That’s a wrap

Time flies. I just never thought it would be that fast. This week marks the end of my 3-month internship at AhaMove where I have grown so much both professionally and personally.

This internship enables me to improve my technical knowledge and skills in data analytics. As a data analysis intern, I could access to all databases of AhaMove without limitation, understand about data structure and play around with many datasets. From writing ad-hoc queries to creating more complicated report and analysis, I was able to apply my learning at Dickinson such as statistical background from math courses in building models and business mindset through economics courses in approaching problems, which was one of learning objectives for this internship. Working on some big projects along with other colleagues in my team, not only did I learn a lot about different programming languages such as SQL, R and Python, but I also obtained more insights of data and its development trend in Vietnam.

Along with the promising potentials, this internship gives me an exposure to the challenges in this field as well. Rooted in my lack of knowledge and experience, these challenges sometimes made me feel unmotivated and thus wonder whether this career journey is truly for me. Often time, what hampers people from achieving their goals is not the difficulty itself but their fear of experimenting, failing and taking risks. What matters the most here is the way I face it, deal with it and win against it to pursue the chosen path. The long-lasting “battle” may occur internally in our mind instead of being controlled by any external factors, and will settle once I figure things out myself. It takes time but it works. Again, perseverance is a key of success.

I mentioned so many times on my blog how much I love AhaMove’s working environment and I am sure that the reason comes from its people. They are young, carefree and may be inexperienced, but always energetic, passionate and inspiring. With their support and care for me and for each other, I have learned how mutual bonds beyond the office can help strengthen connections between every team member and leverage the productivity of the team as a whole. As the youngest one in the team, I was always instructed, fostered and cared for, which made it so hard to say goodbye. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for having a chance to meet and work with these amazing coworkers. The mentorship and connections I have at AhaMove are so valuable to me because I have learned so much from their talents and prior experiences with which I could have a clearer career orientation based on their recommendation and guidance.

It has been my pleasure to work as a data analyst intern of the Business Intelligence department at AhaMove. This is so far the most memorable summer of my college life, thanks to the internship. I look forward to exploring myself further to find my own way and keep moving forward in the future. Hopefully in that journey, I will have more career opportunities like this internship again.

Our team winning the 1st prize of the office decorating contest for our company's 3rd birthday
Our team winning the 1st prize of the office decorating contest for our company’s 3rd birthday

The Unexpected

It has been my pleasure to work with the Business Intelligence team of AhaMove and learn more about data analytics, thanks to the internship grant and the benevolence of the donors. The internship I have this summer has brought me several opportunities with which I gain more insights of the career path that I follow and understand myself as well. However, the more I know about the professional life, the more I feel anxious of my future in the next two years of college and even after graduation.

People often call it mid-college life crisis and I’m sure it’s hitting me right now: not quite sure of what to do next, which career track is right and what the future holds for me. Working on daily tasks and projects, I felt lost and frustrated sometimes because of my lack of technical skills and hands-on experiences, which eventually slowed down my motivation and progress. As I mentioned in previous posts, daily tasks in data analytics can turn out really ambiguous and unclear, especially when the ideas and assignments are vaguely given. Even when data analysts and scientists invest a lot of time and effort in researching objectives and finding key results, it doesn’t mean that the problems will be solved or finished in an optimal way. For a beginner like me, this frustration is inevitable and thus a competent background of data will enrich my experiences in my field of interest and familiarize myself with occupational stress.

Some people may think that I still have plenty of time to broaden my knowledge of this field and leverage my skills but I think that it is time for me to work harder, not only to prepare for my future career but also train my perseverance to adapt to different levels of work pressure. I soon realize that motivation is not the primary key of success as it can easily go up and down in response to both internal and external factors. From my point of view and experience, success actually develops from self-discipline and habits that support the ultimate goals. Nurturing a habit of learning technical and personal skills beside school work everyday would be an effective way allowing me to transform challenges into opportunities. Along with the internship and mentorship I have at AhaMove, I can seek advice from the professionals and discuss my future career more insightfully.

Finding my own path may look like being a little lost but I’m sure that it will enable me to understand myself and boost up the drive to keep creating. Rather than overthinking about things that may or may not happen in the future, I decide to focus on enjoying my life to the fullest and improving myself at the same time, here and now. So if you are also feeling lost on your way, smash your fear and grow beyond.

It’s getting tough

At the end of July, I started involving in a big project of our team with which we hope to build a customer journey to create a more systematic service and leverage customer satisfaction for both users and drivers. As AhaMove is a technological logistics start-up that aims to create a cyber marketplace with equivalent stakeholders from supply and demand sides, this project plays a vital role in increasing the engagement of customers and fostering the development of the company in a long term.

With its important and wide-reaching impacts, customer journey mapping is considered a powerful tool that reflects customers’ experience and interaction with the company. However, it is hard to find a stable and applicable approach for an effective customer journey because it depends on several demographic and behavioral factors, which makes it challenging to design a suitable journey and generate automated treatments accordingly for all customers. Thus, I am trying to define segments of the customer journey in more details to make sure they target the right audiences.

In general, working with data can be ambiguous sometimes, especially when the ideas behind requested tasks are too broad or impractical to do. Hence, data analysts are required to spend a lot of time researching and digging into data to find patterns and untangle knots in response to requested tasks. In the last month of my internship, I am going to deepen my own research of our customers and keep on developing my models further.

Working on the project, I have understood more deeply about the databases and had a chance to apply the knowledge from Dickinson math classes to a professional setting. Indeed, the statistical models and interpolation methods learned from Probability and Statistics as well as Numerical Methods have helped me visualize data and analyze findings more easily. Although I have learned about SQL and R through some online courses, using these programming languages to solve real problems certainly speeds up my learning process and enables me to remember syntax much faster than merely watching online tutorials and writing codes for virtual cases. Therefore, this project is an amazing opportunity for me to sharpen my analytical skills and accumulate hands-on experiences that will give me a competitive edge in my future career in data analytics.