Benjamin Chai

Benjamin Chai“Hmm, I need to start looking for a placement for myself. Let’s google for the Top 10 environmental NGO in Malaysia based in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor… EcoKnights? Ah okay, the name sounds pretty cool, I will apply for it!” That is how I joined the EcoKnights family for 5 ½ months.

As an environmental engineering undergraduate, I am clearly aware that my main interest is not to become an engineer (well that’s pretty bad, don’t learn this).  At the same time seeing my peers applying to various industries and engineering companies, it makes me anxious of whether I should take this step, being the only person (in the whole university probably) applying for an internship in an environmental NGO.

My anxiety disappeared during my first week of work as I received my tasks.  I had the opportunity to join various company meetings together with the director.  I was given the role to mainly handle the MHB Knights of Nature Sustainability Camp myself under the supervision of seniors.  I had the opportunity to propose or initiate ideas I have in my task.  I had goals and targets that I need to achieve.  The trust and responsibility given builds great sense of belonging, and it allows me to unleash my potential through learning by doing. I feel nothing less than being an intern, and I feel extremely fulfilled with an internship experience like this. 

At the same time, going to office every day, seeing faces of a bunch of unique and enthusiastic people excited me a lot.  We had coffee, cereal and nasi lemak for breakfast.  We spent our lunch time together exploring different restaurants in TTDI.  Sometimes we may cook in the office. When we were tired, we took a break and went for an ice cream or took a nap in the resting room.  We gave each other massages when needed.  We screamed each other’s name even when we were so close to each other and we shared our personal stories during Friday funkiki lunch. 

I am the worst person in making choices, but I am proud to say that I have done it right this time by applying into EcoKnights.  We are an environmental NGO on the outside, and a family on the inside.
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