Highlighting the talents and perspectives of our individual team members, our "Meet a Text IQer" blog series provides an insider view of the key players who drive our company. This installment features Albert Choi, DevOps Intern. We provide our interns with an immersive program to give them indispensable, hands-on experience while learning exactly what it’s like to work at Text IQ.
When Albert Choi accepted the position as a DevOps intern at Text IQ, he envisioned a summer spent with colleagues and new friends at the Vancouver, Canada office. He did not plan for a pandemic, remote working from his home in Calgary, Zoom meetings, and a summer of social distancing. None of us did. However, unlike many internships this summer, Albert’s moved forward without a hitch. “Text IQ seemed to be very prepared for the shift to remote working. I didn’t experience any issues related to it, and I didn’t feel like there was any lack of opportunities,” he stated.
What attracted you to Text IQ?
Once I learned more about the work that Text IQ was doing, I was hooked! The technology they use closely aligned with what I was looking for to advance my skills and education. It piggybacked off of my previous work and school experiences while still expanding my horizons through learning the infrastructure behind the Text IQ machine learning algorithms.
What was the highlight of your summer projects?
My projects definitely kept me engaged. They were challenging, but still manageable. I was able to work on the projects I expected, which included creating an interface to facilitate access to self-service deployment of cloud resources - a helpful element for testing and new customers. I also worked on creating infrastructure resources and updates. The biggest highlight for me was being able to present my ‘infrastructure on-demand’ project and share my work with the rest of my team. Presenting my work was a very enjoyable experience for me.
You weren’t planning on a remote internship, how was that experience?
I was disappointed about not being in Vancouver for the summer, but I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any opportunities. I didn’t experience any issues with working remotely. The most difficult thing was not knowing what your colleagues were doing so you’re not sure if you’re bothering/interrupting them by asking a question. Everyone that I worked with was very open, welcoming, and helpful, which helped make my experience very enjoyable.
The People Ops team went above and beyond to make sure everyone felt involved and engaged while working remotely. They even set up online, Jeopardy-style trivia events for us! I hope to have the opportunity to meet my coworkers in-person in the future.
Do you have any advice for students considering an internship at Text IQ?
You’re the limiting factor to what you can learn here. If you want to really learn a lot and gain a lot of exposure to as many things as you want, Text IQ is a great place for that! There’s always something meaningful for you to do - there’s no boring downtime. My team was always open to discussions and my input was always considered. I really got the sense that my input and thoughts mattered. Even with interns, leadership is very open to thoughts and discussions - more so than what I’ve experienced at other companies.
Did you gain any unexpected wisdom while with Text IQ?
Prior to joining Text IQ, I had really only thought of businesses in the sense of consumer-facing firms. My experience with Text IQ really opened my eyes up to how big the business-to-business (B2B) market is. It was interesting to compare the more subtle effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the B2B market to the major effects that consumer-facing firms were feeling. I don’t think I would’ve been exposed to this or learned about it at a much larger company, which is one reason I really appreciated interning at a growing company like Text IQ.
On a lighter note, I also learned that when working from home, it is very important to have work/life separation. I had to work a bit at keeping them separate initially, but riding around Calgary bike paths on my power scooter helped!
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