What motivated you to apply for an internship at The Red Pencil (Singapore)? 

As I’m majoring in Psychology, I wanted to find an opportunity that would allow me to gain real-world insight into the mental health sector. As I was looking for internship opportunities, I chanced upon The Red Pencil. I read up about the organisation and its various types of art therapy programmes and I was pretty fascinated. Since I have always been intrigued by art and therapy, the amalgamation of both seemed like something that was worth exploring and learning more about. Moreover, I also hoped to contribute my part to society.

How does working for a non-profit organisation align with your personal values and career goals?

As someone who is looking to develop a future career in therapy work and benefiting the community, I believe that a non-profit organisation provided a suitable opportunity for me to engage in work that brought meaning to me. Even though my job scope was mainly administrative in nature, working for a non-profit organisation provided a fluid environment which gave me opportunities to interact with people from different walks of life.

What is the most memorable part of your internship?

Making friends! I feel really thankful to have been able to foster meaningful connections within a short span and the time spent with people has been the most memorable for me.

How has your experience as a Programme & Administration intern at The Red Pencil (Singapore) prepared you for your future career aspirations?

As I am interested in future therapy work, the experience of helping out with therapy sessions and workshops brought me great insight into how it is facilitated and what are the considerations prior to each session or workshop. Interacting with diverse groups of people allowed me to learn about some of their challenges and view life from their perspectives. Furthermore, being a Programmes intern allowed me to work on my organisational skills by having several types of data to work with. All these put together, has helped me attain some form of professional and personal growth of which I can bring forward to my future job.

“Working for a non-profit organisation provided a fluid environment which gave me opportunities to interact with people from different walks of life."

If you could solve one ‘wicked problem’, what would it be and why?

Mental health stigma. At least from my personal experience (with regards to some of the people I have met thus far and those around me), the stigma around mental health issues themselves, about those diagnosed with such issues, and the action of seeking therapy are all still prevalent. I have heard comments such as “It’s all in their head” and “They’re weird and dangerous” and I do feel that there has always been a lack of understanding and courage when it comes to mental health matters. I truly hope people work together to become collectively educated about such matters, spread awareness about them, and reduce the discrimination of those suffering from mental health issues.

What is your favourite form of creative expression?

Pencil sketching and painting! Whenever I have the time, I would spend a couple of hours sitting and either sketching or painting whatever thing that inspires me at that point. The whole process feels therapeutic and it allows me to not only express but also reflect on why I choose a particular subject.

What is a piece of advice you would give a prospective The Red Pencil (Singapore) intern?

Do come in with an open mind, be willing to take up a variety of tasks and learn a lot along the way.