Reflections on my internship with NP Co-op

 

For my six weeks of internship, I worked in the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Consumer Co-operative Society Limited (NP Co-op), a cooperative that manages the outlets at @5 and @83, as well as the Ngee Ann Shop @58. Although the internship was short, it has provided me with insights and exposure into the inner workings of a cooperative, as well as the application of accounting knowledge in the real world.

 

I used to think that the NP Co-op primarily functioned as a network of shops selling apparel, snacks, drinks, and stationery. It was only shortly before the internship that I found out that NP Co-op was a separate entity from Ngee Ann Polytechnic itself. Upon further research, I found out that as a cooperative, it had a different business structure than those that I had come across, such as sole proprietorships and companies. I was most intrigued by the fact that a cooperative is guided by a set of cooperative values and divides its profit equally among its members.

 

During the internship, I was tasked to help in the day-to-day operations of the cooperative. One of the most significant tasks I had to do was to assist my fellow interns to promote and sell Ngee Ann T-shirts on a pushcart, in order to increase sales during the holiday period in campus. Through the sales, I managed to understand the importance of attracting people to purchase the merchandise we were selling by means of promotions. I also had the chance to interact with the various colleagues and interns along the way, most of whom were kind, friendly, approachable, and willing to assist me in the various tasks assigned to me in whatever ways possible.

 

This internship has also allowed me to apply what I have learnt in my accountancy course in the real world. I was given a set of tasks in which I had perform financial analyses for the company. These tasks not only allowed me to re-learn my Microsoft Excel skills, but also enabled me to comprehend how financial reports are prepared in real life.

 

I was also tasked to help in the book-keeping at the Anglo Chinese School (Independent) Co-operative by performing bank reconciliations, as NP Co-op also offers book-keeping services. Not only did I have the chance to experience first-hand how another co-op operates as well as the various types of transactions associated with it, but I also gained exposure on how purchases and receipts are recorded in real life and how bank reconciliations are performed.

 

All in all, I thank Ngee Ann Co-op for giving me the opportunity to experience a real-life working environment, which taught me skills on how to interact with my colleagues at work, as well as teaching me to apply the skills and knowledge that I have learnt in my accountancy course to good use. I am confident that the knowledge and skills that I acquired will prepare me for the future.

 

Zach Lee

Intern / NP Co-op

Year 3, Diploma in Accountancy

School of Business and Accountancy

 

(c) Original article available on http://ngeeanncoop.tumblr.com/