Life as an Intern at Beam

There is a saying that goes, “the intern is the lowest life-form of a human being”. But here at Beam, the intern thrives (we’re not being paid to say any of this) (yes we are)! As Beam’s first wave of interns have started and ended their chapter together, we’ve decided to reflect on our experiences here; the good, the bad and everything in-between. 

Zinc Tan (Marketing & Design Intern, SG)

If you could go back in time when you first started working at Beam, what would you tell yourself?

I would do more SQL when I had less to do and grab hold of other things to do, letting people know that I’m interested in things outside of marketing and design. I’m actually quite introverted and it takes me a while to get used to a new environment, but I would tell myself to step up more - people here care about what you say and value you.

I would also tell myself to do less outside of Beam so I could focus more on Beam! Juggling a full-time internship at a startup, a part time job, being part of an organising committee for three events as well as volunteering is really taxing and leaves me with less capacity to manage my work at Beam.

Lastly, I would also brush up on the skills before my internship started (although my internship did start right after exams, so that would’ve been a bit tough as well). If not practise, at least watch a few tutorials to make the transition a bit easier and feel less rusty about what I’m doing.

What skills have you learnt from Beam that school could not prepare you for?

To be really honest, I am of the belief that school, in particular university, doesn’t prepare you for anything in the ‘real’ world. How you work and what you do is all defined by your company and manager, you just have to adapt. As an example, if you’re an Excel master, but your company uses some other programme, you still need to adjust. So I don’t think school is the place to look at to really prepare yourself for anything in the workplace. Of course, there are exceptions depending on the opportunities you take up and people you meet along the way.

What is the best/worst part of working at Beam?

Best: There are lots of opportunities to do and learn what you want, for example, taking charge of a new project instead of just being told what to do. It makes one feel more valued in that their thoughts are accepted and they can contribute to the company in their own way as opposed to being a robot that follows instructions well. I like that even though there are people here who are extremely capable and successful, they don’t make you feel like a small fry (though as interns, we are), they respect you as a person and your contributions.

I also enjoy the flexible working hours where you have freedom to manage your own workload - I know that in other companies you might be forced to sit around while doing nothing, or pressured to stay late to finish work. In my first week and I was staying late, I was told quite bluntly to go home and not wait for my superiors as I’m not being paid for overtime, and work can wait. It’s quite a refreshing perspective.

Of course, last but not least, I have to mention the free food - the welfare is great.

Worst: Design or any creative work is always challenging as you’re either trying to understand what the requester has in mind or if they know what they want. It’s not easy as the rush and feedback can feel as if you have no say in your work. With most people not having done design/content creation, it's sometimes challenging to communicate with others about how a collateral should be. Most of the time, really, my time is spent on communicating and coming to a compromise about how something looks rather than designing itself. There’s also an added factor of needing the lead designer to approve the work rather than just between me and the person who requested an artwork. This isn’t really something about Beam - the problem appears in anything relating to creative work, from film to writing to design.

Oh, and the flip side of having so much free food - you have to watch what you eat!

Alicia Goh (Corporate Affairs Intern, SG)                     

If you could go back in time when you first started working at Beam, what would you tell yourself?

Take greater advantage of the vast and diverse learning opportunities here at Beam. From SQL to creating marketing material, Beam is a workplace that allows you to venture out of your comfort zone. 

What skills have you learnt from Beam that school could not prepare you for?

Real corporate-standard communication skills. Although I had written content before (for academic purposes & journalistic platforms), I only started to understand what it means to communicate in a way that addresses our various stakeholders purposefully, while protecting the company’s brand name after working at Beam.

Learning about transport policy as a corporate affairs intern in Beam has been eye opening. From the outside looking in, one would imagine that authorities would not be supportive of disruptive transport technologies such as e-scooters. Yet, working with Beam has proven me otherwise. The CA team in Beam has managed to plant our operations in 6 countries in less than 2 years. This made me realise that while governments do face inertia adapting to new transport solutions that we offer, they undoubtedly recognise that we are helping them to solve real and current problems. The CA team in Beam has been incredibly honest and inspiring in building and establishing successful partnerships with government agencies. 

Insights such as these could not be gleaned in any classroom, but only from experiencing what the industry is actually like. 

What is the best/worst part of working at Beam?

Best: The company culture. I truly admire how everyone lives out the beliefs; ‘best idea wins’, and being ‘alwaysinBeta’. It fosters an environment that is competitive, yet positive and progressive. It allows the company to be constantly improving, evolving and growing every single day. The people who work here are incredibly passionate, capable and talented. Their positive attitude towards work is admirable. 

Worst: I guess I will regret not doing more while I had the chance to!! 

Alison Yeo (Product Intern, SG) 

If you could go back in time when you first started working at Beam, what would you tell yourself?

Don’t be so afraid of everyone, they are really nice!

What skills have you learnt from Beam that school could not prepare you for?

Beam really pushes you to think critically and in a very short amount of time. I didn’t think much of micromobility at first and I thought the issues we would face as a micromobility company would be more straightforward, but i was proven very wrong. Beam has expanded into so many different markets and each of them has their own unique characteristics. This makes the problem solving process all the more exciting. 

In school, you are often asked to design the perfect solution. However, working at Beam teaches you the importance of managing trade offs. I’ve learnt to appreciate prioritisation and understanding how to manage the use of limited resources. 

What is the best/worst part of working at Beam?

