A bit about my job at AhaMove

“Operations Intern”. That’s my title at AhaMove, with “Operations” being the department I’m interning in. Different from a normal business whose target is only consumer, a digital-based last-mile delivery company like AhaMove works with both sides of the market – consumer and supplier (or courier). At AhaMove, Operations is responsible for the company’s courier side. Our team, called Ops-Growth, is one of two sub-teams of Operations and dealing with new courier. Recruiting, training, solving daily operational issues, creating incentive programs… anything that helps turning a motor rider into one of our couriers and then keeping them with us for the first four weeks at AhaMove – that’s our jobs.

Being an intern in the Ops-Growth team, my work at first involved heavily with recruiting and training new couriers. That included sending SMS to those interested in working with AhaMove, calling them to make an appointment, and preparing them when they came to our office for training. The job was quite laborious. During the first few weeks, for eight hours at work, I would spend three to four hours for contacting potential couriers and the rest for training session preparation.

The work gave me fascinating insights into the company’s operations and chances to meet and talk to a lot of people, and I liked it. However, as an Economics major with interests in data science, I understood that was not what I really wanted to do – telesales and human resources training. At first, I hesitated to talk with my supervisor about my expectation. It was partly due to the employee – manager distance, partly because I did not want to be seen as too demanding – it was a valuable opportunity to work in an organization like AhaMove and I didn’t want to lose it.

However, I think¬†a good working environment should be one where employees have the same voice with managers. Also, I believe that the more I value this internship at AhaMove, the more I should use my time here wisely. Therefore, I talked to my supervisor about my expectation, which was data analysis. Fortunately, he understood, and now I’m working as an interning analyst for the Operations team, doing research on driver’s metrics and driver-incentive programs.

I’ve also realized how important it is to understand myself. As a rising junior, I know how inexperienced I am and how much I still have to learn. However, if you really understand yourself and know what you truly want, then it’s important that you follow it no matter what the challenges are.

An Operations team’s weekly meeting in which I (red shirt, behind the guy with striped T-shirt on the right) presented my research results

An office culture with more freedom

The other day, our family was gathering and chatting in the living room after dinner. The topic turned to my internship at AhaMove, with questions about the company, my jobs and people at work. During the talk, my parents asked me to show photos of where I sit in the workplace. “I don’t have a seat!” – I told them. Understandably, my parents were quite surprised – I used to be as well during my first days at work.

Technically we have places assigned for each team, with our Operations team at one corner, Business Development in another, Marketing next to the wall etc. It was not really mandatory, however, and member of the teams are not required to be at a particular table for a whole day. We can sit wherever convenient for our work! For me, some days I sat with Marketing to discuss with them about new advertisements for courier recruitment. Other times when I needed to work on my analytic projects, I grabbed my laptop and move next to Business Intelligence team, in case I might need their help.

This is not the only difference between AhaMove and a typical company whose office culture is often very organized and structured. A typical work day at AhaMove starts from 8:30 AM and ends at 6 PM, but we employees don’t have be at office for all nine and a half hours long. Some occasional absences from work are no big deal as long as we have reasonable excuses and our jobs are still finished at the end of the day. In addition, there is no mandatory dress code in our company – no suits, jeans, business casuals or anything. I myself wear shorts and t-shirts (mine, not the company’s) with flip-flops to work everyday. Even my supervisor does too!

Such a work environment with so many extra “freedoms”, from my experience so far, seems to be beneficial for the company. At AhaMove we can do what we like, where we like and when we like it! It helps make our office less ordered, structured and systemized – less office-like, making the workplace just as enjoyable as a place to hang out. Moreover, with less restrictions, it reduces unnecessary pressures and distractions and focuses us on what more important – the work and results.

Such a work environment with more flexibilities goes beyond matters about clothes and work time. It transcends into an office culture of freedom, where we have more opportunities for personal development and career exploration. In the Operations team, my jobs are supposed to involve heavily with recruiting and training couriers and almost nothing with data analysis. Knowing my interests in data science, however, the company has given me chances to delve into the field. My supervisor the company usually  constantly gives me jobs that are more analytic and data-related, ranging from researching on our new incentive programs to collaborating with the BI (Business Intelligence) team on their other projects.

I’ve also gotten to know other people whose positions in the company have changed based on their interest. Mr Binh Do, a BI team’s senior data analyst who is close with me, was first a member of the Business Development team and worked with customers.

Such a “culture with more freedoms” has been one of the reasons why I think AhaMove is a perfect fit for me. I wonder if a workplace with less rules and restrictions, more flexible working conditions is typical for every start-up. Anyway, I hope to learn and enjoy for the one and a half month left of my internship.