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.

My Dream Team

Our team is considered “the youngest team” of the company as my colleagues are mainly fresh grads or college seniors. Even though most of them are only 2-3 years older than me, they have already worked as executives of the Business Intelligence team who are responsible for all data-driven tasks and big projects of AhaMove. Just like our company being a young startup, they are still inexperienced sometimes yet wholeheartedly energetic and passionate about working with data and contributing to the growth of the whole company. Their youthful energy and mindset flow into every little corner of the office and help keeping it upbeat. Words cannot describe my admiration towards the talented and amazing coworkers that I have a great opportunity to work with.

As the youngest member of the team, I have always been supported and instructed carefully by my mentor and other coworkers, motivating me to work harder and learn more not only about technical knowledge but also from their prior experiences in data analytics. Besides, they care a lot about my internship experience and always make sure that I can get the most out of it. Indeed, my supervisor and I just had a one-on-one discussion last week to summarize my first month of internship and reflect on my future career in data analytics, which enabled me to enrich my understanding of the development of the industry in Vietnam and inspired me to continue pursuing the career path that I chose to follow.

Because our age gap is not significant, it did not take me long at all to get close to them. Apart from work, we spend most of our free time chatting by the windows or playing different kinds of board games, which helps us destress after a busy day and get to know each other better. In addition, we had a weekend getaway to Sapa and went on a company trip to Danang including both the North and the South branches. Not only do these activities bring us closer but they also create a strong bond and friendships that grow beyond the office.

Us celebrating our team leader’s 2nd work anniversary

Monthly Report

“Monthly Report” is probably the phrase that I used most frequently last month. In the first month of my internship, my mentor and I worked closely with the Business Development (BD) team that is in charge of customer service. Founded in 2015 with the mission of addressing inefficiency in the logistics sector and reducing the cost for consumers, AhaMove serves as a platform that connects drivers and customers to facilitate the delivery of goods within in a short time at a reasonable price. Therefore, the BD team plays an important role in simplifying different processes for consumers to easily track their orders and benefit from quality service. Collaborating with the BD team, we aimed to help them identify problems and find effective business strategies for ongoing projects. My job responsibilities involved assisting my mentor to evaluate the efficiency of these projects by creating adhoc reports to track KPIs and visualizing manipulated data for further analysis. Having limited exposure to data analytics, I was a little behind in determining solutions for requested tasks and optimizing my codes. As a result, aside from assigned tasks, I have self-studied R and SQL in my free time using online courses to practice technical skills as well as accumulate hands-on experiences in data analytics. Although I have obtained basic skills in data analytics from different class projects, I have not had a chance to work with large datasets to solve real-world problems. Because R and SQL are widely used to manage, extract and analyze data, a strong background in these programming languages will give me a competitive edge in my future career. Hence, working at AhaMove gives me endless opportunities not only to apply my learning at Dickinson to real challenges but also to expose me to the nature of data analytics. With these promising opportunities, I look forward to further enriching my professional experiences as well as strengthening my skills and knowledge in this field in the remaining weeks of my internship at AhaMove.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle at work

During my first week of internship, I had such an informative conversation with the CEO of the company about not only AhaMove itself but also several interesting facts beyond its foundation. He explained that he decided to locate the office right next to Hoang Cau lake because of his desire to encourage the employees to sustain a balance between time allocated for work and other aspects of life. That being said, a busy schedule should not be an excuse for ignoring their health condition.

Because office workers, including the young ones, tend to be lazy and thus adopt unhealthy habits, the CEO of AhaMove wants to become a pioneer in improving employee wellbeing and spreading a positive energy around the company. Given that the company office is near the lake, they could either take a break from work by contemplating the lake view from the office windows or going for a walk to relax, de-stress or even work out in their free time. Aware of the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, he also organizes different sports competitions during our company trip to promote team-building as well as physical exercising. As a healthy lifestyle in a busy office environment not only energizes each individual but also strengthens the company as a whole, these activities would help in developing physical, mental and intellectual health of the workers and motivating productivity, discipline and concentration in the workplace.

