My Product Management internship experience at Circles.Life
I am Tan Simin, currently halfway through my 6 months internship at Circles.Life as a product management intern working under the CX (Customer Experience) team, and I am here to share with you my internship journey.
Why did I choose to become a product management intern?
A few months prior to this internship, I was introduced to the term ‘product management’ by a friend. She shared with me more about the roles and responsibilities of a product manager, which got me intrigued to learn more about it. After much research, I had a basic understanding that product managers create products that heavily improve the experiences of their users, through a combination of innovation and business decision making. Having no prior experience of being a product manager, it seemed interesting to me and I wanted to go out of my comfort zone to try out this role. Thus began my active search for product management internships as I was excited to learn and venture into this line of work.
How is my experience as a product management intern?
Although it has been only 3 months into this internship, I can say that I really did learn a lot. I was taught valuable hard skills like how to analyse and study historical data to support my hypothesis, brainstorm for ideas, work with product designers and engineers in an end-to-end product development process, carry out user research, and more. My colleagues are also always sharing their views and knowledge with the team, which created an excellent environment for interns like myself to gain experience from others’ expertise.
Special mention to my ‘mentor’, Cai Li, who is always here to patiently guide me to become a better product manager. I always feel comfortable to voice out my opinions or ask questions because he respects my views and is always pushing me to think more critically.
Another special mention to all my colleagues (full-timer and interns) who make lunch time and work more enjoyable every day!
How do I find Circles.Life?
Firstly, I am appreciative of the opportunities and people here at Circles.Life. In this company, most people are very helpful and friendly to me, patiently guiding me especially when I first joined. One thing that I am most thankful for is that I had the opportunity to lead some projects. In Circles.Life, everyone is given opportunities to take charge of projects,which helps to instill a sense of ownership in all of us, where we continuously work with each other to achieve better results each day.
What did I learn from this internship?
As I am still attending school while doing a full-time internship, it was definitely quite a challenge to juggle both commitments at the start. However, I learnt that it is really important for me to learn how to manage my time and prioritise my tasks in a manner that will ensure that I get everything done efficiently.
Here are 3 tips on how to manage school and a full-time internship:
1. Time Management
Learn to plan your schedule in advance and allocate time after work on studies. If you have to travel a long distance back and forth to work, make use of the travelling time properly. You can use this as a ‘recharge’ period where you rest for a while before continuing your work later on, or take the time to do some readings or notes.
After spending a whole day on your internship, you are only left with around 4–5 hours before you go to bed. It is important to get your priorities straight on getting school work done (before other entertainment) so that you will meet your school deadlines, especially for projects and assignments. This might continue for a few days and weeks, where you are constantly juggling between internship and school work, which could be even more stressful during busy periods. Thus, it is essential to also keep in mind the 3rd tip.
3. Taking breaks
Set aside a weekday night to just ‘chill’ and go do the things you like, be it hanging out with friends or simply just watching netflix at home. Even though it might just be a few hours of break for you in your week of endless ‘hustling’, it is good enough to recharge you and make you feel more relaxed after a busy week. Slowing down the pace a little can help to relieve some of the stress too.
I believe the greatest takeaway from this internship is not only the skills, knowledge and experience as a product management intern, but also the opportunity to know all the awesome people here at Circles.Life who have motivated me immensely. Cheers to new friendships!