The life of a CSR Communications Intern at Sleek
5 minute read
Like many university and tertiary students out there, I was going through “internship fever” during the first quarter of 2021. Endless scrolling through LinkedIn jobs and job sites finally landed me with the listing: “CSR Communications Intern”.
As a corporate communications major with a growing passion toward sustainability, the role felt like the perfect blend of my personal and professional interests. Despite Sleek’s start-up nature, the company uses tech for good to make an impact far larger than many established corporations. After interviews with Sleek’s friendly HR and being introduced to the co-founder of the company, I got the job!
I was immediately met with a warm welcome from the company – Co-founder & CEO, Julien, even welcomed my joining via LinkedIn before I officially onboarded into Sleek. From the get go, it was clear to me that there was a strong sense of camaraderie and family in the offices of Sleek.
Projects I involved myself in
Adrien, the Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer, laid out extensive “missions” for my 7-month internship. Together, these projects build the foundation of the #DoBetter campaign by Sleek.
From the start, I became the key contact between Sleek and our partners, Handprint Tech, who manage our carbon neutrality programme. Every month, they assist us in planting new mangrove trees in East Java, Indonesia, to absorb the carbon Sleek emits from its daily operations. These trees not only help us do our part for the environment, but also conserve biodiversity and provide employment opportunities for the locals in the region.
To date, we have a growing number of 13,264 trees that will absorb 1,470 tons of carbon by 2030.
I was trusted with applying and certifying the company as a B Corp, a certification awarded to companies who successfully prioritise and balance people, planet and profit. The process scrutinises the organisation and requires me to coordinate with all the different departments to gather information.
The company even pushed me to build their volunteering programme from the ground up. Overall, I was very much involved in the who, what, where, when, why and how of Sleek’s current volunteering programme. The company is now partnered up with Rainbow Centre, a charity that strives to support young persons with disabilities through education, support and training programmes. Our programme with Rainbow Centre, the micro-business academy, is committed to teaching their students and families how to effectively manage, improve and scale up their small home businesses.
We also hold monthly lunch & learns, for employees to learn more about the different communities in Singapore, and how we can be kinder toward them.
My takeaways from the role
All in all, leading company-wide initiatives has been no easy task. Throughout the process, I’ve come to see the beauty in collaboration with others. Many of our initiatives would not be possible without the help of others – be it from internal departments or external partners.
Beyond the CSR and communications roles I play, planning from the ground up has been an operational process, too. Coordinating the logistics of different initiatives in a timely manner was crucial; the last thing we wanted was overwhelmed employees and low sign-up rates. Preparing summaries, flowcharts and timelines also made communication much simpler for many employees.
Lastly, starting up sustainability initiatives as a business does not need to be hard! With the right goals in mind, there are plenty of avenues your business can take to achieve your sustainability goals.
Sleek’s start-up nature gave me the autonomy to drive the projects that I did. It allowed me to be creative with our options, and lead projects that I would otherwise have been a follower of. To add, things move really quickly at Sleek, and efficiency is one of the many factors that allowed our initiatives to roll out as quickly as they did. In many senses, working at Sleek has accelerated both my personal and professional growth.
Kindness is one of Sleek’s values, and it really shines through in the company. Employees are extremely warm and receptive to new initiatives, and are always ready to celebrate the successes of the various teams. I believe that the close-knitted ness among all employees, despite the geographic distance between our offices, played a strong role in the success of our initiatives.
This internship experience has been nothing short of humbling, nurturing and rewarding. Beyond being able to proudly champion many initiatives, I have also met the loveliest beneficiaries and colleagues whom I have meaningful relationships with. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing team, and now you have the chance to, too!