Indeed, I found my own ideology of a work-life balance is on the same page with his. Since my job involves sitting at the desk for several hours, I try to reduce its damages to my body by maintaining daily workout as a must-have in my morning routine. Before going to work, I always go to the gym and have a good sweat to get myself ready for a new day. Besides, instead of using elevators, I prefer stairs as they helps me stay active with a sedentary job and burn some extra calories at the same time. Therefore, these exercises not only keeps me in shape but also boosts my energy and leverages my productivity throughout the day. Inspired by the CEO and other colleagues, I have learned many ways of managing to handle work efficiently and live a healthy lifestyle. Thanks to the internship grant awarded, I have a precious opportunity to gain more insights in my future career path and fully engage in such a fast-paced start-up environment that prioritizes the quality of both work and life.

The lake view from our office
The lake view from our office

My first week of internship

With a significant advantage of working for a startup, I had a chance to have one-on-one meetings with the CEO of AhaMove and different managers of the departments that I would collaborate closely with, including Business Intelligence, Operations, Business Development and Marketing. Valuing the importance of connecting employees with the company’s mission, the CEO and managers spent a lot of time showing me the structure, daily activities and latest problems of each team in order to equip me with general knowledge of the company as well as the logistics industry. Not only did they mention the opportunities and challenges that the company has been facing but they also shared their experiences and lessons from which I could enrich my understanding of AhaMove. Since the Business Intelligence team plays a vital role in sustaining the supply-demand balance by helping AhaMove identify, develop and implement effective business strategies, a strong background in the operation of the company and each department within it will help me fulfill my responsibilities as a data analyst intern more efficiently. Indeed, to understand more deeply about the service that AhaMove provides as well as the recruiting process, I participated in a special training session for  new drivers and took an assessment test afterwards like other trainees. Along with different lessons learned from the professionals, I gained more insights of not only the company but also the logistics industry in Vietnam during the first week of the internship. Therefore, I am certain that AhaMove is an amazing workspace where I can grow both professionally and personally in the next three months.

About my internship at AhaMove

AhaMove is a prominent start-up in Vietnam that provides an Uber-like logistics service. Founded in 2015 with the mission of addressing inefficiency in the logistics sector and reducing the cost for consumers, AhaMove serves as a platform that connects drivers and consumers to facilitate the delivery of goods within in a short time at a reasonable price. Coupled with advances in technology, this platform not only simplifies different processes for drivers, but also allows consumers to easily track their orders and benefit from lower cost.

To create a cyber marketplace with equivalent stakeholders of both sides, the Business Intelligence team plays a vital role in sustaining the supply-demand balance by helping AhaMove identify, develop and implement effective business strategies. As a Data Analyst Intern of the department, I create daily key performance indicators and dashboards to track project/ department performance and help demonstrate how effectively the company is achieving key business objectives. Based on the manipulated data, I collaborate with other colleagues to design, analyze and automate models to increase interaction between customers and drivers with AhaMove. My responsibility also includes coordinating with different teams of the company to collect and analyze the data to assess the opportunities and challenges of the service that the company provides.

As a double major in Economics and Mathematics, I have always sought for an internship that aligns with my interests and allows me to apply the knowledge from Dickinson classes and experiences to a professional setting. After taking the course Probability and Statistics at Dickinson, I found my interest in working with numbers through different data analysis projects and decided to follow a statistical track. With my passion and determination to pursue a future career in data analysis, I believe that AhaMove is a professional workplace where I can enrich my understanding of this industry and nurture my potential to the fullest. Working at AhaMove gives me endless opportunities not only to apply my learning at Dickinson to real challenges but also to expose me to the nature of my desired career as a data analyst. I will be able to leverage my skills in data manipulation, mining and visualization for management. This would improve my quantitative reasoning skills as well as my background in certain programming languages, especially SQL. Along with the support of my supervisor and other colleagues, I will be able to engage in a fast-paced start-up environment, learn from the professionals and gain more insights in data analytics industry. Combined with my background in math, the internship at AhaMove will further strengthen my data analytical, technical and communication skills while exposing me to a data analysis career.

In a sharing economy with relentless changes, these skills and experiences will give me a competitive edge in career opportunities. Because data analysis is a rapidly growing and highly demanding field, only analysts exhibiting excellent standard statistical techniques and a sharp business mindset can stand out. Combined with my interest in working with numbers and desire to be a data analyst, interning at AhaMove will be a good preparation for my future career in data.

The office view from my desk