It didn’t take me long to figure out that Habanero wasn’t a typical workplace. I initially interviewed at Habanero for a business analysis position in May 2014. I didn’t get the job, but Habanero definitely left an impression on me. There was something enticing and uniquely fun about the company culture that, at the time, was a lot harder for me to articulate. I had a strong inkling Habanero was a company I wanted to work for.
When a posting went up for a business analysis internship, I applied. Now that I have a few months under my belt at Habanero, I’m going to properly articulate my internship experience.
“So, do you like your boss?” a friend asked me not long after I started my internship.
I stumbled with my answer: “I don’t have a boss… I don’t think. Well, I have a mentor who is also my performance manager, but I don’t think she is my boss?” I hadn’t really thought about it, but after having a few similar conversations, I started to appreciate the uniqueness of my situation.
I couldn’t think of a single instance during my internship where I was delegated a task that I absolutely had to do. At Habanero, you have autonomy—even as an intern. In my experience, there have always been options for how I can be involved in projects. I am largely free to prioritize and pursue the work that I am interested in.
In the absence of a direct report, the mentor relationship serves as a guiding light. This supportive relationship is integral to providing direction to interns and co-op students. Initially, I got the chance to sit down with my mentor to define goals for my internship. After goals were established, the relationship has consistently produced suggestions of how to realize those defined goals.
I found my mentor to be continuously helpful in providing insights to me as I became increasingly assimilated into Habanero’s culture. For example, I was interested in getting involved in some more technical areas and I had also previously shared interested in business process analysis. My mentor was quick to connect me with the right people.
I am now a member of the workflow offering at Habanero and I am designing and building an application to assist in scheduling an internal initiative, all while getting the chance to be a pioneer for a new workflow technology at Habanero. I think that’s pretty cool.
Try all the things
Prior to starting at Habanero, I was told I would have the opportunity to gain exposure to different areas of the business and try my hand at different skills, activities and roles. This is what I wanted, although I was a tad skeptical. I thought this might be just a bunch of hooey HR departments put into job descriptions to fill the page. This is not the case.
After only three months, I can safely say I have done a lot of things. Some notable experiences include:
- I have been involved in a large scale project with an international oil and gas client
- I have gained experience gathering and documenting requirements for applications and portal projects
- I have assisted in an information architecture and content support capacity, gained experience delivering training sessions and have acquired an understanding of how to build workflow applications on the SharePoint platform
The beauty of being an intern at Habanero is the flexibility to customize your learning and experience as you see fit. I look forward to working on new projects in the near future, with further opportunities to try all the things.