Hot town, summer in the city.
When autumn kicks off people are well-rested, tan, and full of stories from their summer adventures. In Singapore, however, the concept of autumn is not really a thing. Seasons do not determine the pace of life. It is always 31 degrees. “No need for Swedish industry holiday – the sun won’t run away”, said my Singaporean colleagues as we stayed in the office. In this post, I’ll tell you about my summer when I stayed in the city to work at one of the most exciting companies I know!
A great, underestimated aspect of the KAB-IFP is that it includes a working visa, which is not the case for regular student exchanges to Singapore. It allows you to work fulltime during the four-month summer break. This is great because Singapore has some very exciting companies that I could not have found back home.
Among them is HYPE Ventures, where I spent most of my time this summer. It is a venture capital fund and venture builder that specializes in the international expansion of tech companies across Asia. When a tech startup has gained traction in its domestic market, we help them set up shop in the next country.
The most challenging aspect of working here was understanding the local language Singlish, which has its base in English but draws heavily on several Chinese dialects for its pronunciation, sentence structure, and even some parts of the vocabulary. I’ll never forget the word “Lah!” added to every other sentence, but similarly, I will never learn how to use it myself.
Most thrilling was a business trip that I made to Hong Kong to work with the team at the firm headquarters. Not only because Hong Kong is currently the center of the world’s attention, but because I felt so much at home. I am constantly surprised that the culture of venture building and tech startups is so similar across the globe, from where it originated in the US, to Sweden, and so many parts of Asia. (tip: visit Shenzhen if you have the opportunity!)
A few weeks ago, I finished the internship. Classes are about to start and I’m excited about the upcoming semester. I might even catch up on some of that traveling that Swedes are supposed to do during summer vacation!
Singapore National Day