By Alaric Ng
The Hoffman Agency, Hong Kong
I remember having just returned from my six-month student exchange program in the United States to Singapore. Severely jetlagged and still adjusting back to the humid tropical climate from the bitter cold of the Midwest, I had only four days to unpack and pack before I was off to Hong Kong. Before I could take a proper breather to absorb the sights and sounds of this wonderful city, I embarked on my 12-week internship at The Hoffman Agency.
And there began one of the most exciting summers I have ever had.
I was never a science kid. I appreciate tech, but have never fully understood it. When something goes wrong with my laptop at home, I summon my brother to help me fix it. Words like “big data” and “virtualization” were never part of my life. However, being placed in an environment where tech affairs were now central to everyday work, I began to understand the indispensability of technology in our lives.
More importantly, I understood the significance of Hoffman’s tech focus and the very critical work that Hoffmanites engage in every day. It was a gratifying experience being part of this powerhouse team in the Hong Kong office — working alongside them and learning from their great work ethic. The office was always alive with energy; the solid camaraderie amongst every team member was what kept me motivated as I left my humble Tin Hau abode every morning.
No two days at Hoffman are the same. Every day promises a new assignment — a new challenge to be tackled, a new learning experience or a fresh insight. It was thoroughly exciting to be involved in multiple accounts. There was always something that kept me inspired at Hoffman, like copywriting for a client in the chemical industry, assisting with the groundbreaking ceremony of a regional telecommunications giant or doing research for a new business pitch,
You will never know if you are fit for the PR industry until you actually try it out for yourself. An internship at Hoffman is definitely a great starting point. Every task allows you to develop your strengths and master your weaknesses. In addition to the variety of assignments you’ll receive, you’ll find that the people you work with make a great deal of difference. At Hoffman, we enjoy lunches together. We celebrate birthdays together. We make red bean ice desserts together.
Yes, we even share our secret stash of chocolates with one another.
If you are considering embarking on an internship with The Hoffman Agency, or any agency, here are a few tips that might come in handy to help you make the best out of your internship:
Take the initiative to seek out new tasks. There will be times when everyone in the office is extremely busy, scrambling all over preparing for an event. You can be useful by helping to prepare media kits, emcee scripts or pack the guest registration materials.
Talk to People
Everyone in the office has something special to share. Sometimes it is not just the assignments that teach you something … you can also learn a great deal from your team members’ stories. At Hoffman, the people are full of surprises. You may find someone who is reading for a law degree, another one who speaks five languages and even one who once did photography with National Geographic.
Most importantly, whatever you do, have fun! We oftentimes set very high expectations for ourselves and become too stressed out. Take time to pause for a while and live in the moment. This will give you the opportunity to truly appreciate what you are doing and enjoy PR.
I was amazed that the three months at Hoffman had come and gone in the blink of an eye. I am happy to say that it was a summer well spent. I miss the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, the delicious egg tarts at the coffee shop near the office, and the friendly barista at the nearby Pacific Coffee outlet. But most of all, I miss working with the incredible team at Hoffman.