and time to learn, I was able to pick up stuff slowly but surely.
The most distinctive part of working at ZALORA is definitely the vibrant working culture. The flexible hybrid work policy of ZALORA allows us ZALORIANS to work from home for most of the week. Is remote work efficient? How do we ensure effective communication at work? - These questions popped up in my mind but after my first day in, I knew I was over-worrying. My supervisors and colleagues were so friendly and caring towards me and that assured me that I could definitely blend in with the team swiftly even before we meet physically.
During my first day at the office, I was super excited and worried at the same time because it was my first time entering an actual workplace. A short "Good morning!" in a bright tone washed away my tensed attitude the second I stepped into the office. All the “jiejies” (elder sisters in Mandarin) in the Beauty and Lifestyle team welcomed me with open arms. Looking around, everyone was smiling, greeting and catching up with one another with a cup of coffee in their hands - I knew that this is exactly the working environment I have always wanted - not only for my internship but also for my career in future. Vibrant, team-oriented, and flexible are the three words that best describe the work environment of Zalora, in my opinion.
The hybrid work policy undoubtedly improved my efficiency at work. It saved me the trouble of travelling from my home to the office which takes around one hour and fifteen minutes daily. Being able to work from home, I could fully focus on work without having to worry about the traffic jams or overcrowding of the LRT. My undivided attention allowed me to complete my tasks more efficiently and effectively.
As one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in SEA, ZALORA has provided me with the exposure that I need in the e-commerce industry. As our operations are spread across SEA, ZALORA gave me the opportunity to look at how international business differs from one another as a result of the differences in regional trends and cultures.
Not only did I gain knowledge from the Business Analytics field, I also picked up some marketing jargon from my time at ZALORA. Without any background in marketing, I would say I definitely developed a deeper understanding of it. I was also grateful that I had the opportunity to explore and dive into various analytical tools or software such as Tableau and Mixpanel. In addition, I also learned a lot about project planning and management skills. Aside from the technical skills, I was also able to sharpen my soft skills such as multitasking skills, time management skills and especially interpersonal skills.
Having been a longtime customer of ZALORA, I already knew of the accomplishment and growth of the company from a consumer perspective. Along with my eagerness to learn more about the company - as an insider - led me to find ZALORA on LinkedIn. My current position was a whole package for me as it covers most of what I was curious about and I was sure that I could fully utilise my skills and polish them working in this position. Beauty is also something that I am interested in and familiar with. I did not hesitate to apply for the role for one second.
One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had at ZALORA is definitely our Beauty x Lifestyle: Palette Knife Painting Team Bonding day! The Beauty and Lifestyle team gathered in a cute and aesthetic workshop and learned how to paint with a set of palette knives and acrylic paints. Scratches of creativity and waves of laughter filled the room and the day. Our paintings were so similar and different just like how we are so unique in our own ways yet we are able to work seamlessly together. I had so much fun and definitely grew closer to my supervisors and colleagues. To conclude, it was a very fulfilling experience.
One short and sweet piece of advice I would definitely give to a new intern at ZALORA would be: Don’t be afraid to embrace and express yourself in this open and friendly environment!