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From intern to girl boss

Storytime! I’m currently in the car for 9 hours already on my way to Switzerland and I thought, let’s write down my thoughts, which turned into this article.


It all started when I got a LinkedIn request to add someone to my network two days ago. I haven’t looked at my LinkedIn profile for a long time, I didn’t even know my password anymore.
When I was finally logged in, I saw many more invitations waiting and I could also see the stats that I had 200+ profile visits in the last 90 days.

As I am already quite occupied and happy with my current work, I didn’t feel the need to update my profile. Nonetheless, I was reading everything that I wrote 5 years ago and I thought, oh my god… The descriptions and my representation, in general, were just terrible.
So even though I am still not interested in any job offers, I did feel the urge to at least adjust a few sections. It might bring me new business for HashtagbyLily. You never know.

So that’s what I did, late at night, to be exact 2.51 AM. I had a million other things that needed to be done on my to-do list, and LinkedIn was NOT on that list. However, with my insomnia problem, I knew I could never fall asleep if I didn’t do it. It will haunt my mind if I close my eyes. 
Hence, I fixed a few things and it’s a little bit more decent now.

Me as a boss

While rewriting a few descriptions, I was also reading my recommendations from my former managers during my internships. I was very pleased to have them write all this positive feedbacks about my work.

Coincidentally, I asked the question “Would you take me seriously as your boss?” on my daily polls on Instagram. In the beginning, a lot of people answered: “no” (the number is a bit biased as almost all my friends answered “no”). I didn’t have any expectations, but I had to ask some of my former interns for some feedback.

Daily poll instastories hashtagbylily

Not sure what they will say about me behind my back, but I definitely haven’t pointed a gun on them to say the following:


My first girl boss

It was really sweet of them to say all these words. It got me thinking about where my management style is coming from. This brings me back to my LinkedIn profile. When I started at, I was hired to be an intern at the e-business department. I worked closely with my manager, Dorien Hendriksen.

I can recall that she was the only woman on the management team. It was such a male-dominated company. I really looked up to Dorien. Her management style was getting the best version out of me. Really, during my internship and even my temporary job after, I wanted to push for the best results, without having her constantly checking on me and having fun on the work floor. The freedom and trust she gave me to execute projects, doing things outside my comfort zone, really shaped me into a young professional. And even now, when I reflect on this, I can see the resemblances and how I try to come close to her flair.

Over the years there were many women who inspire and shape me into the person and boss I am today for which I am grateful. In my turn, I hope I can give something back too. 

Girl-boss hashtagbylily
Team hashtagbylily


Now that I have my own interns, I try to be an inspiring mentor for them as well. My style of management so far, I would describe is to be flexible, patient and give a lot of freedom to challenge them creatively. Listen to their obstacles and guide them through the process without literally spitting it out for them. I do realize that my struggle is that I find it hard to be really strict sometimes, as I become fond of them working so closely every day, I can be soft when I need to act like a boss. Being aware of this, I am still working on this aspect. Nonetheless, there is time to work and there is definitely time to play.

When I started my blog, I never expected that I would hire interns at some point. I am proud to have a little team now. And I am lucky to be able to work with these eager talented ladies.
For one thing, I know, HashtagbyLily won’t be my end game. I have a vision of my career path and I hope I can write another article about my next successes in a few years 😉

Keep you posted!! 

x Lily

team hashtagbylily


Lily Tjon Hashtagbylily

Chinese Dutchie sharing her love for Fashion, Beauty, Travel, Lifestyle & Culture.