What is it like to intern at Saleswhale?

Daniel Tay Avatar

Daniel Tay | 07 August 2019

Image Credit: Spencer Afonso

At Saleswhale, we’re serious about internships. No coffee runs or paper filings! Our interns do real work that adds value to the company and our customers.

“We have intentionally designed our internship programme to be similar to what entry-level employees experience in their first few months on the job,” says Kelvin Tan, the manager in charge of engineering internships at Saleswhale. “And at the same time scoping it such that they would still be able to deliver sizeable impact in the relatively short period of time they are with us.”

That’s because we believe internships should be mutually beneficial.

By interning with us, we can stress test onboarding and talent development processes. We also get a few extra hands on deck. In return, we make sure our interns get an invaluable working experience that is educational and aligned with their personal goals.

Saleswhale interns 2019

Our interns. Not pictured: Kerk Pei Yong

As the summer draws to a close, we decided to do a special feature of our summer 2019 interns. Click the links below to see what our interns in various departments have been up to, and what they enjoy about working at Saleswhale:

  1. Engineering
  2. Marketing
  3. Operations
  4. AI Operations
  5. Product Management
  6. Customer Success

Here’s to our nine awesome interns, and the excellent work they’ve done!

Engineering

Tan Wei Jin

Tan Wei Jin Saleswhale intern-1

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I am 23 years old, and am studying Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) at Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Fun fact:

I love music and have been to six concerts in the past year.

What did you work on during your internship?

I worked on feature enhancements for both internal tooling and Saleswhale's customer-facing product. This included back-end, and sometimes a little front-end development.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

The most challenging part of my internship would be having to learn the complex architecture of the product involving whole new code bases, all on languages I was relatively new to. Thankfully everyone was very helpful and willing to teach us, which really smoothed out our onboarding.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

I am proud of the fact that we worked on features that have already been pushed to production. These will hopefully improve the overall product experience for our customers.

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

I enjoy the culture of transparency at Saleswhale, where everyone is unafraid to voice their minds—be it criticism or compliment—in a constructive and encouraging manner. This can be a tall order, especially as the company starts to expand, but I think that one thing Saleswhale does very well is to acknowledge their shortcomings and to never stop improving themselves. This is something that I want to work on improving in my own life, and the people here have definitely helped steer me in the right direction.

Eugene Chia

Eugene Chia Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I am 24 years old, currently studying Information Systems in Technology and Design at Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Fun fact:

I love hiking!

What did you work on during your internship?

I worked on feature enhancements of the product to improve usability and customer experience.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

The pace of learning was really fast, which was expected of a startup. However, I was given adequate support by my colleagues. This really helped accelerate my learning experience on a personal level.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

I was able to ship out several small features within the first month. While it was not especially significant, I was happy to be able to start contributing to the company within a short span of time.

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

The perks! I look forward to our weekly social lunches on Friday. I also appreciate the flexibility and autonomy given to me when working on my features, which makes me feel like an active contributor to the company rather than just a cog in the machine.

Lim Daekoon

Lim Daekoon Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I'm 23 years old, studying Computer Science at the National University of Singapore. I'm starting my second year this coming August.

Fun fact:

Back when I was in junior college, I was staying late preparing for a competition and got trapped in the school building because I didn't hear the security guard locking the doors. Managed to get out by climbing down the building.

What did you work on during your internship?

When I first joined, I started working on small features and minor improvements. Once my manager decided that I was properly on-boarded, I joined the main feature teams. In my first feature team, we worked on revamping the data collection, which we completed two weeks ago. I'm now in my second feature team. We are working on auto importing leads from Salesforce.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

My current feature team, which started last week, has two back-end engineers. That's me and another back-end engineer, who is a full-timer and is on reservist. He's supposed to be onboarding me but he's gone, so I'm basically thrown into a new codebase alone for this week.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

I'm proud of what I've accomplished in the previous feature team. After the initial on-boarding onto the feature team, I worked independently. This allowed the other backend engineer to work on his other tasks and helped to speed up the progress of the feature development.

