The value of internships and how it can help your business

The value of internships and how it can help your business

Entering the working world for the first time can be quite scary. It feels like you’re a little chick taking its first steps in the world. Everything is new and you feel quite out of place. But like any new experience, you begin to adapt, gain insight and learn from the ups and downs. My experience as an intern at Lulalend is something that I would not trade for anything. In the short time that I’ve been here, I have learned many new things. I now have a firm grasp of the digital and FinTech space, and my digital marketing skills have been taken to new heights.

 What I took out of it
Time management is a big deal when you start working. Gone are the days when there was a teacher or lecturer to remind you of looming due dates and to hold your hand when you didn’t understand something.

Even as an intern, I was given a lot of responsibility and I realized that I had to take it seriously. In the beginning, I felt like I was losing track of all the deadlines. It took me some time to plan properly. This meant creating sub-tasks for bigger tasks and giving each sub-task a due date. I also noted important due dates in my Google Calendar so I would get reminders the day before something was due. I learned that if I need help, all I have to do is ask. My manager was very forthcoming and made it very clear from the get-go that I shouldn’t be afraid to ask for assistance and that if I wanted to learn a new skill, she could teach me. She always explained things well and in detail if I needed some elaboration. Before I started this internship, I didn’t know how to use online tools like WordPress, Hootsuite and Leadsquared, and now I can use their functions effectively to get my message across.

Many companies view interns as someone who’s just there to do menial tasks like make coffee and print out documents, but Lulalend took the meaning of an intern and turned it into something quite valuable: a learning intensive internship designed to teach the individual important skills that they can apply directly to their job. I was treated as a normal employee and not someone that’s way down the bottom of the hierarchy. Lulalend gave me the flexibility to find my way on my own, while my manager still offered constructive criticism that helped me improve my writing and digital marketing abilities.

Internships can aid career growth

As a young person, I believe that internships can be a good stepping stone to get to where you really want to be some day. The advantage of an internship, is that you get to learn on the job, and you are not expected to know anything high level; all that should be taught to you during the internship and you should also use the time to work on developing your own skills according to the career path that you have chosen.

How do companies benefit from hiring interns?

A business can reap a lot of benefits from having an internship program. If you’re a small business, chances are that you cannot necessarily afford to hire full-time employees. Hiring interns allows you to take advantage of short-term support around your office or business. This extra set of hands can help your other employees to be more productive and prevent them from experiencing a burnout. Internships are also helpful when you have a temporary high backlog of work coming in. After the internship ends, you can decide whether you have enough resources to keep the individual on permanently and whether they would add value to your organization in the long term. I feel that my writing skills have added value to Lulalend, in the same way that working at Lulalend has benefited me. For instance, I wrote informative blogs for the restaurant, manufacturing and beauty industries. I also marketed effectively through our social media platform.

What was it like working at Lulalend?

Lulalend is a great place to work. The open space, relaxed environment is conducive to productivity and creativity and gives you the freedom to do your job without anyone looking over your shoulder. Of course, it’s still important that you are aware of what’s expected of you and realise that you need to fulfill all your duties and adhere to deadlines, and above all, produce quality work that will help the growth of the organization. I found that everyone at Lulalend was friendly and so easy to talk to and I made some long-lasting friendships and connections.  The capabilities that I learned as a digital marketer will hopefully play a big role in helping me build my career step by step.

Lessons learned

You have to work hard to achieve desired results. If you want to be successful, it won’t fall into your lap. You need to put in the effort and learn from your mistakes in order get to a place where you feel like you have gained value from your internship. My experience at Lulalend has allowed me to tune into my strengths and weaknesses, and find out what I needed to improve on to take my career to the next level.

 

What’s at the heart of Fintech company Lulalend

What’s at the heart of Fintech company Lulalend

At Lulalend we’re passionate about serving small business. It’s what our technology is built for as we strive to provide customers with fast, easy access to funding. We provide a solution that welcomes them into financial inclusion. This forms part of our core values and plays a significant role in the way we serve our customers and shape our product offerings.

Trevor Gosling, Co-founder and CEO of Lulalend, along with Neil Welmann, Co-founder and CTO, have built the company on this principle and a couple of core values. To understand who Lulalend is, what we do, why we do it and what’s important to us we wanted to share these company values with you below.

At Lulalend we:

Are passionate about helping SMEs succeed. We hold to the promise of making financial credit easily available to SMEs in South Africa. We are convinced of the positive impact financial inclusion can have on our economy and aim to be the solution to a great need. We do this by providing small businesses with the opportunity to grow and progress through financial access.

Believe in responsible lending. While we want businesses to receive funding so that they can flourish, we do not compromise when it comes to responsible lending. We aim to solve the problem of access and aid success not hinder it.

Strive to offer an unbeatable customer experience. We offer a full range of support services both online and offline. We give our customers the chance to do things themselves through our user-friendly, online application process but aren’t afraid to get stuck in and lend a hand through our live, responsive offline support channels.

Work hard and play hard. We’re gung-ho about employees who are passionate about solving for the customer. We celebrate our success and that of our customers, admire passion, invite innovative thinking, respect hard-work, encourage initiative and expect everyone to take responsibility. We also like banter and beer and know how to kick back after a good day of business. We strive to leave each work day feeling good about what we’ve achieved and excited to come back the next day and do it all over again.

Value humility and teachability. We favour humility and confidence over swagger, and don’t pretend to know it all. We’re not afraid to fail in order to achieve. We are willing to learn from each other and practice shared knowledge and collaboration. When we don’t know, we ask. When we’re not sure, we go and find the answer.

Embrace technology. We want to make things quicker and easier and acknowledge that technology is a tool to help us achieve this.

Communicate openly. We cultivate open channels of communication and transparency.

Prefer good judgement over red-tape. We don’t have a lot of policies or strict, rigid processes. But we’re serious about integrity and doing the right thing. We trust our employees and believe that if they are making decisions that favour our customers, the company and the team over their own interest, they are keeping in step with our core beliefs.