I am Nigel Ng Ding Xun from Business Information Technology. During the ending of my second year in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, I had to go through what may be the toughest thing I faced during my time studying in Ngee Ann. Internship. I was placed in the company Lau Chin Huat & Co.
Lau Chin Huat & Co. is a firm of certified public accountants. In the company, there are a total of three different departments. The IT department, the Accounts department, and the Audit department.
The head of the IT department is my supervisor, Mr Anthony Lum. He is the one that handles any of the IT problems faced in the company. Staffs in the company often treat him as the ‘boss’, as Mr Lau is not in the company most of the time. Mr Anthony is very strict when it comes to work. He is known as one who would get displeased very easily when a work given by him to his staffs is not completed on time even though the time given may not be sufficient.
Therefore, most of his co-workers tend to panic and put in their utmost effort into completing their work efficiently.
The Accounts and Audit departments are managed by mainly Mr Yeo, and Miss Ai Ting. They might be my superiors, but when working there, I could sense the amount of respect they have for all of their staffs, regardless of their status in the company. Due to that, many of the staffs deeply respect them, including me. The Audit Department performs audit work on client’s financial statements and records. They assist in preparation of audit working papers of clients to facilitate further audit work, and the prepare audit reports for review by audit work. They are not in the company most of the time as they are often off to another company for auditing of work.
The Organisational Chart for Lau Chin Huat & Co:
Lau Chin Huat uses mainly two kinds of software to run their business, it being Adagio and OpenOffice. Adagio itself has many different kinds of products, but the products that Lau Chin Huat uses would be mainly focused on Adagio Payables, Adagio receivables, and Adagio Ledger. With these softwares combined, you can complete accounts payables, receivables and General Ledger management for your business. Open Office is just like Microsoft Office, just that it does not cost a single cent and that it is free for everyone to use.
During my first week at Lau Chin Huat, I was told to do a descriptive and pictorial step by step user manual of the software, Adagio. It basically meant that I had to take screenshots of every step of the process, combine it into one or two pictures, and describe what it was for. Although it was time consuming, it was really useful to me in the sense that I had a better understanding on how to use Adagio after finishing the user manual. Moving on, during the third week of my internship, I was exposed to excel and its formulas.
Using formulas would promote ease of access as users would not need to manually key in the data needed anymore. Just a click and drag would solve all those issues. I was also given easier kind of work, such as editing templates that would be used as receipts. I learnt how to conduct stock take, and I also had to key in the stock count of the companies who have already conducted their stock take. As it has always been my dream to work in an accounting firm, I found much joy while doing the work needed at Lau Chin Huat.
The one thing that I really love when I was working at Lau Chin Huat would be that my co-workers are really friendly. As almost half of the company comprises of interns like myself, it was really easy to get along with them. To my surprise, even those that are working as full-timers are really friendly as well. Everyone will always lend a helping hand to you when in need, or when you are at doubt. During our lunch break, we would gather together and talk about anything and everything in the world.
This is something that I really cherished and enjoyed during my 2 months of Internship at Lau Chin Huat. I could still remember my first few days where I knew no one and I felt really lonely during lunch breaks as I always had to dine alone. Until that day where one of my colleagues asked me whether I would like to join them for lunch. That really made my day. Till now, I could still clearly remember that situation and how elated I felt at that time. That made me realized how important it is to have friends in life.
Though the working environment may be small, but everyone in the company is very bonded. We share everything with each other, and we treat each other as our own siblings. Although it sounds as though we will play around in the company, but when it comes to work, we put our heart and soul into producing efficient and quality work.
During my first few weeks at Lau Chin Huat, I faced many problems/difficulties. To start it off, I admit that I was not happy at all being posted here. The travelling distance from my house to Lau Chin Huat was a long journey, I had the lowest pay amongst all my friends, and worst of all, I had to work on Saturdays. Being a comparative person, after I was told by my friends that my posting was the worst amongst all of them, I was really unhappy. I was really negative and it was not a good start for me on the first day I started working at Lau Chin Huat. I was easily affected during work, and little things that annoyed me just made me hated having my internship here even more. That was when I wanted to opt for a change of internship placement.
