It’s a bittersweet feeling as I type this on the last day of my internship. While not having to rush to the office after classes at NED University or getting stuck on Shahrah-e-Faisal and having to pay Careem’s peak factor sounds like a relief but I will surely miss the friendly environment and the people here nonetheless.
Ever since my sophomore year at NED, I wanted to work on Data Analysis and Machine Learning; was always fascinated by Big Data and ML models, so I was pretty excited when i got the chance to intern at MarketLytics - one of the few companies in Karachi working in this field. Before the arrival of this opportunity I’d been training on data science from multiple sources but being here at MarketLytics was a wholesome experience.
Our problem statement was briefed to us during the first week of our internship and we were given complete flexibility to choose the tools and technologies that we preferred. We got to work on Simo Ahava’s chats data on slack and G+ groups to create a chatbot. Implementation of the project was like sitting on a roller coaster of Python whilst juggling pandas, regex, nltk, IBM watson, ndjsons and os libraries. 8 weeks (around 400 hrs) at MarketLytics transformed a noob into someone who can now write python automation scripts as if a piece of a cake.
I really enjoyed working with different python libraries like pandas to extract data from nested data structures so that It can be used as per requirements. I Also, worked on data extraction using different APIs like Mixpanel API and Amplitude API. Furthermore learned different data mining techniques like lemmatization and tokenization using rich text library like NLTK.
But MarketLytics offered a lot more than just technical exposure; what came along was:
Friendly environment: this place felt like home, everyone was willing to help each other. It was a cozy, comfortable place to spend 8 hours of your day with others who would treat you like their own family. Lunch time felt like school days where we’d sit, eat and laugh together.
The working environment here came as a pleasant surprise to someone like me who read a lot of psychology and worried about spending 60% of the day around negative energies. But trust me while i was here; Sunday nights I was excited to go to work the next morning; to share space with warm and friendly people and taking a week off for my exams during the internship was definitely a hard decision I had to make!
2. Flexible timings: internship along with full time studies, a final year project to submit and to top this - EXAMS is no easy job, but MarketLytics allowed me the freedom to choose my hours, I could work away from the office and didn’t have to follow wearisome processes to ask for permission to leave early for classes or exam preparations. How awesome is that?
3. Mentor: a great mentor can have a huge impact on your life, and at MarketLytics my training was overseen by a mentor who pushed me to my limits so i could see the results of not giving up; who inspired me every single day, and who allowed me to experiment and learn from my mistakes. End result - I am no longer fearful of coding!
4. Reviews: time is the most valuable thing you can get from anyone; and the Founder of MarketLytics taking time out every two weeks to check on the progress of our project, guide us, and help us get back on track to move ahead with an optimized approach meant a lot. We got to learn a lot from him first hand experience and his insights added value to our work.
5. Team lunches: a ritual at Marketlytics is bonding over food, team lunches put you on a table where we shared stories and consequently laughter. Every Thursday the team got together for a lunch (read: free food) where we first chose what to eat and then we shared interesting or inspiring stories with the rest of the team. If I ever have my own company, this is one thing I'll make sure to implement for better team bonding.
All in all, my time with MarketLytics has been a wonderful experience that I’m thankful for, saying Marketlytics is the best choice for data science enthusiasts would be an understatement. I take with me so much; experience, memories and good times. If given the choice I would choose to be back here.