5,000 Kilometers and A Busy Summer

Above is the photo of my motorbike’s odometer at the beginning of the summer and now. Working at AhaMove, I’ve been traveling a distance of 35 kilometers twice a day, six days a week and for the last three months. That added up to 5,000 kilometers, or 3,100 miles, which is equal to 16 times the distance between Carlisle and New York. In terms of time, it’s taken me one and a half hour per day and almost six days in total to just literally go to work.

Having to travel that much to work has its own bright side for me, a person who works closely with motorbike couriers. It shows me experiences and troubles and difficulties the couriers may have on the road, giving me a bit of how it feels being a motor-rider myself. Understanding of the job you’re doing and the people you’re dealing with is undoubtedly important.

However, the downsides of having to devote such amount of time and effort outweigh those advantages. Besides my full-time internship and this weekly blog, I am currently taking a mandatory summer course due to curricular differences between Dickinson College and University of East Anglia where I’m studying abroad next semester. That’s already a lot of work, not mentioning my two VISA applications, one US and one UK, and the Dickinson’s Internship Notation Program (INP) I have to occasionally report to. Going back home at 7:30 PM already worn out after a long working day and long journey, therefore, doesn’t seem to be my favorite thing this summer.

Having a busy life is not totally a disaster. Human’s body is like a machine; if you leave it inactive for too long, the gears will be rusty and the engines defective. However, if you keep it overworking for too long, the machine will get overheat and gradually broken as well.

I did not expect nor realize my summer would be this busy until the beginning of it after all the things I had signed up for at the end of the semester suddenly rushing towards me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about those things at all – the internship has been one of the best summer experience I’ve had, while this weekly blog program allowed me to reflect, understand and appreciate such experience even more.

It’s just not really a good idea to have too much of anything. It’s like food – despite how good it is, you wouldn’t be able to have anymore if you’re already full. You’d be overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed. Everyday after eight hours at work, I’d go home and prepare a blog, write an INP reflection or do my summer course’s homework until 1 or 2 AM. I haven’t really had much time with my family and friends, and that’s what I felt bad the most about.

Having said that, I’ve realized how important it is to have a positive mindset particularly during an internship. Your internship could be one of the most amazing, eye-opening experience you’ve ever had, but you would never be able to get the most out of it with a tired, unmotivated spirit. I recommend that you maintain a hobby, something that can refresh your mind and keep you going, something of your interests. For me, I’ve chosen my occasional after-work soccer matches and it’s worked pretty well, even though it’d delay my returning home until 11 PM and make me stay awake even later that night to do homework.

This has been the most active summer I’ve ever had, and I think I’ve managed it quite well. In exchange of all those three month’s time and effort, I’ve gained and learned a lot of lessons, enough for me to say that I’d do it all over again if the time ever rewinded. There are only a few days left in my internship and my summer, and I look forward to closing my time nice and neat here!

Thoughts about our new project at AhaMove

It’s been almost two months since we at AhaMove started the Pooling feature. Like some of you who’re familiar with Uber may guess, it’s a new function that allows customers to use our service at lower prices but higher delivery time. Specifically, our couriers will pick up multiple – instead of one – packages whose routes are relatively similar and deliver them at the same time. Even though it’s just started at the beginning of June, this project had been designed and developed for over a year, long before I came.

I joined AhaMove when the preparation process was at the end. Everyone was holding their breathe waiting for the service’s debut; this is one of the most important project of our company this year. After all over a year of hard work, there were still many problems. How to increase the matching rate between different orders’ routes while still ensuring lowest delivery time? How to make couriers accept and even love the new service despite its lower prices? How to promote it among our customers? Even after the program has been launched, there were still many other issues, from major to little, tiny daily ones we needed to work on. There were countless discussions, meetings, and even conflicts. The whole company was on fire during these two months, from our CEO, the departments’ directors to even us employees.

Being a part of such “chaos” was admittedly pressuring but also very inspiring and eye-opening. Pooling is our completely new feature. Seeing the launching of this project is like seeing how a company build its everything from scratch. For a potential entrepreneur like me, that was definitely an invaluable opportunity.

In my previous blogs, I have been talking about how the internship at AhaMove so well. It’s still true, and I appreciate this experience so much. Having said that, I am deeply grateful to Dickinson College and its donors for my internship grant. Without their generosity, I undoubtedly would not have had the precious opportunity of working at AhaMove. I’m really looking forward to the last four weeks and upcoming experiences at the company.

The hustle and bustle even at lunch time in our office during the launching of the new Pooling project. Credit to our CEO Truong Nguyen – thank you for helping us capture our precious moments!