Employee Stories | My Search for Mission within a Good Business
Can a young business thrive in Singapore? Does passion really work? Jadyn, a Business student from the National University of Singapore (NUS), shares her honest take on her marketing internship with Hatch.
I've heard about Hatch way before interning with them. During one of my classes in my second year of university, I sat beside my classmate who happened to be working with Hatch. While chatting during the break, I was kaypoh and nosy, so I glanced at her laptop screen. She was writing business development emails! I caught a glimpse of the round, yellow egg-shape and the big bold word: H-A-T-C-H.
Curious, I googled Hatch to find out more. At that time, Hatch was mostly working on their Customised Immersive programs catered for vulnerable students. As I read about their beliefs and model of training and placements, a sense welled up in me that Hatch is doing some really important work that made a practical difference in people’s lives. I found the Hatch method to work out beautifully in meeting the needs of job seekers and employers too.
Looking back, it’s no surprise that Hatch’s mission resonated with me then. I have always planned to be involved in the social impact space. Doing good has been on my heart since young and it has bugged me that the needs of those less privileged in society have been systematically unaddressed.
One of the visions for my future is to take the knowledge, skills, and network from the private sector and apply it to strengthen the work in the social impact sector. So, at the start of my final year in school, I wanted to experience working in a social enterprise and find out what it is like to knit a mission and good business together.
I expected a small and young company, but I didn’t expect passion that works
Before my first day with Hatch, I had 2 expectations. Firstly, having interned in a small business before, I was prepared for a small, cramped, and uncomfortable working space. Secondly, since this is a young social enterprise started by founders not that much older than me, I was expecting the team to have a lot of passion, but perhaps not have the experience or skills to put passion into action.
I can gladly say that I was both right and wrong about my expectations of Hatch’s working space (in the best possible way!). To fit the needs of the growing Hatch team, some of us work in a shared office space for startups. On days where more of us gather in that office for meetings, it can get cramped. But I’m glad I had the experience because it challenged me to adjust and showed me what the team is made of. I expected some sulkiness from my colleagues, but we acknowledged the sucky parts without being sulky about it! People still brought the best they had, and you could see people adjusting furniture and shifting things around to make the space suitable for everyone.
I was blown away by the co-working space we were at: Bold At Work.
An all-round inspiring workspace with splashes of my favorite colour
(yellow!) and different seating options | Image credits: Bold at Work
It was like a dream when I first went there, and every time we went there I felt very lucky to be able to work in such a comfortable and inspiring space. The Bold At Work team does a great job of designing and maintaining the co-working space. This is by far my favorite workplace.
Space has a big impact: Having our team huddles in Bold made me
feel like bringing my best self everyday | Image Credit: Bold at Work
I am also glad to say that my doubt about a young social enterprise team being able to pull off a big mission was wrong! Relatively speaking, the team does not have the most experience under their belt if you define them by conventional terms, but they are not to be underestimated.
I would like to illustrate an example through Wan Qing, our Chief Product Officer who was simultaneously fulfilling the role of a marketing coordinator during my internship. Conventionally you wouldn’t say she has the direct professional experience to do that. However, she is bold in exploring and learning. Be it through reading, asking questions from experts in their field, researching... Her drive to get better and get things done makes her work powerful. Wan Qing brings a can-do curious attitude to the team’s culture and that has built the skill, critical thinking, and confidence of the team at Hatch.
There were several times during meetings where my teammates were presenting their work, and something they said made me go, “Whoa, where did that come from? That’s great!” Once, we were discussing the performance trends of our social media account. Gabby shared her observation that heavily edited photos perform differently based on the channel. That made me realise that my teammates were truly skilled at what they do.
Over the few months here, I realised that this special zing in the team came from hard work, a strong team culture, and each person’s belief in Hatch’s mission.
Hatch’s Special ingredient: Growth and Respect for our Human-ness
Hatch’s mission is to make learning and career fulfilment accessible to all, especially those who might find it difficult to get there because of their background or educational pathway.
This is our mission because at our core, we care about people.
Hatch has a beautiful consistency between mission, values, and day-to-day culture. The leaders in the team are passionate about growth, so they create opportunities and open access to resources that help employees (and interns) grow. We, interns, were entrusted with chances to just try and we received mentorship to make the most of these learning experiences.
Together with Hatch’s focus on growth, Hatch’s culture of experimentation makes a good recipe for professional growth. There was this just-try-it attitude in the team where all of us said, “If I don’t know how to do this, but it’s important to move things forward, I’ll find out how to do it and just try.”
For example, even though Ally hadn’t done branding work before, she pulled together research on colour theory, symbolism, and logo samples to learn how to brand an organisation. She also came up with drafts of logos to run by the team, experimenting and tweaking each time to get better. At the end of the few months, I could see that she better understood how to adjust the visuals of things we were putting out to better reflect the Hatch brand.
This culture of experimentation means that the ceiling for our growth is as high as we want to push it: it’s not dependent on the experience of a superior, but based on what we have the guts to try to do.
I also deeply appreciated Hatch’s respect for our human-ness by setting healthy boundaries around work. There were a couple of times that I replied to work messages past office hours or on a weekend, and Wing Lum replied telling me to go and rest. Wan Qing also told us in a team meeting that we prioritise the quality of work over quantity of hours, telling us that we could freely arrange to work-from-home, especially if we felt more comfortable and productive.
These are little things, but they show the deep trust that the leadership has with employees and the willingness to re-think ideas of what good work truly is.
Another big part about Hatch is we enjoy relationships and connections, which makes for a very fun team culture! I’m sorry I can’t reveal all the nonsense that we do together, but you can ask around or give us a visit! (hint it involves: TikTok and LOTS of Gen Z memes)
What does “Growth Careers” mean to you? How has working at Hatch changed that opinion?
Truthfully, I used to think that the best example of a growth career is like a management trainee program. They are rigorous 1-2 year programs offered by the top companies to grow and nurture future top management. They have growth opportunities, rotations through departments, and accelerated career progression. As a business student educated in Singapore, it is quite natural for me to see these programs as the epitome of a ladder that leads you through a growth career.
But after my time with Hatch, I’ve broadened my perspective on what puts the growth into a growth career. Seeing the career paths of Hatch learners, especially mid-career switchers, I see now that careers aren’t straight like a ladder. Careers span our lifetime, and they can be made of different parts where we are learning different skills. So growth potential is made of the set of skills we pick up in a prospective job and the future possible options it opens up. This also needs a great deal of bravery to guide our own ship, but it makes me more hopeful that the set of good, fulfilling jobs encompasses much more than I thought.
Psst I’d love to chat if you have some thoughts or questions to share after reading this article. You can reach me on LinkedIn, or pop any member of Hatch a message to get in touch!
Interested to join Hatch?
We are always on the lookout for people who are hungry to create a more empathetic and equitable future of work and education. If our mission resonates with you, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out what we look for when we hire!