In the course of my four-month-long internship with Shopee, the significance of special sale events like 9.9 and 11.11 changed dramatically. From being designated shopping days for me, they became extremely important campaign days during which my team and I would hustle together to deliver.
And while all those double-digit dates became significant in my internship journey, none of them stood out as much as 12.12 did. Because, you see, 12.12 marked Shopee’s 3rd birthday, as well as my biggest achievement as an HR/Employer Branding intern.
Shopee’s 3rd birthday
In the weeks approaching Shopee’s 3rd birthday, my team and I came together to think of ways we could celebrate it. Celebrations in Shopee always came with a little something extra, and nothing screams “Birthday Party” better than some fun and games.
Our team agreed that in order to properly ring in the occasion, a birthday cake was a must. However, just a normal birthday cake wouldn’t cut it. It had to be something special, like a homemade cake that was sincere and from the heart. This thought sparked an idea in my mind. Would it be possible to make a birthday cake right here in our office?
Inspired by viral cooking videos like Miss Yeah’s cooking escapades and other challenges like cooking a 3-course meal in a coffee maker making their rounds on the internet, I thought that it was only appropriate to have a little cake-related challenge of our own to spread the word about Shopee’s birthday.
Hence, the idea for the 12.12 Cake-Off Challenge was conceived.
Planning the Cake-Off
To make a cake out of nothing but ingredients found in the office sounded a little absurd at first, and it got me several skeptical looks from my bemused teammates (think shaking heads and raised eyebrows). But somehow or rather, after explaining what I had envisioned to my team, they decided to put their trust in me and my slightly unconventional idea. In fact, they became really supportive and excited for the Cake-Off!
To have an actual campaign based off an intern’s idea would have been a risky decision for some, but my team lead Jocelyn Kaylee and Head of HR Lim Teck Yong thought otherwise. They put their faith in me, and the Cake-Off was set to happen in the following week. This was a really big deal for an intern like myself!
And so, we spent the next few days figuring out the mechanics of it all. From the ingredients we would be able to use, to timelining and the judging rubric, we made sure that all grounds were covered before the actual event took place.
When the time came for us to actually make “cakes” with only ingredients found in the office, I was beyond nervous. While I knew it was a completely doable feat, I was afraid of the response we would receive. Would people be disgusted by our Frankenstein cakes? Worse still, would they even be interested in what we had made, much less want to try it out?
However, everyone whom we approached to be a judge in the taste test turned out to be incredibly supportive of our little endeavor. Some of them even found the cakes delicious! When my teammates and I tried our own cakes, we were pleasantly surprised. They tasted much better than we had imagined them to be, thankfully!
My biggest takeaways
Cake making and decoration skills aside, this “Cake-Off” campaign taught me many things, including the importance of having a supportive team. None of this would have been possible if my team had doubted me at any point in time. My fellow interns Perry and Shiya, as well as Jocelyn, had my back the whole way through.
From the conceptualisation to execution, my team was the greatest pillar of support I could have ever asked for. Jocelyn, especially, took the time to listen to me, understand my vision and pointed out areas I had overlooked in order to run a successful campaign, instead of brushing me off completely. At points when I questioned myself, her faith in me and my ideas made everything much less intimidating. Especially since it was my first time being part of something as big as 12.12, my #LifeAtShopee team made sure that I was able to hold my ground even when it was shaking.
An ace team aside, I think it’s also important not to brush off unconventional ideas so easily. Through the “Cake-Off”, both my team and my other Shopee colleagues had a wildly enjoyable time. Not much money or time spent, but the laughs and moments we shared while interacting cross-department were experiences I don’t think we would’ve achieved with a regular, conventional idea.
In the end, the important thing is that the “Cake-Off” brought people in the office together and allowed them to take a breather in the midst of such a hectic season. That, for me, was definitely the most rewarding part of the whole campaign. I guess sometimes, the craziest ideas may end up being the best ones.
Thank you, Shopee, for not only giving me the opportunity to bring my slightly crazy idea to life but for also providing me a safe space to learn. To provide an intern with such a large platform to experiment with was a risk, but I am so grateful for the trust and support that I was given nonetheless. Thank you for listening to the smaller voices, for taking a chance on the unconventional and most of all, for this amazing opportunity. I don’t think I would’ve or could’ve done it anywhere else. This was definitely my greatest win at Shopee.
Do you want the opportunity to bring your campaign ideas to life too? If you’d like to make a difference with your slightly unconventional ideas, check out our openings here. Otherwise, read our other intern reflection articles here. We look forward to having you on our team!