We’re all after the perfect internship that teaches us something and allows us to have fun and get our hands dirty, all without interrupting our course load. Maybe I’m biased because I’ve been at #PurpleAsia for six months now, but I’ve made a few discoveries I’d like to share.
On my first day entering the company, I discovered the CEO and Creative Director are British, the Brand Experience Director is American, and the Client Service and PR Director, as well as all of the other staff, are Vietnamese from different regions in the country. At first, I was intimidated, thinking it’d be a very tough environment to make a name for myself and find my place, but boy, was I wrong. And this is just the first discovery of many in my series, titled ‘Agency Life as an Intern’.
PurpleAsia is committed to a professional environment—no drama, no quarrels, limited ego, and no internal trouble. Everyone is kind, helpful, and friendly. In my first staff meeting, Matt Millard, Founder and CEO, said something that’s always stuck with me: “PurpleAsia is first and foremost a friendly, welcoming place to be. Our current workload is quite heavy, so we must take care of each other and our mental health. If you have any issues, speak up—if you need help, ask those around you, they will help because that is intrinsic to our culture.”
I was surprised and a little unconvinced. Surely these comments were lip service towards maintaining morale and camaraderie, as I’ve seen so often on television and online? But no, it wasn’t lip service. In my time here, I’ve always received help when needed; from urgent work that needs reviewing after hours to picking up goods or paperwork for clients in need of support, everyone at PurpleAsia chips in to help each other, or more specifically me, when needed without disregard or bitterness—I’ve really enjoyed this aspect.
Now, let’s discuss lunch, the best time of the day. I’ve worked in places where lunch was lonesome and dull, where every person was for themselves, and interns were never invited. But not at PurpleAsia. The company has plenty of team meals that everyone joins, but also a ‘once-a-month restaurant’ where one member brings ingredients to the office and everyone prepares a meal together—how fun, especially trying dishes from different regions of the country! From day one, I’ve felt like part of the family, with interesting chats about work and non-work-related topics enjoyed around the lunch table.
Back to the work. A few of my friends, like I’m sure many of you out there, completed their internship making coffee, serving tea, getting copies, and asking for signatures—what did you even learn? I’ve worked on several projects and events as an intern in the PR & Comms Department. I’ve felt like part of the team, like my contributions mattered, even when I wasn’t sure I had the right knowledge or experience. The team let me do my own thing, guiding me enthusiastically when needed, and it’s been so rewarding to see my words go live. I’ve even been to some very high-end events, which is just the icing on the cake.
With 20 years of experience, PurpleAsia has a high-end and luxury client base, requiring attention and finesse. I’ve gained vast knowledge from each project I’ve worked on, worked on time management to meet strict deadlines, and diplomatically discussed briefs and expectations with clients.
In short, I’ve learned a great deal from some of the best in the business and very quickly realised how fun and fulfilling Agency Life can be as I prepare to decide what to do with my future. I would recommend PurpleAsia to anyone looking for a meaningful internship experience in Branding, PR, and/or Design.