Q&A with Saurabh, Engineering Intern

EngineeringLondon

I deployed something that I worked on during my first week here. Not understanding everything about the business yet, but still having the opportunity to deploy a piece of work at the end of my first week felt crazy! It was about querying an endpoint to retrieve payment methods based on the chosen country, and then displaying available options on the website.

Why did you join TransferWise?

I was a TransferWise customer. I knew it was a great product and a fast-growing business. When I was searching for job opportunities, I came across the internship on LinkedIn, read more about it and decided to apply.

Development for me was a career change. I’d previously worked in healthcare management, coworking and analytics. Working closely with engineers, I got intrigued about a career in software development myself. I’ve always been interested in tech and worked with people implementing software. It was something I wanted to do but lacked understanding on the technical side. So I started learning development at Codecademy. I started with building a website and then moved into back end and front end to get an overall understanding of the web development process. I completed intensive courses to learn more and get a good grasp of things. The internship was a way for me to get experience and a better perspective in web development.

In a nutshell, what do you do at TransferWise?

I work in the Organic Growth team, where we focus on acquiring customers for free. We do this through tools like the IBAN calculator and currency converter – things that people are already looking for online. We make them easy and interactive while introducing our solution for moving money.

My main tasks have been working towards achieving the vision set by our Designers and Product Managers on various pages. Making sections of the website responsive, implementing design and copy as it should be. I’ve worked both on front end and back end issues, jumping between Java and JS as per the project needs. This also included completing tasks and errors spotted by teams. Getting exposed to SpringBoot and ThymeLeaf was exciting.

I’m working alongside three engineers, and I’m happy to be valued as a team member, not ‘just an intern’. I also like that I have the opportunity to speak up, ask questions and challenge opinions.

What’s the biggest challenge working here?

Grasping all the info you can in a short space of time. It can be hectic in the beginning. There’s so much to learn, and you need to be laser-focused to understand what info is relevant to you and how you can use it to maximise your impact.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

The IBAN calculator. We’re working on building a calculator that supports 30 countries where people can enter a bank and find the IBAN for the specific country of the transfer. Behind the scenes involves touching on external libraries, fixing them for our use and making the app as simple as possible.

What’s your team’s fun tradition?

I believe our team is one of the most adventurous and outgoing ones. We do something every week — an escape room, nights out, and so on.

What’s been the best thing about your internship?

I love our office and the location in Shoreditch is cool. We play table tennis together to relax. Seeing the growth has been exciting, there are new joiners every week, and we’re expanding the office.

I also love the flexibility – being able to work from home when needed and not being restricted by 9-5 office hours.

What does working with freedom and autonomy mean to you?

It means that every team can decide their own direction and make decisions quickly without the approval process in a hierarchy. Our team has a complete focus on customer impact, and we’re empowered to do what’s right for the customer. I feel valued to have my voice heard and being able to make my own decisions as an intern.

Tell us about a time you disagreed with your lead, and why

On an occasion, I wasn’t thoroughly convinced with the design of a component. I didn’t see it as the best option from the customer perspective. So we reviewed it and worked on the concept together. It was rewarding to see that my view was valued and I could stand up for my opinions.

Tell us about something extraordinary you’ve done?

My first job in the UK was interpreting five languages – Russian, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English at an NHS trust. It was great to help alleviate language barriers between patients and the staff.

I’ve also hiked Snowden and trekked at Grand Canyon. And to add a humble brag, I’m also a pro at table tennis!

What’s your side hustle?

When I was learning to code, I built a single page React app as part of the intensive course. The app allows editing and creating Spotify playlists. It was great practice. I would like to enhance the capabilities to find duplicate songs easily across playlists and save them on the fly. I’m currently focused on mastering my Java and SpringBoot skills.