/ Culture

Internship at Altitude Labs

Are you a college student who is keen to get exposure in the world of tech startups? We accept internship applications from all over the world for design, engineering and business internships on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Related: Careers Page

Below are a collection of writings from our interns about their experience with us.

Exploring tech

Written by Anthony Yip, Law Major from University of Edinburgh (2017 Business Intern)

Although I come from a background in Law, I have always been fascinated by technology and entrepreneurship. Thus I am very thankful for my internship at Altitude Labs as it was not only a useful insight into the industry but it also provided a great opportunity for independent growth and self-discovery.

Right from the get-go, I was given the chance to perform real meaningful work as opposed to your typical clerical work at most internships.

The work I was assigned, although often challenging, was also rewarding as you were given ownership of your own projects and made aware that, if executed well, that they could potentially make a difference to the company.
For example, I was given the opportunity to take charge of a whole series of video tutorials and webinars aimed at helping our customers learn to use our recommendations engine. Researching for these tasks also provided a great onboarding experience in itself and was very informative as I learnt about many highly technical subjects such as SEO, React Native and ICOs. The tasks I was assigned to also equipped me with numerous relevant skills that will be useful for my future career prospects such as Adobe Illustrator, Premiere Pro, SEO and Wireframing to name a few.

Another thing that defined my internship experience was the breadth of my work. In my previous internships, I was given the opportunity to do in-depth work in certain areas but I was never given the opportunity to explore so many areas of a company. My responsibilities at Altitude ranged from research, content creation, design, client-facing work etc. etc.

I also enjoyed the workflow of the company tremendously as you are given ample freedom to explore and learn on your own without the fear of being micro-managed but you always knew that advice was always available to you from a senior only a Slack message away. There was no corporate hierarchy in the office and everyone felt very much like an equal; with the freedom to contribute and make suggestions in meetings/discussions.

At the midway point, I was also given an opportunity to assess my internship experience so far - what I enjoyed, what I didn’t enjoy and any other feedback that I had. The feedback was promptly taken into account and the tasks assigned to me were adjusted accordingly; something I was really appreciative of.

Finally, one thing that really stuck with me throughout this internship is the importance of measurability. Almost everything that is performed at the company is measurable. Based on the outcome of these actions, conclusions are drawn on how to best move forward in an iterative manner. This is definitely something I will take away with me both in my day-to-day life or even perhaps in the future if I am able to start my own company.

Startup culture

Written by Jacky Tam, Major in Business at HKUST, Hong Kong (2014 Business Intern)

What do you look for in an internship? Unique work experience? Helpful mentoring? Supportive learning environment? I am so glad to have experienced them all as an intern at Altitude Labs.

To be frank, I felt a bit nervous joining a team of former Silicon Valley developers. Without a technical background, I was uncertain about my role and duties. There was even a moment when I was unsure whether I would be a burden to the team.

However, such anxiety was dispelled immediately after I stepped into the office. From day one, I was already given various responsibilities that could put my potential into good use, ranging from managing social media channels to conducting market research. What’s more, I was recognized as one of the "tentacles of an octopus" (as one of the founders described). I not only joined the daily stand-up meetings to share my updates and blockers, but I got the opportunity to suggest new initiatives for the team.

For instance, I once recommended educating local people in Hong Kong about the basics of cloud functionality, as a means of giving back to our community. To my surprise, this idea resonated really well with the co-founders. As a result, I was put to the task the next day and took charge of producing a series of Cantonese tutorials about cloud storage. I started planning, recording, post-editing and finally deploying the video on the world wide web. Taking charge of managing a project like this like made me realize that the contribution I had brought to the team was not just about cold-calling and data entry (the typical tasks of an intern).

What did I mean by good mentorship? The 3 cofounders of Altitude Labs: Justin, Jaclyn and Eugene, took turns in coaching and advising me throughout the internship, despite their hectic schedule. With their help, I was dabbled into the basics of wire-framing and SEO. Lunch time was a great time to share laughs and their own story as well as their perspective on life. Whenever I experienced a "blocker" at work, they were always there to guide me the next step, so that I could rid myself of frustration and keep moving on. I believe we had a reciprocal relationship. While I tried to make a positive impact on the team, my colleagues also cared about my personal development in the team. It is exactly the kind of relationship that allowed me to explore and grow everyday at Altitude Labs.

Last but not least, this internship at Altitude Labs confirmed my continued fascination with startup culture. Discussion was never discouraged here and every one had a view. Even though I was a bit afraid to speak up the first few days, as time passed I had fully embraced this open atmosphere. I would bring the team to a meeting room, present my findings, and hear their feedback. These meetings usually ended with in-depth discussions or even debates, but this in turn, became the key to improvement of both my project management skills and personal development. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, while the rest of my team mostly grew up in the West, it was a humbling experience to exchange opinions with them. What we ultimately came up with was a nice blend of western innovation and local adaptation. Thanks to the absence of traditional hierarchy, I could always speak my mind and be inspired by others, this startup culture definitely helped me make the most of my internship experience.

Because of the culture and people that make up Altitude Labs, this internship has reached far beyond my expectation.

I am so lucky to have found this place among all the tech companies in Hong Kong, and I am sure the takeaways from this experience will come in handy with what is yet to come in the future. Thank you team!

Google and CUHK: EYE Program Event - The beginning of an end

Tezel Asena, University of Westminster, UK (2014 Business Intern)

I had the chance to experience an amazing opportunity attending Google’s Empowering Young Entrepreneurs event hosted at Hotel Icon. Our cofounder, Justin Yek was a panelist and their session discussed every founder's journey to achieving what they have thus far as well as giving their outlook on the future of the tech.

Before my internship at Altitude Labs, I had limited knowledge in the tech industry.

Events such like this give me a deeper insight on the importance of technology in our everyday lives.

We live in a world which is saturated with product ideas and only ones that have a unique value proposition can stand a chance of standing out and avoid being buried under and forgotten.

Where there is a problem, there is an opportunity to use technology to solve problems. According to Google, this is what most start-ups do, they find gaps and holes in markets and areas that need development and then initiate different concepts and business plans to fill these gaps with creative and immersive ideas in forms of technology or applications. This event consisted of many young entrepreneurs who practised their ideas into reality and are currently on the verge of releasing their products to the public market.

Recent development shows that major companies invest in start-up tech entrepreneurs, especially the young. As time progresses, technology which is consistently moving ahead evolves bringing development, but ultimately new technology and ideas needs investment and funding. Not so long ago Intel funded a 17 year old's idea to design printers for the blind. So it is definitely not impossible to actually implement your ideas so long as you have a coherent business plan, something the Google co-founders iterated several times.

To conclude, there were times while I was seated and thinking about what ideas I could come up with. I was previously an animations student and now that I've opened the door to broaden my knowledge and skill set, I'm left with pondering on how I could marry my previous experience with my current experience. I have thought of so many potential ideas to resolve what I think needs resolving. My whole philosophy and perspective on the world has changed and even as an animator, I’m now always thinking ahead like a techaholic.

Jaclyn Tsui

Jaclyn Tsui

Managing Partner at Altitude Labs. Love for product design and how things work. Duolingo junky. Usually have way too many tabs open. @fullstack @imperialcollege

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