By Rahemma Azwar on 13 April 2022
My three months at Dia were a whirlwind with many enjoyable moments and lessons learned. Even though that time was short in the grand scheme of things, it was a welcome constant in my life during 2021 — a period in which everything felt both stagnant and fleeting.
As an aspiring journalist, my goal was to write an article and see it published, and during my internship, Dia let me experience that for the first time. Having my written work be up on a public platform was amazing! Especially having done so with help and feedback from Aisha, whose knowledge of the publishing industry was far beyond my own. It gave me further insight into an occupation I’ll soon be diving into.
Beyond writing, learning about the responsibilities the three founders have to face each week and helping to fulfill them was incredible, and it allowed me to push myself further. Dia’s team is very small, and seeing Aisha, Alia, and Kylie all balance the huge workload of running a small business was inspiring to say the least. From navigating customer enquiries to creating proposal decks for potential vendors, or troubleshooting the logistical and financial sides of a small business to figuring out how to tackle all these tasks, every day was interesting. Dia’s work diversity left me free to hone both new and existing skills that I’ll bring with me into the future, wherever that may be.
But despite the sprawling and constant workload, during our weekly Monday meetings, we always had time to check in with each other and catch up on our personal lives. This is what truly makes Dia special to me. The comfort that you feel when working with the Dia team is constant; they always uplift and encourage you to try new things and explore new ideas. And even though I did my internship mostly online, only meeting the co-founders in real life during my last week, their approach to teamwork never wavered.
Dia is a brand whose ethos and heart lies in the region it highlights. And through its focus on Southeast Asia, Dia allowed me to build an even greater love and adoration for the country that I call home. It exposed me to so many talented artists and brands who I likely would’ve never found without my internship. Their dedication to spotlighting Southeast Asia, and in particular artisanal creatives, made my three months even more educational. They are truly paving the way for many Southeast Asian brands and artists to not only gain international recognition, but also local support too.
Reflecting on my time at Dia, the experiences and lessons I faced and overcame were immeasurable, and I will forever be grateful to Aisha, Alia, and Kylie for taking me on board their long journey, no matter the small stroke I painted on their ever-expanding mural. They shaped the enriching three months I had with them into something that I will cherish with fondness. I’d also like to extend my gratitude to Wathiqah, who I worked with so closely for my first two months. So many of the projects I worked on wouldn’t have flourished without her by my side as my partner-in-crime.
Cheers to many more years of success and growth!
"Traveller, there is no road. The road is made as you walk." - Chinese Proverb
Rahemma is Dia’s intern and a Journalism student at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. She has her own jewelry business, runs a blog analyzing the fashion industry, and started a sex education NGO to support Malaysian youth. Her interests include creating art, sociopolitical theory, literature, and rollerskating on the weekends.