A New One-day-at-work Experience

As mentioned in the previous post, this summer I came back to AhaMove, the technological delivery company I interned at last year, but with a different role and in a different department. Therefore, despite my previous experience working here, there still are several differences that I have felt, seen, and needed to adjust to. Among them, the most noticeable change is how a typical day at work of mine proceeds.

Last summer when I worked for the Operations department, which deals with the driver-side issues of the company (AhaMove has a two-party system to work with – Driver and Customer), my day would be quickly and easily filled up. Early in the morning I would assist the on-boarding team in registering and training new drivers. The job typically took up to 45 minutes with 30-minute rest between sessions, during which I would go back to my desk and practice my coding skills. After an one-and-a-half-hour lunch break I would divide my afternoon into two halfs, one for analytical work such as research and data-driven assessment of the company’s driver policies, and the other for telesales and driver recruitment tasks. Admittedly a day like that would go by quite fast and busy but, at the same time, also simple. I had lots of work to do but the jobs were pretty straightforward and clearly defined.

On the other hand, as a Data Analyst in the Business Intelligence department, things are not that apparent. Obviously there are tasks assigned by my supervisor and co-workers, but they are not many and half of what I do are not clearly laid out in front of me right at the beginning of the day like when I was in the Operations team. Like other Data Analysts in the team, my job is to provide useful insights into the company’s activities and suggestions to improve its operations. What information, therefore, can be considered useful? What problems the company is having besides those already known to other teams? What actions needed to resolve the issues? Because even the questions are not specific, the pathway and solutions therefore cannot be evident. We will need to talk to other teams, dig into our databases and look at numbers and data before knowing what we need to do.

This is the most visible differences I have perceived between my current job and the one I did last year at AhaMove. The benefits are obvious –  we are free to do what we like and when we like it. However, challenges also exist – we are required to provide “value”, in terms of useful data-driven information with practical and specific plans and actions, for the company. We have meeting only once a month, and our manager’s first question for each team-member in those meeting is always “What have you done this month”. Our great freedom does come with huge responsibility.

The two way of working, the clearly defined way and this one, both have up- and down-sides, but so far I think I prefer this “freedom” more. Admittedly it is stressful and ambiguous at times, but this way of working allows me to explore and learn more, to always critically question and dig deep into problems. Hopefully I can get as much as I can out of this opportunity in the next two months.

Back to Back at AhaMove

It’s been three weeks since I started working at AhaMove. Or, more precisely, “re-started”. Yes, last summer I had interned also at this technologically based delivery company, and also for three months. I was a member of the Operations Department in which our role was to ensure a robust and healthy team of shippers. The tasks varied a lot, including recruiting drivers, training them, resolving their operational issues, and developing incentive programs to improve their productivity.

I was mostly interested in the developing and analyzing incentive programs – I have always been keen on math, and that role let me dig into databases and work with million of numbers to find insights related to drivers’ working processes. For that reason, this summer I wanted to return to AhaMove, or “Aha” for short, to explore more that interest of mine. A month after finishing my application and online tests for the Data Analyst Collaborator position in the Business Intelligence, I got accepted.

Many people including both friends and family asked me why I wanted to return to Aha. Why go back? Why not apply for another company and diversify your experience?

I agreed with them on the benefits of having a diverse experience. However, it does not mean that this return will the same with last summer. AhaMove is a potential startup which changes and grows remarkably day by day. There’re always lots of new things for me to learn, especially after a year of growth and development. More importantly, this time I am in a different department with a different position. I will work not only with the Operations team on drivers’ issues but also with the Business Development department on the customers’ side and with the Marketing unit to tackle branding challenges. My new role in the Business Intelligence is going to allow me to explore more about data science – my career interest, which I could not do previously in the Operations team.

At first I chose AhaMove partly because it’s a start-up – I love working in new and small companies in which I can see everything being built from scratches and take lessons firsthand. It still is a young and dynamic company where I know I will learn greatly. Moreover, the people is also one of the reasons that brought me back. We at AhaMove have bonds that expand outside the company’s walls and offices.

Three weeks into the programs, everything has been just as I expected. I have been exposed to many opportunities, met a lot of people, and learned a lot. It’s still early to say anything further than, but I feel very hopeful about this return of mine.

Front doors of the On-boarding room in which new drivers come to register and receive training