♥ Intern life by the numbers:
5 days / week
1 too many trips to the EZTABLE Café
This summer, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to intern at EZTABLE Taiwan for two months. I arrived in Taipei at the end of May, geared up for quite the summer adventure, and now, a little over halfway through my internship, I find myself amazed at how quickly the time has flown by.
This is my first real office job (I have worked on campus, at restaurants, and with student groups in the past), and EZTABLE has been a great company for my workplace introduction. It is a startup, which means things are done a little differently than in traditional businesses, and Alex Chen, EZTABLE co-founder and CEO, has really strived to create a hip startup atmosphere-reflected even in our physical office space. The EZTABLE headquarters takes up one floor of our office building, and is comprised of open desk space, a mix of stand-up and sit-down meeting rooms (whose clear walls can be written on in erasable marker), and-my personal favorite-the EZTABLE Café, which features an array of snacks made by our investor , I-Mei Foods. There are no individual offices or cubicles, and Alex’s desk is in the same room as our HR department and his assistant. Work hours are flexible, but usually fall from around 10 am-7pm, and the dress code is very casual. On Friday afternoons, we have an ‘all-hands’ meeting in the Café, a short happy hour, and a yoga class.
Alex decided to take us interns under his wing when we first arrived this summer. He assigned us special projects, and was actually curious to hear our ideas (the CEO-imagine that!). It was really exciting to have so much say as an intern, and to feel as though I was making tangible contributions to the company. These past couple of weeks have slowed down a bit for us interns, so translation has been the bulk of our workload, but translation has its own perks for me.
I study East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California, and my focus is on Mandarin Chinese, so working at EZTABLE has been great language practice. I speak with most of my supervisors in Chinese, and for the first half of the summer I attended daily marketing meetings conducted solely in Chinese. Additionally, I have gotten to do a lot of Chinese to English translation work, which has helped me improve my reading comprehension and learn to read traditional Chinese characters, since I study simplified at school.
Work aside, though, one of my favorite things about EZTABLE is the people that I work with. I have particularly enjoyed getting to know my fellow interns, one of whom is a USC student like myself. Though the two of us work most closely on our projects, there are two other interns, both graduates, who work on separate projects but come over to chat once in a while, and often join us for lunch. One of them is from Taiwan but has just come back from working in France, . and the other is from the Philippines and has spent time working in Japan The diversity of EZTABLE’s workforce has struck me since the beginning; I created a Father’s Day video for my dad during one of my first few weeks and ended up getting several clips of fellow EZTABLErs wishing him “Happy Father’s Day" in their native tongues. It’s been fascinating to connect with people from all over the globe in a country that’s not my own-here, we’re all foreigners!
I have found that EZTABLE employees are also incredibly dedicated workers. Though the office culture may seem quite casual, my coworkers are anything but casual about the work that they do. They are always busy tackling the next big project, and will stay at the office as long as is necessary in order to stay ahead. Dana (the other USC intern) and I report to the marketing department, and particularly to Judy, Peter, and Michelle. They have all been so welcoming to us, and have set a wonderful example of creativity, efficiency, and kindness.
Over the next few weeks, my goal is to take as many mental (and physical!) Pictures, videos and notes as possible. I know I’m going to leave here having accrued an immeasurable amount of memories and lessons, and I do not want to forget any of them!