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.

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