Like everyone around the world, COVID-19 threw a wrench in my plans for 2021. As an Economics and Political Science major from Wellesley College, I never thought I would spend my senior spring interning for a Big Data and AI company at home in Singapore: two things I am now extremely grateful for.
Diving head-first into the world of Crayon Data
I joined Crayon Data’s highly energetic and enthusiastic team in February. It took a couple of days to assimilate into “start-up culture.” I showed up in a blazer and dress shoes on day 1. My boss was amused by my politeness and formality. But I quickly plunged into the world of marketing with guidance and support along the way. My three-month stint included producing and promoting Crayon’s AI podcast, Slaves to the Algo, product marketing research and project planning a one-month International Women’s Day event campaign.
Producing a podcast is harder than you think
Season 2 of Slaves to the Algo explored the use of big data and AI in specific industries. We recorded eight episodes with different guests representing Digital Marketing, Payments, EdTech, Government, MedTech, Travel, FinTech and Entrepreneurship. Each episode has specific examples and unique insights on how technology is transforming these industries and, consequently, strategies for how businesses can stay relevant in the age of AI. By the way, start listening from the first episode of the season for some of these amazing discussions – you won’t regret it. Recording and transcribing these conversations turned out to be awe-inspiring as someone who had a limited interest in tech (though that is certainly not the case anymore!).
An eye-opening experience
My projects aside, I think every college student should grab the opportunity to work or intern at a start-up if they can. Interning at a start-up presented me with experiences that I would never have gotten otherwise, from communicating with chief executives to running my own meetings. It truly was a chance to “get my hands dirty,” talk to people I was afraid of speaking to and understand how a business operates. I come out of my internship knowing what it means to market a fast-growing company and its transformative AI product. I worked with new sets of tools and new methods of research and, of course, was pushed out of familiar territory on multiple occasions. I assisted with the concept and writing of the CEO‘s speech for TEDx Huawei and can now proudly add TEDx speech-writer to my resume!
There is a picture titled “A Lesson from the Chinese Bamboo Tree,” in the office – one of the CEO’s favorite analogies. It’s about how persistence pays off. That is exactly what I am taking away with me from my time at Crayon. The fire and drive of every person I have worked with is infectious. I hope I can carry forward the same passion and persistence that I have seen here to all of my future endeavors. I am very thankful to the Crayon team in Singapore and in Chennai for taking me on in the “box” and treating me less like an intern and more like a long-time colleague.