More than an Internship

  • May 1, 2017

By Jenny Jeng

The real task for me was not the heavy workload or challenges of the work itself. The real task for me was everything I hadexperienced before the internship started. Where should I get started? I think I should start with applying for the internship on LinkedIn during winter break when I was back home in Taiwan. One day, scrolling down LinkedIn, a job titled “Media Intern” caught my attention, and after sending out the application, I quickly received a response from the company, UniCareer. 

UniCareer would like to schedule an interview with me as soon as possible, but because I was all the way across the Pacific Ocean, we arranged a phone call instead. In that phone call, everything sounded perfect. The responsibilities included conducting interviews, contacting interviewers and producing subtitles in both English and Chinese. Kevin, the Human Resources officer, wanted me to start working right after I got back to the U.S. I was very happy and could not wait to get started. 

After I got back, I called Kevin right away to follow up on my start date. However, I was told that I need to go to the office at Union Square for a final interview. I thought the request was reasonable. so I agreed and went. I did not see Kevin that day but was rudely treated by the manager of Business Development and another HR person I had never met before. Later I was told I had to wait for the interview result for me to enter a third round interview. I got confused, so I tried to find Kevin, but it seemed like he had disappeared. At this point, I had already rejected two other offers and the semester has started, and I came to realize I had put myself in a very bad situation. 

A couple of days later, I got a phone call from UniCareer from a woman I did not know. She told me I was unqualified: “You do not have the ability to conduct video or to use Photoshop,” she said. I told her that if she had read my resume, she would have known I’m capable of everything she just said. She paused a second, and told me because UniCareer is a Chinese company, and I am  Taiwanese, there is a “culture difference,” and the comapny did not want me as an intern. I told her this was not our agreement and asked her to give me an opportunity to prove myself. So I edited two interview videos with subtitles for them in one day, and I successfully secured my job. 

I started my internship in the beginning of February, working in its Business Develop department for its UniCareer academy project, where it invites experts and professionals from varies fields for a profile-like interview. I was not in charged of any individual project, but my main duty is researching and pitching for suitable candidate, contacting interviewee, setting up interview time, assisting the editing, translating the interview caption and putting on the interview caption. We agree I’d turn in two projects per week regarding the caption work.

Originally I was suppose to go into the office every Friday for a general meeting, but I was later told there was no extra table for me so I did not need to go to the office. I was also threaten a couple times to increase my workload or I would lose my offer. I was very scared at the beginning that I did not know what to do but follow everything they asked me to do. But later on when midterm started to got in the way, I realized that I just simply couldn’t take that much work load. I told them straightforward that I would like to work only 20 hours per week as we discussed, if they wanted to take back my offer then do so, because it was really the company being unreasonable and exploited me. Once I took a firm stand for myself, it actually stopped their attitude on me. 

The last two months of my intern have been well, I turned in two projects and some research work per week, sometimes I still get mean comments from them but I’ve learned to ignore it and have my life goes on. I’m definitely not continuing this internship after graduation, nor does it want me to. But I’ve learned a lot about how to protect myself in a working field, and do not be afraid of losing your job. I’m appreciated UniCareer gave me the position, and I wish I’d never work in this type of company anymore!