My internship at Geoblink
In September, 2018, I was hired at Geoblink as a Data Acquisition Analyst Intern, and I have worked here for 5 months. As it is my first internship in a startup and in a tech position, I have been discovering many things about the company’s inner workings. So here are some of my thoughts on Geoblink, its people and on my general experience there.
Arriving in a new company, not knowing very precisely what you’re going to do, being in a new environment full of people you don’t know yet; this can sometimes be a bit stressful for some people, and it definitely demands stepping out of your comfort zone. Geoblink usually makes this moment easy and agreeable for newcomers : people are very friendly and benevolent, take good care of you, are ready to help anytime, and you are assigned a “buddy”, someone who will show you around and is responsible for a good and smooth on-boarding.
More generally, people at Geoblink are very friendly, warm, and pleasant to spend time with, we have lunch together, and we often went out either for beers or also other activities. Team building events are also organized from time to time, like a laser tag we did with the Tech Team, which was awesome. Moreover, around ⅓ of Geoblink people come from abroad, and this mix of various cultures is both a recipe for open-mindedness and a good opportunity to discover and/or make other people discover typical dishes from other countries.
A growth mindset and culture
In my opinion, Geoblink is quite a special company, and my experience here has been completely different than my other professional experiences, mainly because of something I identify as a general growth mindset. Here, everyone seems to be seeking self-improvement and is willing to help others improve, too. This is not just wishful thinking but it is implemented through concrete measures such as Spanish lessons offered by the company for foreigners, a bookshelf from which you can borrow and for which you can ask the company to order books, a personal budget dedicated to your personal development (though interns don’t have access to it) and even more. Add to this the flexible work schedule and a generous working from home policy and you have a recipe for well-being of Geoblink’s employees, which I consider a major asset of the company, allowing people to thrive here.
Personally, I really appreciated the regular feedback and meetings with your manager, helping you to grasp what you’re doing right and where there is room for improvement, and the regular tech meetings where a member of the team presents a tool, an aspect of his/her work or a relevant tech-related subject.
My work here as a Data Acquisition Analyst Intern consisted mostly of data mining and data integration. More specifically as data-mining interns we do web-scraping, which consists in writing some code to automatically retrieve data from a web page, validating, cleaning, formatting the data and then uploading it into the Geoblink app database. I also worked on writing database migrations to integrate clients’ data such as layers into the app database. Through these tasks, I was able to strongly improve my Python and SQL knowledge and skills, which were pretty basic when I joined the company. It helped me realize that studying code in class, as I did, and writing code on a regular basis in a tech company were two completely different things, and I am thankful I’ve had this opportunity!
I also enjoyed discovering Tech frameworks I had never heard of before, like the use of Version Control Systems, Kanban and (at Geoblink obligatory) code review, which in my opinion are smart tools that favor good teamwork and quick coding skills improvement. I’m thankful to the Tech people who took some of their time to explain me concepts, tools or pieces of code, who showed me good practices and reviewed my code because they truly helped me to improve and learn a lot.
Back in September, I didn’t really know what to expect working at Geoblink, but now I can say it has been a great experience for me, working with such friendly, benevolent and involved people, and learning so much. I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to work in this kind of environment, on this amazing product, and I hope I’ll find opportunities to work in similar settings in my future professional life.