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Virtual but Mutual: A Team’s Success Is Defined By Its Building Blocks

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“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Growing up, this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was one of my most cherished ones. Never did I imagine that one day, I would be able to see these words be put to practice and enacted each and every day by a team of diverse individuals, otherwise known as the beloved family of PaperplaneCo.

As a first-time intern at PaperplaneCo, I expected to be buried under mountains of work and perhaps, even receive a certain aloofness from my supervisors. I still remember the first meeting with my colleagues — my heart was pounding at a 100 miles per minute, my palms were sweating furiously, and there one thought that kept reverberating in my mind: “What if they don’t like me?” Little did I know that my fears would be allayed within the first few seconds of meeting them. I was enveloped by a warm, welcoming blanket of acceptance; it felt burrowing into a cosy comfort of a shared love for creating content and building on each others’ ideas.

I have always believed in organic interactions. As a Gen Z, it is ironic that I am not much into the idea of virtual friendships, of communicating via emails and text. But PaperplaneCo introduced me to this whole new world of sustaining relationships – with colleagues and clients – via online platforms, and it was an awe-inspiring experience.

I soon came to realise that the root of this abundant ocean of optimism and sunshine-energy in every member was their drive to soar to greater heights. We were separated by geographical locations but bonded by the love to see throughevery idea to fruition, to deliver each project on time, to create and inspire. We loved what we did, so coming to work (switching on your laptop really) was the highlight of each day. PaperplaneCo’s vibrant and spirited work culture has inspired me to bring on this same liveliness to my school and future workplace. One of the most important lessons I have learnt from this internship experience is: love what you do and the people you work with, and every day will seem like a fresh new page, a new beginning, a new dawn.

If I could sum up the engines of PaperplaneCo in a few words, it would be this: each member possesses the bright spark of unique individuality, and together, our teamwork dynamites. PaperplaneCo is a well-oiled machine, its parts primed and pumped, ready and raring to go each day. We are fuelled by the love, respect and appreciation we have for one another; our teamwork is dreamwork.

Ujja Mukhopadhyay Intern

Ujjayini is a student of Raffles Institution, Singapore and interned at PaperplaneCo from November 2020 to January 2021. A chatterbox at heart, Ujja aspires to major in political science and law in the future and hopes to pursue her dream of working as a foreign ambassador. In her free time, she likes to read and dance.