Internship Experience at Apna
My 26 weeks of internship at Apna ended the past month and I can feel the change that has happened in me as a person and as a designer, and the change is astounding! This experience was so valuable as it helped me to build confidence as a designer, which I lacked before.
The best part of this growth was the gradual improvement in my work so I had the time to explore and iterate and I was not feeling out of the place at any time. I feel like a whole new person, and this internship granted me the trust and confidence in myself that I feel so empowered. It was such a fulfilling experience for me that during these 6 months, I never took a day off because there was always so much to learn and do.
This was the season of placements in my college and I wanted to do things my way and in what I am truly interested in so I set out to explore and learn by doing…
I was into designing space for quite some time when I onboarded the rocketship of Apna. I message Sanjeev on LinkedIn and he was kind enough to go through my profile and give me a chance to work here. For the first time, I got confidence in my work when they accepted me as an intern and I realized what I don't know and needed to learn soon.
The first day of my internship started with the onboarding process, I remember feeling very nervous and anxious about what was going to come my way. My work email creation got delayed and the levels of my anxiety rose to another level, but finally, as the day was about to end, I had a call with the design team and my jitters calmed a little bit. It was good to have Pushti and Kartikey joining me as interns.
The first week more of went by in going through the product and getting KTs & more of learning all the work-related acronyms ;)
The anxious me hardly ever spoke even in casual discussions with Atul (who explained the product and made us super comfortable, thanks), Pushti & Kartikey. It took me quite a while to just be comfortable with the folks and have fun!
“On 15th day of joining Apna, it turned into a unicorn”
— The fastest one back then!
My day started with a daily Daily Design Standup at 10:30 am and I had the habit of joining in 5 mins at least early so through this timeline, I would join early and have casual chit-chat with the others who would also join early. In the sync-up, everyone gave updates on what they had done a day before and tasks they would do that day and we tend to give and accept quick fixes or suggestions on that work.
This being a completely virtual one, it was sometimes confusing because you could not go to somebody and ask for help, but with time I learned that I could ask people even for my little random wonderings.
It was good to have someone like Neha who would push me to work harder for college and her scolding us, which I and Ankur would goof about. During these 6 months, I worked on Saturdays too for 4 months which feels like ages back now but I am glad that we had Saturdays off. After Kaavya joined, it was always joining a little early and leaving a little to have those chats and know each other better.
Doing things for the first time
Before this internship, I had never collaborated with any product Manager directly and I had zero ideas on what to do and how to do things but thanks to Saurabh for being generous enough to give me enough time to just understand things and explaining on every possible point of discussion.
Besides this, I was working on the growth part of the product which included how can we acquire more users organically and how do we make the onboarding simpler for them. What made it more difficult was no senior folks in that vertical. I had to learn everything and apply it and then get it verified by the product folks and Sanjeev. I had people to check on my work who were generous enough to guide me throughout but it was challenging to me.
The biggest responsibility was setting up the first-ever user research by Design Team at Apna to just me and Pushti and it was such a big thing ahead of me. This all haunted me, so I ended up researching more about how to research and what’s the research. Thanks to Sanjeev, who always gave us the autonomy to think and guided us what’s the next step we should take.
I can very clearly remember one of our early calls for this project, where he was telling us about how we should start thinking about, what are the things we should keep in mind before moving ahead. I very clearly remember him and Pushti discussing various aspects, while me being so overwhelmed by this kept on writing notes for almost every statement he said. Anyway, once the project began things got better day by day.
Had a lot of fun!
After Anjali onboarded, the organisation and fun was always on our coast. She made work super simple and had so many fun games and activities on our way. These 26 weeks had been remarkable. I want to meet you guys, until then I’m thankful to all for giving me a memorable experience!