Although it is common to experience industrial training for undergraduates in Malaysia, it is often not the case overseas. In some places, an internship would be an elective rather than a compulsory module and I am very glad that is not the case in Malaysia. Why so? Welcome to SEEK Asia.

In this short non-technical article, I will be condensing my internship experience into several key points, of my journey (14 weeks @ Jobstreet KL, a SEEK company). I was positioned in the Research team within the Product Delivery Department. Our team is responsible for the data science tasks for JobStreet & JobsDB.

Searching For A Meaningful Internship

Prestige? Job scope? Following the trend? What comprises a meaningful internship?

Personally, I would prioritize the job scope because ultimately, your skills and personal development are what really matters the most. Of course, working at a prestigious company would also serve as a nice addition to your resume but if you don’t get worthy experience out of it, it may as well be for naught. Searching for a developer’s role is not tough. As long as you have the basics down, there will surely be opportunities. However, searching for intern roles regarding data science is a whole different story. Some possible reasons why this happens:

  • Companies do not trust interns with confidential and sensitive data
  • Interns normally do not have the experience (maturity) to handle/understand/conduct research
  • Lack of technical and theoretical skills in more advanced areas (machine learning, etc.)
  • This field has just started to boom and companies are only looking to hire experts due to the importance of these roles

All these things should be kept in mind while searching for a meaningful internship and that was why I decided to go with SEEK Asia… of course after going through the interview process. The best quality from their interview process is definitely their response speed and I really appreciated that. As soon as your resume is noticed, the selection process is fairly swift. I applied for a number of other companies as well and some only started approaching me during the midst of my internship. The process is fairly standard, nothing out of the ordinary (coding test and face-to-face interview).

P.S. The office location played a HUGE role as well

Work Culture and Technology

This is a very difficult topic because you can only truly understand the work culture of a place when you start working there. You may hear plenty of rumours and gather a wealth of information from your peers but those are heavily subjective as to each of their own. Our motto here at SEEK Asia is:

We Care, We Aim High, We Deliver

I believe that motto is the perfect summary of this organization. As an intern, you go in knowing nothing about the technology being utilised. Despite that, people here are very patient and helpful to new recruits. The system here is that each new recruit will be assigned a buddy. For the first week or so, my buddy was kind enough to guide me on the main tools that will be commonly used throughout my internship with the Research team. This really saved me a lot of time during the initial steep learning curve.

The office layout depends on which floor you are stationed at. Currently, the lower floor follows the traditional cubicle workspace while the upper floor follows an open office workspace. It may be a tad noisy at times, but it can easily be solved by plugging in your earphones.

The development tasks here revolve around agile development. In university, we covered agile methodology in a very brief manner but experiencing it first-hand showed me why it is being practiced by successful organizations all over the world. The main technology used with regards to agile would be Jira. We relied on Jira rather than using a physical board because we had team members from different geographical locations while other teams resorted to sticky notes on whiteboards for flexibility and freedom. Besides that, we also conducted daily scrums and fortnightly retrospectives to ensure smoother workflow within the team and to detect problems earlier and try to solve them as faster.

During my internship, the team’s main tasks were to perform analysis on job advertisements and to grow the newly constructed data lake. For analysis, we relied on Databricks which eases the spawning and configuration of Spark clusters so that we could focus solely on our analysis tasks. Results are conveyed via Databricks’ dashboards which are populated with content from our Databricks notebooks. Our data lake is hosted on S3 (Amazon Web Services). We have an in-house application written in PHP to facilitate the transfer of data from our databases to our data lake. The ultimate end goal is to ensure that everyone in the organization is able to extract the data they need from our data lake at any time. I had a better understanding of a few of AWS’ components after my internship.

To end things on a happy note; if there are successful major projects achieved by the team, there will be company-sponsored meals. Here’s our team hanging out at Suki-ya Pavilion for lunch.

Sukiya1 Sukiya2