I still remember the first time I had an interview with Mr. Fadly, our EcoKnights Program Director. During that interview, he asked me: “What do you expect to learn here at EcoKnights?” For a moment, I could not give him an answer. For some, they might say ‘I will want to improve my communication skills’ or perhaps ‘I want to meet new people to expand my network’. That was my first time being interviewed, so I was kind of nervous. After few days, I received a text from Mr. Fadly saying that I was accepted for the internship.
On the first day, the office looked far from what I imagined, which was to be more of a corporate-style surrounding. The office itself is a bungalow surrounded with a garden and aquaponics system. The first person I met on that day was Mr. Ashaari, who is working with PopTani. He showed me where the meeting room is, where everyone was already waiting. There I met Mr. Fadly and three other interns; Joy, Mandeep and Bazil. As months passed by, there were more interns accepted and they are from every part of Malaysia. Then, I took this opportunity to find out about other universities and their courses.
As I’m writing this article, it has been almost 6 months since I have started work here at EcoKnights. Too many things had happened within this period. There were a few programs that I needed to coordinate such as the Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF), and the Pulau Tioman Food Waste Survey. For KLEFF, I was tasked to conduct a few film screenings at a few universities. There were a few times that I needed to become a speaker during the screening. For the first time, it was kind of nerve-wracking but after a few talks, I started to gain confidence. But the biggest challenge for me was the food waste survey at Pulau Tioman. I was required to coordinate the whole thing! Imagine going to an island which you are not used to, and conduct surveys. For me, it was quite challenging to work in a different environment but this experience is something that I value and appreciate the most.
Back to the question, what did I learn at EcoKnights? One of the things I’ve learnt is how to practise a green lifestyle. Here in the office itself, we have our own compost bin to produce compost for our plants. We also separate our waste from glass, paper, plastic and aluminium. Other than that, I also learned about the aquaponics system which has already been installed in the office. On top of that, what I have also learnt here is that you always have to have the courage to try something new. I did a few challenging things such as giving a speech in front of crowds, where their ages range from high school to someone who is already managing groups of people. But the lesson that I value the most is that whatever you do, it must be your area of interest. If you do something that you don’t like, sooner or later you will become bored and demotivated to do your job. Since I have been here, I have met various people and most of them are really enthusiastic when they talk about what they do. Well I would love to add more, but words cannot describe the experiences that I have had here in EcoKnights. I would like to thank our president, Mrs. Yasmin Rasyid and program director, Mr. Fadly Bakhtiar for giving me inspiration and encouragement throughout my time here. To all my colleagues, Mandeep, Bazil, Masnawi, Aisyah, Nusyi, Haikal, Zharif, Syamim, Wan, Sue, Jae Mie, and everyone else in the office, you are like my second family here and without all of you, it would be very dull. Thank you.