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

For me, it’s the culture and the people around me. All the employees are friendly and helpful, and made sure that I was given enough support to be able to do my work well. The employees socialize often during lunchtime and weekly social nights, and I'm close to them. During my internship, I have never felt any negative feelings, such as dread or weariness, when going to the office every morning. Those are things I experience often when I go to school.

Interested in working at Saleswhale? Check out our open positions here.

Marketing

Trixie Tan

Trixie Tan Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I’m 22 this year and I am studying Information Systems at Singapore Management University.

Fun fact:

I can imitate Stitch's voice from Lilo and Stitch.

What did you work on during your internship?

As a Sales Development Data Operations Intern, I build our database of target accounts, which serves as the foundation for prospecting potential leads. I also work with the AI Operations team by building queries and managing dashboards for their operations/business intelligence needs.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

Some challenges I faced are understanding business terms, as well as the workflow or process of the sales and marketing team. This is because I come from a very different background (Information Systems). It’s all very new to me but I'm excited to learn.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

My part of the contribution to the sales pipeline! Some of the accounts that I've sourced turned into demos, which will hopefully turn into deals!

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

The people—they are funny, friendly, and kind! People here are open-minded and super interesting. They're very easy to talk to, get along with, and laugh with.

Operations

Mukesh Saklani

Mukesh Saklani Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I am 22, turning 23 in December. I'm a sophomore at Singapore Management University, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Business Management.

Fun fact:

I am a dancer and I frequently spend my hours after work Popping and Locking along the walkway adjacent to Bras Basah MRT station. With my friends from SMU Funk Movement, we occasionally gather to just have a good time dancing to great music.

What did you work on during your internship?

As an Operations intern in Saleswhale, I was able to exercise my versatility by being given an array of projects that were challenging, yet enriching. For example, drafting reports on cash flow for our investors, preparing financials for the company Town Hall, and handling the venture debt due diligence process.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

The most challenging part of the internship has to be preparing the financials for the company Town Hall. I did not expect myself to work on anything as sensitive as the company's financials. Going through the company's bank statements and figuring out the classification of expenses to paint a picture of how the company's finances were being utilized was a novel experience that challenged me and contributed to my growth. I attribute this to my line manager's guidance during the project.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

I am most proud of drafting the investor reports. Reporting directly to the people who invest in us is difficult as accuracy is important in presenting the company's financial health and expenses heatmap. Once again, without the guidance of my line manager, I would not have had this opportunity.

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

I enjoy the fact that we have a very open and transparent culture where we talk about anything and everything under the sun. Apart from that, having spent about two months in the company, I feel that everyone here is equally rooted to what Saleswhale is building. I enjoy being in this hungry environment and even as an intern, I feel invested in what the company is creating.

AI Operations

Kerk Pei Yong

Kerk Pei Yong Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I am 21 years old. I am entering the National University of Singapore this August, and will be studying Computer Science and Business.

Fun fact:

I have strong, healthy bones!

What did you work on during your internship?

I work in the AI Ops team. On a daily basis, I ensure that the bot is functioning as intended. I provide feedback to the Product team and Customer Success team to improve existing workflows and processes of our bot.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

One of the most challenging aspects is that there are many different considerations when developing a product, and discussions can be very deep.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

Beyond my usual job scope, I helped with the moving of the office after the company raised Series A funding and coordinated the logistics. It’s rather tedious, but I think in the spirit of helping out colleagues, creating a positive experience for everybody in the office is the achievement I'm proudest of!

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

The most enjoyable part about working in Saleswhale is that we treat each other with respect. It’s a pleasant place to work at, and I look forward to coming to work. Saleswhale is transparent and has a flat hierarchy. We feel empowered as interns. We have insights into many of the key decisions made in the company, and are free to raise questions about them.

