By Ng Su Fey on March 11th, 2021
In the past year, I’ve grown extremely conscious of the endless flow of time. Most noticeably, how the days are simultaneously flying and crawling by. I’m not sure whether this paradoxical sensation is due to the pandemic, a natural part of growing older, or something else entirely. But to reconcile this disconnection, I find that reflecting on personal events helps. So today, let’s look back on my time at Dia.
Something I really enjoyed about interning at Dia is how varied the work is. Over the course of three months, I was introduced to a range of responsibilities beginning with writing for the stories section. In hindsight, this was a great introductory task as I became more acquainted with the region’s arts and culture through independent exploration. At the same time, I attended Zoom calls for brand pitches, marketing strategies, design choices, and more. These brought a layer of insight into the dynamic nature of running a business.
It was also interesting to see how my actions translated into corporeal results. One week, I researched potential brands to onboard; a month later, I was filling in the product copy for Garden of Desire, one of the brands on my list. Conversely, I noticed that many actions go unseen although they’re equally essential to operations. Hidden behind the pristine website and social media posts, these range from complex logistics and analytics to simple yet taxing tasks such as labelling products.
At Dia, there is no dedicated team of specialists, just a handful of people figuring everything out through trial and error. Seeing this play out in real time, it struck me that creativity and flexibility go hand in hand; making the most out of what you have while adapting to whatever challenges may appear. This is one of the many things I’ve learned from my experience here. I’ve also started introducing small changes to how I engage with and appreciate the region, such as incorporating more Southeast Asian authors into my reading list. On a more personal level, it’s also shown me what a comfortable, uplifting work environment feels like.
My internship has ended, and it was definitely time well spent. In the spirit of a gap year, I was able to try many new things, so thank you Kylie, Aisha, and Alia for taking me on! As for what comes next for me, there are a lot of changes in store. I’m closer to the end of my gap year than to the start, and this fall I’ll be heading off to a new country for my undergraduate degree. It’s exciting and daunting, seemingly opposite emotions that exist in parallel just like the time paradox. But for now, I’ll be savoring the next few months here in Malaysia with friends and family.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Su Fey is Dia’s intern from Malaysia. She is currently on a gap year and has volunteered with local welfare and environmental organizations. Her interests include sustainable development, literature, and film photography. Su Fey is planning to pursue a degree in engineering and will begin her undergraduate studies this fall.