Dr Tang U-Liang : Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all. I hope that your sharing will help everyone get a better idea of what data analytics is and how a career in IT looks like. So, what kind of exciting stuff did you do while at Shopee?
Ms Kong Yuki: Thank you Dr Tang for giving this chance to share my experiences. I am happy for the opportunity to work at Shopee. While there, I worked on three main areas, business finance, building a dashboard for business metrics and performing paid ads analysis.
Dr Tang U-Liang: That sounds interesting! Can you tell us more about what you did for business finance?
Ms Kong Yuki: Sure. One of the first things I was asked to do was to collate SQL scripts into a common repository so that analysts could easily find the scripts they needed easily from a single location. These scripts can be used to generate common tables for analytics so that my colleagues could easily perform any analysis they needed without having to hunt down the developer who created those scripts.
Dr Tang U-Liang: Tell me about the dashboard you created.
Ms Kong Yuki: We designed dashboards in Excel using the SQL scripts to pull data from Shopee’s servers. These dashboards were helpful to my team in providing a clear picture of sales data in Shopee and for decision making.
Dr Tang U-Liang: What kind of analysis did you do for paid ads?
Ms Kong Yuki: We came up with a research framework for analysing the effectiveness of paid ads. I really learnt a lot about e-commerce doing this. We had to develop a formula for this analysis, and it was an iterative and collaborative effort.
Dr Tang U-Liang: What else did you do to make your internship a fruitful one?
Ms Kong Yuki: I took the initiative to study past P&L statements and budget slides to understand the business. To better understand different aspects of the business, I networked with colleagues from other departments and visited the warehouse where goods are packed and sent out to customers. From there I could see what every number in my data contributes to or represents . This made the analysis I did even more meaningful.
Dr Tang U-Liang: Wow, I guess you had the chance to learn a lot about business and finance?
Ms Kong Yuki: Yes, I also studied financial analysis models to learn how to make financial projections. One thing I really learnt during this internship was business acumen. It really added value to my studies here in the IT Faculty.
Dr Tang U-Liang: Great! That’s why an internship is such an important part of university studies. What other experiences did you gain from Shopee?
Ms Kong Yuki: I really learnt presentation skills and how to convey my messages to stakeholders. I learnt how to have a solid research structure and how to do data storytelling. This is so important because if I can’t properly present my insights and findings in a clear manner, stakeholders will be unable to understand what I am saying.
Dr Tang U-Liang: What’s a typical day like in Shopee?
Ms Kong Yuki: Besides the work and analysis that I do, we will have scrum meetings which are more top-down meetings to set the direction for the day. We also have catch up meetings where it’s more of a one-on-one session with my peer to catch up on how we are doing. I also love the teambuilding sessions we have here.
Dr Tang U-Liang: Collaboration seems to be a key value in Shopee.
Ms Kong Yuki: Yeah! We have engineers, consultants and even marketing people in our Business Finance team. We are all from different backgrounds and each of us brings our unique perspective to the workplace.
Dr Tang U-Liang: What was your most memorable experience?
Ms Kong Yuki: I would say the team building sessions with colleagues. I also was really blessed that I was promoted to become a project manager. I didn’t expect that!
Dr Tang U-Liang: Wonderful! A testament to your leadership abilities. Any advice you would give to our students who aspire to do internships at tech companies?
Ms Kong Yuki: I would say to brush up on your case study skills and communication skills. Also, one of the key skills for IT interns is SQL. So definitely brush up on your SQL scripting skills.
Dr Tang U-Liang: Did you enjoy yourself in Shopee?
Ms Kong Yuki: Yes!