Interning at a Social Enterprise: My experience at Hatch
While working at a start-up might seem daunting, my experience as a Marketing Analytics intern at Hatch was undoubtedly one of the best memories in university. In this article, I reflect on my 5-months stint at Hatch.
How I ended up choosing Hatch
When I first came across Hatch, I was scrolling through job portals looking for a summer internship. The role “Marketing Analytics Intern” caught my attention first — as it was exactly the role that I was looking for. However, the more eye-catching part was the Hatch logo. I remembered that Hatch graduated from NUS Social Impact Catalyst (formerly Enactus), one of the CCAs I was also in.
Curious, I dived deeper into what Hatch does as a company. After doing some research, I was getting more intrigued by their unique train-and-place programs. Having come across other course providers previously, Hatch stood out in particular because of how much emphasis was placed on uplifting the vulnerable.
At that point in time, I was already excited about Hatch and proceeded to submit my application. Fast forward, I was having interviews with Victor and the marketing team, The pleasant interview experiences confirmed that Hatch was the right fit. Without a second thought, I accepted the internship offer and began my growth journey with Hatch in March 2021.
Starting my personal growth journey
I was a Marketing Analytics intern. In the role, I help the company evaluate the success of our marketing campaigns and initiatives, based on key business metrics. Just like any beginning to a new role, I found myself eager to contribute but filled with numerous questions in the first week. As someone who wanted to get things started and going, I was overwhelmed.
However, the marketing team was extremely patient and took the time to walk me through existing operations and procedures. I distinctly remember that I joined at a time when the team was doing a quarterly OKR (Objectives and Key Results) review. As the team explained the rationale behind each objective and the upcoming OKRs for the next quarter, I was awed by how the team aligned all marketing functions to contribute to a greater overall business objective. This was a completely new concept, but it served as key guidance to actionable items I could take in the following few months.
As I settled into the internship, I grew to enjoy my tasks and especially how fast I could see the impact of my work. I was able to take full responsibility for my personal tasks, and suggest any new ideas to improve work processes and results as long as they are rationally justified.
The common understanding is that interns are hired to do menial work, but this is completely false at Hatch. I was treated as a full-time employee and had opportunities to learn and grow. I picked up website designing skills, Google Tag Manager, and even explored other marketing tools that made me admire how far technology has come. Beyond my immediate job scope, I also learned about the processes behind other marketing functions, including CRM, content, and social media marketing.
At a social enterprise like Hatch, hierarchy was flat and the teams could work cross-functionally with high efficiency. Although I was in the marketing department, I had opportunities to work with other functions in the team as well, one of them being the product team!
One of my personal highlights working at Hatch was when we worked with three SAP consultants to create a measurement and evaluation framework for our students’ learning progress (shoutout to Ajesh, Lucy, and Tanmay!). Even though I was rather new to the company at that time, I was extremely thankful to have received the opportunity to be involved in this project.
The not-so-glamorous road bumps (spoiler alert: they turned into some of my most favorite memories)
My journey so far sounds perfect, right? Nope! The reality is that nobody is a perfect superstar problem-solver who knows it all at work (even though I wish I was). If there’s a job like that, it’s most likely not challenging enough. I had my fair share of challenges and inadequacies.
Throughout my past internships, most works had established SOPs and systems to abide by. However, the nature of Hatch is that things are always changing, and we’re always finding areas for improvement. Halfway through the internship, I was tasked with optimizing the user experience from the website to handing over potential leads to the programs team. As this was part of the website revamps, there were several changes that had to be made. However, there are limitations to the functions that were implementable. Needless to say, I was stressed about how to go about doing this.
After my initial research, I decided to do some trials with the systems that I thought were the most optimal given the constraints. However, all of them proved to be lacking in a certain critical aspect — either customer data was tracked inaccurately, or the workflow involved multiple unnecessary tasks on our end. At this point, I knew I needed a special task force to assist me with this project — and I roped in Ally (our brand strategist), Kewei (our marketing operations/product management intern), Wanqing (our Chief Product Officer), and Winglum (our Marketing Manager).
Teamwork really does make the dream work, especially if you have a wonderful team. After exploring other alternatives, we finally arrived at an optimal workflow that met our business needs without compromising the user experience of our website. Moreover, this process could be further adapted to fit the other functions within Hatch, and this was definitely good news. At the final stages of this mini-project, I felt incredibly proud of our achievements.
Here’s another important lesson I learned: at Hatch, not every single day is exactly the same, you are constantly challenged to perform and change things up. You’ll fail, but failure just means being one step closer to the right answer. The bonus is that you’ll always have a team of supportive, passionate, and talented people with you. This makes you want to face every single challenge without fear.
Hopes for Hatch’s future: enabling digital journeys for all
I came in with a rudimentary understanding of the social challenges that Singapore faces but concluded my internship by learning the deeper-rooted challenges that each individual can face.
I have the utmost respect for the founding team at Hatch — Hatch’s mission, vision, and business model is far from traditional businesses. However, they’re aligned with the needs of our society in Singapore and make a meaningful point that businesses and social good are never mutually exclusive. The beauty is their intersection, this is where you get the best of both worlds without losing the fundamental human societal value of creating an equitable future for all.
To me, enabling digital journeys meant being inclusive in our process to embrace technology and digitalization. The future is digital, but that doesn’t mean that there must be people who are left behind. We have to find a way to bring everybody along this journey.
Although my internship at Hatch has come to an end, I still miss Hatch — the people, the co-working space at Bold At Work), the exciting brainstorming sessions, and so much more. I’ll always be a firm believer in the company’s mission and vision to enable digital journeys for all. I hope that Hatch continues to grow exponentially and make even greater impacts on society.