It’s a long story, but basically, that step I made was the biggest mistake in the time of undertaking my Internship. I caused a lot of problems for everyone, and that mistake almost cost me to fail my Internship. Luckily, I was given a second chance by Lau Chin Huat, and I am really grateful to them for that. I was then asked to go in with a positive mindset and do the best that I can. I mean, after all, it’s just six weeks. How hard can it get, seriously. That sentence was told to me by my NPIS supervisor, Mr Tay. It really woke me up. It made a lot of sense to me, and I told myself to give it another shot.
Apparently, my habit of not being able to be punctual was a major obstacle to overcome for me. I was late most of the time, and that feeling was really horrible. The stares given by others when you are late and you walk into the company. Sometimes, I just wish to bury my head under the ground. I felt so ashamed of myself, I was scolded by Mr Anthony and he was really unhappy. From that moment I told myself not to be late anymore, to wake up early to attend work on time. The first time when I was punctual actually felt really great. I did not have to rush to work, I was not panicking about how I should explain to my boss about why I am late, and I was praised by Mr Anthony for being punctual. I was happy. That was when I started waking up earlier, just so that I would arrive to work on time.
There were many times when I faced difficulties in completing my work, as the task given to me was kind of ‘impossible’. There was this once where I was given this Excel file and I was supposed to derive with formulas in order for easier formatting of data. Everything was a breeze and I did not face any difficulties until this one cell where I was supposed to format cells according to their address. (Eg. Block 340; one cell. Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2; one cell.) Due to the different formatting of data in the database, I was unable to derive with this particular formula.
All of my time was then spent on looking for ways to come out with the formula, researching on whether there are such formulas, but to no avail. When I told Mr Anthony about it, he told me that he would fail me for this because if I could not find the formula, the work would not be counted as complete, and he grades me based on the results produced. That was when I really panicked and I was really upset. Thankfully, Mr Yeo knew about the plight I was in and he told Mr Anthony that it was not fair for me and asked him to give me simpler work instead. Knowing that I was given a second chance, I tried even harder so that the work that I produced would be up to Mr Anthony’s standard.
On the last day of my work, I realized that Mr Anthony is not such a bad guy after all. He had a talk with me before I left the company. He explained to me the reasons why it seemed like he was always picking on me. He told me that in the past, he was just like me. Always being late, and that he did not give a care in the world. Thankfully, his supervisor talked to him and changed the way of how he saw things. Now, that he realized the amount of similarity that we used to have, he told himself that he just wanted to show me the way of life, just like how his supervisor did for him. He told me that he knows that I did my best, and he was proud of me. These words that he said are words that I will never forget.
During my time at Lau Chin Huat, it really taught me the importance of responsibility, punctuality and respect. I was always late and I did not bother whether about punctuality at all, but after being posted to Lau Chin Huat, I realized how important punctuality really is, be it work, or anything else you do. It is able to see a person’s level of responsibility just by whether they are punctual or not. I also realized that respect is not necessarily always given to others, it will only be given to those who deserve it. These are qualities being taught to me that I will carry with me wherever I am, be it when I am working, or when I am doing other things.
My suggestions to improve the work done would be to always do things with a positive mindset and to persevere on in whatever you do. With a positive mindset and perseverance, no matter how tough your work is, a positive mindset will guide you through the way and your perseverance will make sure you see it to the end. To me, I think that these are the qualities everyone should have as this will help and benefit you in whatever you do.
In conclusion, having my Internship at Lau Chin Huat taught me more Excel formulas that I would be able to use in my course of study, it also taught me how to do reports after a stock take. Internship taught me many valuable life lessons. I am really glad that I gave my all during the second chance that was given to me. If given the chance to, I would be more than happy to work for Lau Chin Huat again.