Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

What kind of work does an Intern do?

While applying for internships, I always wondered what kind of work does an intern actually do, and does it really match the job description that is included in the offer letter. Once I got my offer letter from Saucey, it also included a job description with the tasks I would be completing. These tasks and projects were on the operations side of the business since I was going to be an Operations Intern. I glanced through it and found it extremely thought-provoking, and something I never thought an intern would do.

During the first few days of my internship, there wasn’t much work assigned to me and I did not have a project to work on. It started slowly, however, the work started coming in. For an intern, it takes time to adjust to the new office and people, the software and different services the company is currently using and to get acquainted with these, in order to begin working on bigger and more interesting projects. At Saucey, Looker (software to visualize and analyze data) is an example of a service used across all departments. The operations department specifically uses Algolia (product search service) and Staging (product search service created by Saucey). During my second and third week, I was understanding how to work with some of these services and software. Some of the tasks I completed to get familiarized with these services and software included quality checking of products that will be newly added to the master menu, creating a quality check manual for future reference and analyzing, updating weekly key performance indicators (KPIs). Some of these tasks seemed mundane and unimportant to me initially. As an intern, there are certain tasks that are assigned to you, which may seem repetitive and boring, however, is needed for you to get comfortable with the software, something I realized later.

Once I felt comfortable with these services and software, my projects and tasks began to get more interesting. Some of the projects I undertook in my fourth and fifth week included updating retailer products and prices to reflect on the Saucey mobile application and website, analyzing average delivery times, contribution, cost per delivery for particular retailers, and looked at the change in those measures once recommended changes were made to address it and based on this, make further recommendations for optimizations of shifts of couriers to improve the metrics week by week, analyzing current delivery zones for 4 cities (New York, Sacramento, San Diego and Dallas), while looking at app downloads zone wise for the last 5 months and evaluating opportunities for expansion in each zone using delivery times at peak hours from different retailers to make recommendations. These projects were insightful, required me to use the software and services extensively, and it was necessary for me to think analytically.

The work an intern does is very similar to that of any other employee. As an intern, the first few tasks and projects may seem boring, however, it is imperative that you hang in there and complete them so that you get familiar with the services and software the company uses, which is pivotal in succeeding in future tasks and projects, which are much more interesting and fun to work on.