Growing in confidence and making a difference
Chua Jun Hong was an intern with OCBC Bank’s Regional Development Centre (RDC) in Singapore. Besides being passionate about technology, he loves playing basketball, watching Formula 1 races and has a keen interest in finance and business. During his internship, Jun Hong took the initiative and successfully solved an application crash issue which is usually fixed by a senior engineer. Read on to see how this intern made a practical and tangible difference to the Bank.
Hello, I’m Jun Hong. As a student of the Diploma in Information Technology programme at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, I was given the opportunity to take part in a year-long internship programme during my final year. With that, I joined OCBC Bank’s RDC team as an intern in March 2022.
Settling in and gaining confidence
Before the internship, I will admit that I was not a very confident person. I feared taking action because I was worried about making mistakes. I wrongly thought that, as an intern, I would be restricted in how much I would be heard and be allowed to contribute. However, my supervisors in the Mobile Development Team gave me the freedom to express myself openly. Buoyed by their encouragement, I learned not to hold back in voicing my views and purposed to take advantage of the opportunities that surfaced during the internship.
Another area in which I grew in confidence was in operating in a real-world working environment. As this internship was my first taste of a real job, it was intimidating at the beginning. It took me a few weeks to settle in and get used to the way things operate at the Bank and specifically in the Mobile Development Team.
Identifying the problem, finding the solution
As my confidence grew, I became more eager and even excited to make a real contribution. The opportunity presented itself when I noticed that one of the Bank’s apps was crashing way too often on the Android platform. The crash rate for that mobile app was about 2,800 per week, which meant a huge number of customers experienced frustration when using the app. I took it as a challenge to fix this problem before it snowballed to become an even bigger issue. I knew fixing the app would be tough, but I gave it my best shot. It turned out to be an excellent learning opportunity.
I started by first evaluating the crash logs. Thereafter, I tried to replicate the bug on the phone to truly understand the cause of the crash. That was the most difficult part of the exercise, but I managed to replicate the problem! Once I did that, finding the solution was easy. I learned that identifying and understanding the problem is the hardest part but supremely important in finding a working solution.
Experiencing the joys of success
After I fixed the bug, the approval rating of the app rose from 1.2/5 to 4.1/5! I was immensely proud of what I had achieved. I felt empowered that, even as an intern, I could improve the user experience of thousands of the Bank’s customers. The difference I had made was tangible. After this success, I was eager to do even more to improve OCBC’s mobile apps during the rest of my internship. I continued to focus on improving customer experience by minimising app crashes and enhancing the user experience. I helped improve existing features and implemented more innovative features in the Bank’s mobile apps.
My experiences during the internship made me step back to take a longer view of myself and my career. Five years from now, I hope to be a more accomplished version of my current self. I would like to be someone who is not afraid of taking on new challenges and is confident of taking calculated risks. I am now on a mission of continuous self-improvement, identifying goals and achieving them. And my aim is to make a significant impact in the IT industry and give back to the community.
My supervisors at OCBC Bank have helped me gain confidence by empowering me and I, in turn, hope to nurture young talents in the future as well.
My advice for fellow interns
My advice for fellow and future interns is to not be afraid of challenges and to try different things. If you do not step out of your comfort zone to explore possibilities, you will be trapped in your own self-made twilight zone. If you spot something that can be done better or have ideas about something, sound them out to your supervisor. Don’t be arrogant, but learn and take the initiative to make a difference. If I can do it, you can too!