AppDirect Blog

News & Updates

Interning at AppHelp

By Cathy / Apr 26, 2016

Our current interns, Jesse and Riley, are coming to the end of their four month work term here at AppHelp.

Since both students had very different roles and responsibilities at the company, I decided to put on my reporter hat and get the inside scoop on their unique experiences. We chatted about various aspects of the internship, from the day-to-day tasks to first day impressions and, of course, their favourite work perk. Here’s what they had to say…

Describe your role within the AppHelp team. What sort of work do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Jesse: Here at AppHelp, I’m working as part of the Technology team as a web developer intern. The team is involved in a variety of different company projects, from solution architecture to front end development. I contribute to a large project that aims to improve our existing front end platform. I’m often pulled into new projects to create prototypes, translate mockups into web pages, and implement new features in the back end API.

Day-to-day, I develop web applications using modern web frameworks like AngularJS. Some projects involve CMS’s; I assist in integrating our web platform with different systems. Our team has scrum meetings to review progress and my coworkers are always happy to help if I encounter difficult issues. Interns aren’t grouped together to work on a separate project – we work alongside experienced developers and contribute to important company projects.

Riley: As a digital marketing intern, I work within the Product & Marketing team. Most days I will be working on writing a piece of content, whether it be an engaging blog post for our AppHelp blog or an informative whitepaper discussing the industry and our service offerings. One thing I make sure to do a few times a day is browse the web for interesting and relevant industry news to be shared on our social media accounts.

Other marketing activities that require a lot of my attention include creating and monitoring online marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and generate leads, crafting e-newsletters to be sent out to our mailing list, and optimizing our search engine optimization strategies to boost AppHelp’s online presence.

Tell me about your first few days with the company

Jesse: My first few days at AppHelp involved a lot of handshakes and introductions. I quickly got to know most of the people I would be working with. During the first few days, I got familiar with the open office layout. It was a welcome change from the grey cubicles from some of my previous jobs. It’s great for collaboration, and there’s always pop-in rooms for those times you need privacy or to have meetings. Also, there’s plants everywhere, which is pretty awesome. From my desk, I can see a little panda hanging from the branches. Cute.

RileyMy team was great at teaching me what AppHelp does and how they do it during my first week. I do remember one thing standing out to me the first few days: acronyms. Everyone would use them in what seemed to be just about every sentence – almost all of them completely foreign to me. CSAT, NPS, LMI, PTS – I could go on! Everyone told me it’s completely normal not to understand half of what they were talking about and I’d be using the same acronyms in no time. Sure enough, they were right!

I think it’s safe to say that everyone here has their favourite workplace perk, what’s yours?

Jesse: I live for the St Viateur salmon bagels served on Friday mornings. There’s nothing better than skipping breakfast at home and topping up a fresh bagel with salmon, tomatoes, and cream cheese. Yum.

Riley: I know this will be a pretty lame answer, but it has to be the apple juice from the kitchen. I know, we have an awesome decked-out kitchen with tons of snacks and drinks… but you just can’t go wrong with some apple juice to start the day.

How would you describe your very first AppHelp Hackathon?

Jesse: Before coming to AppHelp, I had never been to a Hackathon. But I understood how they work: you team up with others to work on an idea and create a working prototype as quickly as possible. AppHelp’s Hackathon was held over 2 days and plenty of good food was provided.

I joined a team that wanted to simplify the management of our websites. As I was involved with front end development with WordPress, I knew many of the pain points for the workflow. We spent two full workdays collaborating closely to get things up and running. We prepared a demo and presented our project on the third day. The Hackathon was a great experience where we were able to try out new ideas.

Riley: I’ll be honest, as a marketing student with zero experience in programming, I had to Google what exactly a Hackathon was after hearing people mention it a few times. Even though some of the demos people came up with were a little too technical for me to fully appreciate, I was really amazed at some of the creative ideas people could come up with in only a couple of days.

What advice would you have for someone thinking about interning with AppHelp?

Jesse: AppHelp has a great collaborative environment, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. As with any organization, it can be a little difficult to understand how the different platforms and systems interact with each other. Work closely with your team members, ask questions, and brainstorm solutions with others. Be active in discussions and contribute your ideas during meetings; a fresh, outside perspective as an intern can be valuable.

Riley: I think someone who is interested in working here has to be very eager to learn new things. The AppHelp business model is not necessarily as straight-forward as other businesses, and it will really help enrich your experience here to ask your coworkers any questions that you may have. Everyone here is super friendly and it can be very valuable to gain the perspectives of all the different teams.

What’s one thing you won’t forget about AppHelp?

Jesse: I loved the St. Patrick’s Day party. The hot wings and cold Irish beers were great and the karaoke setup made for some good laughs! AppHelp really goes all out with decorations, food, and activities for their awesome parties. I definitely won’t forget singing Total Eclipse of the Heart into the evening.

RileyOne thing that will be hard to forget about my time here is the extremely loud gong going off every Friday signalling the beginning of our weekly company-wide stand up meeting. My desk is right beside the stand-up area and I just about jump out of my chair every time it goes off!

Learn more about what it’s like to work for AppHelp or view our current openings!