A stint in Lazada via YouthTech helped this 24-year-old ITE graduate to break out of her comfort zone
The traineeship allowed Nur Syafawati Aman to chase her dreams in being a graphic designer, having initially found jobs in the field hard to come by.
We’ve all been asked this question while we were young: What do we want to be when we grow up?
For Nur Syafawati Aman, the answer was a clear one: To become a graphic designer. So much so, that she even had the words “I want to be a graphic designer” scribbled on her books in secondary school.
And while she does not recall how or when those words were written, she stayed true to her dreams. It was a roller coaster of a journey for the 24-year-old, but one that eventually helped her to break out of her comfort zone.
The design and communications executive at La Maison Du Whisky, who holds a NITEC in visual communications certification, struggled to find a role in the graphics design field.
Despite being on the lookout for opportunities, including internships, the ITE graduate found roles hard to come by. To make ends meet, she worked several jobs unrelated to her studies in the retail and customer service line.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Syafawati took a leap of faith and quit her customer service job to chase her dreams.
“I was stressed out because I didn’t know if [I was gonna get a job]. COVID-19 period, a lot of people were getting retrenched and taking pay cuts. There were budget cuts so it was quite hard to get a job… It was a tough time,” shares Syafawati.
“I was just trying to figure out the timeline… and it was on Instagram when I came across the [YouthTech] page.”
Intrigued by the host of opportunities across different sectors offered by the National Youth Council’s (NYC) YouthTech programme, Syafawati eventually signed up and landed a traineeship with Lazada.
The NYC YouthTech Programme, which ended in September 2022 after two years, provided young graduates and working adults up till 35 years old with full-time traineeship opportunities in various industries, including those in social and community sectors. Lazada was one of the organisations NYC partnered in the programme.
Landing a traineeship at an established company surprised Syafawati, who didn’t even think she might get to dabble in graphic design.
She started her traineeship when Lazada was executing its 6.6 campaign and was thrown into the deep end almost immediately. After taking a week to adjust to the new environment, work ramped up and she was given the chance to design banners for the e-commerce platform’s Halal Store.
“It was memorable to see something I worked on by myself for the first time used for Lazada’s website…. It was something that I created, in my own style, while also adhering to their brand guidelines,” she shares.
Guided by friendly colleagues and motivated by the thought of seeing her work displayed, Syafawati pushed for more. She also picked up soft skills, along with brushing up on her technical skills.
She feels her communication and time management skills have grown the most, as she learnt to adapt to the e-commerce platform’s hectic work environment.
“On time management, usually for Lazada, we create all the content three weeks to a month before the actual campaign. Sometimes things get added on so you have extra work to do on top of work that is already assigned, so that’s where the time management really comes in.
“Because we worked with different departments and a lot of inter-departments, a lot of things can be jumbled up. For example, one person says one thing, and then this person says another… You have to get them together to come to an agreement on what’s needed,” Syafawati shares.
An introvert by nature, she reflectively admits that the experience she gleaned at Lazada was more than she could ask for.
The traineeship allowed her to realise that she needed to be more outspoken at work. Her improved communication skills have helped her out at her new workplace, as she reaps the rewards of the YouthTech traineeship.
Apart from helping her to learn to venture out of her comfort zone, the traineeship also sparked Syafawati’s interest in UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience). She even enrolled into a part-time course to brush up her knowledge on her own accord.
“Eventually, I’d like to do UI/UX design, merging my two areas of interest together.”
For more information about the YouthTech programme and career-related resources, click here.