Flying in from Los Angeles, having just completed my Freshman year, I had no idea of what I wanted to do. All I knew was, I had to make something of this summer. I was determined not to spend the next 3 months sitting idle, meeting friends, only to look back and feel like I didn’t do anything productive. As I write this post, I can firmly say, I didn’t. This is my journey from nothing to something.
Before I knew it, I was starting my internship at 4xLabs as a Product Management Intern. My mission was to complete an in-depth market analysis on the Business-to-Consumer side of the business and investigate how to revamp and release a new and improved version of Get4x. It would involve research on competitors, their workings, models and thorough comparisons that would eventually lead us to build the best version of Get4x that we possibly could. On the way, I was told that there might be several other projects that might require my support. I was excited.
Even though I was just an intern, I was given the task to redefine a whole app, from scratch. This was so fulfilling. While my other friends stayed and home and looked forward to their lunches and dinners, I began the process of dissecting every aspect of Get4x, from our competitors to the intricacies involved in building an app as such. The flow of work, the URLs, the hierarchy of choice of languages – everything from the moment the user reaches the homepage to the last step of placing a currency booking. It was through this process that I realized the immense scope and planning required to build an app. Even the tiniest of things have to have been thought through well. As an engineering student, this was all very new to me. It was like I was in a forest and I had some tools to escape the forest (but not all the tools) so I had to make my own tools as I progressed. A lot of it was self-learning. There was one shining source of guidance constantly – our CEO. Every other day, I would find myself in a room with him brainstorming almost every aspect of Get4x. He put things in perspective for me. If I thought the forest was this large, that would only be 5% of how huge the whole forest actually was.
Before I knew it, I was refining the terms and conditions of 4xLabs’ services, we were starting to delve into building a community in Hong Kong, and I was analyzing thousands and thousands of cells of data so as to come up with some trends and relationships that could potentially be used to shape the business going forward. I was working on at least 3 projects at any given time and each were very different. Through all of this though, I was never alone. I always had a mentor for every project I was given and that would be my go-to person but everyone in the office was just as approachable. So much so, I almost forgot that I was an intern and so did some fellow colleagues in Vietnam! On other days, I would have chats about career planning and office problems that would give me a heads-up for what is out there when I graduate. I feel like I have caught a glimpse of how the working world works, but I have a lot, lot more to learn and understand.
As I write this post on my last day here, I am a melting pot of feelings. Sad to go but proud of what I did. Now, the new Get4x app is being developed based on the functional requirements document that I built. The data for the Biz4x Marketplace has been sorted and some interesting observations have been uncovered, waiting to be taken forward. A dashboard for all the main movements on Marketplace is established and updating the source code would update the dashboard. Lastly, a front-end model for exchange and TT rates is completed and ready for presentation. I am still in the forest and I am still trying to get out, but I know the next forest I enter, I will have more tools to survive.
All in all, there could not have been any other internship where I could leave saying I have achieved so much and this makes me so proud yet grateful that this opportunity came in my life. If I had to drop some pearls of wisdom before I sign out, this would be it:
1. Multitasking is Inevitable – Time Management is Key
If you thought college was a lot of things to manage, welcome to the real-life. Several projects might and will come your way that have certain deadlines. They will come together. It is crucial that you understand how to prioritize your work, manage your time because the moment you lose that, it is only a downward spiral from there on.
2. Ask Questions – Gain Clarity
As an intern, it is understood that you do not have all the available knowledge for a project and its proceedings. Ask questions! It is okay to ask questions and get the answers – instead of just assuming you know the answers, which might result in you being questioned. Sometimes, it might seem redundant, stupid, and downright dumb but trust me, it will help in the long run. Enquiring about what’s up is way more important than seeming like you already know what’s up.
3. Help Wherever You Can – Think Out of the Box
In every business, you need to have a value-added service and that becomes your unique selling proposition. Similarly, in an internship, try to make sure you can be useful anywhere and everywhere as much as possible. Once you are there, think out of the box to see what else can be done. It is crucial to get ideas, good or bad, that others didn’t. It is better to get a lot of ideas than none at all.
-Karann Agarwal, Product Management Intern
Interested in an internship at 4xLabs? Send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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