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Four challenges I experienced during my internship at TamTam

“TamTam? That magazine about wild animals?” That was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the vacancy for an HR intern. I couldn’t have been more wrong! As it turns out, thisTamTam was way more fun and much more challenging than I ever could have imagined. Here is what I learned during my internship.

(Before you continue reading, I have to confess that I’m not really a writer so please bear with me. But learning how to write is something I’d love to do, and I guess talking doesn’t make you a better writer! So here goes…)

Challenge one: the first day

Day one was like the first day at school. I arrived way too early and it was as nerve-wracking as hell. What should I wear? Am I asking the right questions? Is my elevator pitch really good enough?

Luckily, I had the company of ten other interns who were all feeling the same way on that first day. We were like a group of little ducklings that followed everybody around at the office. But I survived. The same way as I survived my first meeting and my first presentation. And guess what? Being thrown in at the deep-end and outside of my comfort zone was one of the best ways for me to grow and learn new things. So my advice to you is that, yes, it’s scary, but always go for it.

Challenge two: keeping up to speed

Life at TamTam is fast-paced and changes all the time. If you don’t keep up, you will get lost. When I started my internship, Nanda, Sandra, Jaqueline and myself where the centre of the HR team. But within six months we grew to a team of eight. TamTam is growing big time and as we welcomed new companies to the Dept family, I could no longer just work behind my own little desk, but had to work together in a network with colleagues in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Manchester.

I wasn’t used to working at such an open organisation with so much room for your own potential. TamTam doesn’t treat you as an Intern; they see you as much a part of the team as their long-term employees.

At first sight you think everything is about the fun, but soon enough you’ll notice that it’s a serious ‘work hard play hard’ mentality. Everybody works their asses of (but they do it with a smile). They are the kind of people that are always happy because they truly love what they do. Everyone goes above and beyond to ensure that they deliver the best possible solution for their clients and for each other.

Challenge three: HR is so much more than just Human Resources

HR is about so much more than hiring and firing. I learned that we are strategists, talent managers, recruiters, coaches, morale-boosters and more.

HR makes sure that you can produce your best work in as happy an environment as possible. TamTam’s personal approach, its focus on seeking and developing the best talent, and the fun rewards it gives its employees makes it one of the best places to work at that I’ve ever seen.

TamTam is all about growing individuals, its teams and the organisation as a whole to go from good to great. A good example is the TMA test (Talent Management Analysis). This is a personality test that creates an objective overview of a person’s 22 drives and talents. Based on these drives and talents, the test identifies which competencies are easy, fairly easy or difficult to you to develop. The test helped me to find the things I’m good at, the areas where I could do better and, ultimately, helped me to grow. It also helped ensure that as an HR representative, I paid attention to the personal development of the Tammo’s around me.

Challenge four: trust, ask and learn

I’m an emotional person and, sometimes, I hate that. I promised myself that they wouldn’t see me cry. But guess what, I cried, like, three times already. There was the time I cried during my performance interview, because I was so nervous about the outcome that the tension build-up came out in tears. But that crying part actually worked out ok 😉

I discovered that working at TamTam is like working with a family of friends that I can trust. My experiences here made me realise that no one can help you unless you ask for it! This is an area that I’m working on, as I still find it difficult to ask for help. It’s not that I think I am the best at everything, but when I believe something is my responsibility I don’t want to bother other people with my questions! Working at TamTam has taught me that sometimes you need help to make things even more awesome, and that it’s okay not to be able to do everything by yourself.

So, there’s four lessons that I’ve learned after 10 months of being a Tammo, and I’m happy to say that I feel fully part of the TamTam family!

Thank you for everything TamTam!

(Hell yeah, I did it! I wrote a blog post!)

Anke Meels

Check www.tamtam.nl & www.deptagency.com for more internships 😉