Interested in working at Saleswhale? Check out our open positions here.

Product Management

Asher Chua

Asher Chua Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I'm 24 years old and am studying Information Systems at Singapore Management University.

Fun fact:

Last semester, I went on an ASEAN student conference in Japan for eight days. Best of all, everything was paid for—from my flight tickets to three meals a day!

What did you work on during your internship?

As part of the product management team, I’m involved in the shipping of multiple features. I contribute ideas and test the features every week to ensure that everything is working well before we ship to the customers.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

The learning curve is steep. I have never worked in product management before, and having to learn it from scratch was challenging, especially during the first few weeks. Every time I'm done with a particular assignment, another one seems to appear and I have to learn something new again.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

Being part of the feature teams and shipping the features that the customers are now using has been fulfilling. This is compared to the projects in school that are only submitted to get grades and never implemented by anyone.

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

The culture of the company is unlike any other. There's transparency in the areas of communication, even for the interns, and very little hierarchy. Additionally, we aren't given work that 'nobody wants to do'. Instead, we are doing work that directly contributes to the company.

Beverly Mok

Beverly Mok Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I am 22 and am studying Engineering Systems and Design (Business Analytics Track) at Singapore University of Technology and Design.

Fun fact:

I spent about a year working in a hawker stall.

What did you work on during your internship?

I'm working on a pricing project under the product department. The objective is to better align our pricing with the value that customers derive from our product. My role involves pulling and structuring customer usage data, as well as modelling proposed pricing plans based on historical data.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

There was an initial steep learning curve in grasping the relevant data structures in the product backend. Massive thanks to my lovely coworkers for their patience and goodwill in on-boarding me and entertaining my questions.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

I'm most proud of my contributions to the product project—feedback seemed to indicate that it [was] useful to the discussion.

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

This may sound cliché, but the people at Saleswhale are the best part about working here. From day one I was made to feel part of the team, and observing the commitment and competence of the people around me is constantly motivating. Besides, it doesn't hurt that the people here are really kind and funny.

Customer Success

Ning Yiran

Ning Yiran Saleswhale intern

How old are you and where and what are you studying?

I'm 19, and I'll be starting my first year at Yale-NUS College soon. I'll be studying the Liberal Arts, and I'll choose my major at the end of the second year.

Fun fact:

I have a Distinction in Grade 8 Piano! But I’ve only truly started to like playing it in the past year, long after I stopped taking lessons for the exams. Now I like to learn new pieces to relax my mind.

What did you work on during your internship?

I was an intern for the Customer Success team, so I did a lot of day-to-day operations and tasks that helped the Customer Success Managers do their jobs better. I also helped come up with the first version of an AI Conversation Snippets Library. This was quite cool because it combined writing skills and more abstract imagination of the Snippet Library and how it would work.

What has been the most challenging part of your internship?

While most of my tasks weren't very difficult, they are sometimes quite manual and can get repetitive and mundane. But I do have a lot of fun talking to the Customer Success team and people from other teams when I’m taking a break. I also enjoy listening to nice music while getting the work done.

What is one achievement you are most proud of?

I'm most proud of the AI Conversation Snippets Library. As the team previously did not have the capacity to get started, when I took on the role temporarily, I was given quite a bit of freedom to experiment with how the Library was going to work. With some help from the Customer Success team, we created a randomizer that could automatically generate a full messaging from the snippets. Seeing it work gave me a lot of satisfaction.

What did you enjoy most about working at Saleswhale?

I enjoyed getting to know the people at Saleswhale the most. This is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to interact with so many capable and visionary people who have been entrepreneurs, designers, teachers, and more. Many of whom have experienced much of what life has to offer before they came here.

Interested in working at Saleswhale? Check out our open positions here

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Daniel Tay Avatar

Daniel Tay

Co-founder & lead content strategist at With Content, a content production studio that helps B2B tech companies create credible, authoritative longform content that potential customers will actually love.


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