Jayson shares with us a personal look into his internship experience. He is honest about his high’s and low’s, and we commend him for the joy and earnestness he brought to the role of Eskwelabs Program Operations Intern. It was a truly unique experience seeing his growth from when he was one of our learners into one of our very own teammates.
The blog post content below are Jayson’s own thoughts and words. Minimal editing was done, only for clarity and conciseness.
Jayson Catindig, Business Intelligence SkillsCamp Cohort 2 BizKid, Eskwelabs Program Operations Intern, and Eskwelove forever
Even before the pandemic, I was already eyeing data analytics as a possible career choice. What was stopping me was the feeling of being unfit because I am a business major. Yes, while business is a field that uses data analytics, I felt that a business degree alone wouldn’t convince most employers to take me in as a data analyst. This is why—during the time where school was stopped due to the onset of the pandemic—I was looking around for opportunities to get my feet wet with data analytics.
And that was my first encounter with Eskwelabs. I saw a post that they were offering a Business Intelligence SkillsCamp (BISC) online, and I took it. Thankfully, they accepted me, and that was how I got introduced to the world of data. From there, I got to meet new people and work with people way older and way more experienced than me. I truly cherished the experience and found myself messaging the team if there was a way I could join [the team].
At the time, I think they liked the proposal, but they also needed to check how they could integrate me to the team. I was truly surprised when some time in November, Ms. Angela Chen, Eskwelabs’ CEO, emailed me about an internship opportunity. The task was mainly to handle operations for the first Data Analytics Bootcamp—this is the rebranded version of Business Intelligence SkillsCamp. Needless to say, I took the opportunity.
I had some work experience before, mainly as an online tutor/mentor, but I have admittedly never experienced working in a start-up. This—combined with the prospect of being part of a team that organized a set of classes that I once took part in—made me equally excited and worried about joining in once the initial onboarding occurred.
The Initial Onboarding was such a fast-paced experience. I got to learn a lot of things. I truly appreciate the support given by teammates Jaja, Kayla, and Angela during January, where I was assigned to admissions support for the bootcamp. During this time, I was also allowed to sit-in the Communities team meetings, allowing me to at least have a glimpse of more than one department in my first month. It was such an amazing feeling, knowing that I was trusted to see things in various aspects.
Throughout my time in admissions support, I gained experiences in dealing with schedules, following up with people, and having to keep track of metrics, giving me confidence that I could contribute to the team. However, transitioning to operations would take more effort than I expected. Operations work requires a lot of making sure things run smoothly and knowing where to obtain every single thing needed for every session. It also requires a clear mind filled with focus and calmness to accommodate requests quickly.
While I could obtain that focus and calmness in some days at school, I had to be consistent about it. The thing is, the only consistent thing about me, is how inconsistent I could become. Thus, there were a lot of bloopers made.
For every session, I would be able to do most things, but it’s virtually guaranteed that I would forget something. From ensuring that the music volume works, to ensuring that the assignment links were published, to launching the Zoom polls too early, I would always forget one of them, and it’s not the same thing every time.
The experience made me realize that one of my flaws was being overly reliant on my memory. As a student, I could usually survive by asking my classmates what went on during the class, though I would be responsible enough to track most deadlines. However, in Operations work, most can’t cut it. It is your job to make sure the students get the best possible experience, and doing most of the tasks does not guarantee that.
Which is why, at this point, I have to take this time to thank all the people who were with me during the bootcamp. First, would be the students, who were transparent with me whenever things didn't work out as expected. This really helped me identify where things would go wrong and respond to them accordingly; after all, while the best sessions are those where nothing goes wrong, the next best sessions are the ones where things are resolved quickly. So focus on making sure things can be fixed now and know how to prevent them next time.
Honestly, I should thank them also for giving their all when it comes to the numerous activities. It was really amazing seeing all their work pay off during every data sprint output presentation, reminding me of why I held Eskwelabs to such high respect.
Also, I would like to thank the instructors and mentors, who were patient with me and were willing to give me feedback, especially with taking down notes to help me build a sense of structure. Special shoutout to Lex for his guidance when it comes to interacting with the students!
Most of all, I would like to thank my direct manager, Edward, for being patient with me throughout the internship. I truly learned a lot of new Operations techniques. He guided me about the systems of the organization, to the LMS, to how scheduling of events is handled, and even when it comes to personal stuff.
Outside of my responsibilities, what I really appreciated was the weekly meetings. The experience of being able to see what the other teams were coming up with truly helped me realize just how lucky I was to be part of Eskwelabs. It allowed me to see how awesome everyone is, and that helped me realize that I still have a lot of things to improve on.
It’s been a few months already since my internship with them ended, but what I really appreciated was how they still reach out to me every once in a while. When they had to clean the Eskwelabs server, Mr. Aurelien Chu, Eskwelabs’ COO, checked up on me (as he did throughout the internship; thank you, by the way). I really appreciated the gesture; honestly, he didn’t have to.
This made me realize that no matter how things went, Eskwelabs valued my time with them as much as I did, and I really hope to be part of the team again in the future.