Best: I love the flat hierarchy at Beam. Here, you don’t feel like your opinions are invalid. People genuinely consider your inputs and they make you feel valued. Even if you were to make a mistake, the Beam Team is very gracious about it. Alan, our CEO, is always talking about #alwaysinBeta and I love it because they live it out.

Another thing I really love about Beam is that they care about your learning and progress in your internship journey. On my one-on-ones with my manager, he always asks me about the tasks I am doing and whether or not they are in-line with what I want to get out of this internship. The tasks I am given are often meaningful, and actually impacts the business. If you look at the Beam Team, they are very experienced and extremely intelligent. Yet, they are helpful and always willing to give feedback on your work. 


Philip Kasper (Strategy Intern, SG)           

If you could go back in time when you first started working at Beam, what would you tell yourself? 

My advice to myself would be: be more participative and approach people without hesitation, as everyone is incredibly friendly and willing to talk about anything - work or fun - so long as they’re not (super)busy :) Another reminder to all of my fellow introverts out there: share more of your ideas. If you made it here, chances are that you’re amazing at what you do, and people want to hear what you think about, so speak up!

What skills have you learnt from Beam that school could not prepare you for?

My learning curve at Beam has been quite short thus far, but incredibly steep. To say that I couldn’t have learned anything that I’ve learnt here in school would not be an overstatement. In a little under two weeks, I’ve learned and applied basic SQL commands to pull information from our database, delve into a world of off- and online payments to determine which options Beam should pursue, and collaborate on a proposal for a government of a new city where Beam plans to launch in the near future. As you can see, the type of work you get to do is diverse. Certainly, it will be chaotic, but the things you learn will be incredibly practical in both personal and professional life. You learn to take full ownership and responsibility for your project, plan your own and others’ time, (sometimes) do multiple things at once and (most of the time) prioritize. Overall, this is shaping up to be a truly rewarding and transformative experience.

What is the best/worst part of working at Beam 

The first two weeks at Beam have been quite hectic, but versatile. This is exactly the kind of environment that I hoped for when I applied. What I admire about Beam is that there is something new to learn every day, whether it is about the product, marketing, communications, supply chain (Beam is a tech company that actually owns physical assets!) or analytics.

While Beam shares fast-growth mentality with many other players in mobility space, it is set apart by its conscious approach when dealing with all of its stakeholders: business partners, governments and city councils, and, above all, its employees. 

And last but not least, one of the greatest things about Beam is that you get to work with incredibly talented and smart people. While it sounds cliche, it is absolutely true in the case of Beam - where else do you get to work with someone who has big tech or management consulting experience, as well as degrees from first-tier business schools and ivy league universities?

Bonnie Yew (Business Development Intern, MY)           

If you could go back in time when you first started working at Beam, what would you tell yourself?

If I could go back in time… I will tell myself not to be afraid to try new things. Doing things outside your comfort zone actually makes you grow! For me, I was initially afraid of conducting cold calls, as I wasn’t sure of what to say and how to pitch. This wasn’t something that I have done before. I would like to tell myself not to be afraid! The people on the other line don’t bite, and worst comes to worst, they would just end the call without passing you to the right person. We can always try again!

What skills have you learnt from Beam that school could not prepare you for?

The most amazing thing I learned while working at Beam is how to pitch during a cold call. Tone of voice is really important if you want to catch the other person’s attention. The first 30 seconds is most important for pitching and making a good first impression. You never get a second chance to make a first impression! ;)

Besides that, communication skills is the main thing that I have learnt throughout this internship. Although I can communicate with my coursemates in assignments and in classes, the skills required to communicate in the workplace (such as Beam) is vastly different. I learned how to facilitate communication with companies to acquire permission for Beam to place the scooters in their hotels, restaurants, etc. It was definitely challenging for me at first because I was nervous to approach the manager or person in charge, however, after more practice, I can now communicate and approach people I do not know.

I have learnt to be more independent and to cope working under a fast paced environment. During my university days, I was able to manage my time to make sure I can complete my assignment before it’s due. However, things have been different after I joined Beam as an intern. Most of the tasks are urgent, and I needed to learn how to react to problems quickly. Along the way, I got to learn how to handle stress in a better way. (This is still an ongoing learning process for myself :p)

What is the best/worst part of working at Beam

My internship journey here has taught me a lot! When I first joined Beam I didn’t know what to expect, because this is my first time working in an office environment. To my pleasant surprise, the environment in Beam is quite relaxed, colleagues are friendly, the Wework office is amazing, in house barista is handsome, team dinners are delicious and many many more experiences make my internship at Beam a fun journey! Worst part about working at Beam would be that the AC is turned off after 6pm & when our snacks corner runs out  :(

Sylvia Chong (Business Development Intern, SG)                  

If you could go back in time when you first started working at Beam, what would you tell yourself?

It’s ok to make mistakes, after all we are all here to learn and be better. At the start the task at hand may seem very foreign, maybe even difficult, but don’t assume it’s because the “job is not right for you”. It simply takes time for you to get better at it!

Being in sales, you will face rejection often and don’t worry about it. It is mainly their own personal reasons if you have already tried your best.

Also, don’t worry about others looking at you like a “small girl”, because a “small girl” can be capable of doing her job well too! And don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your office even if they look intimidating, because they’re all nice people!

What skills have you learnt from Beam that school could not prepare you for?

Riding an e-scooter! 

Pitching to all sorts of people has helped me to understand various perspectives towards our business, against our perspective, gave me a lot of insight on how both parties think.

Being the quickest to go to L2 pantry for free treats.

What is the best/worst part of working at Beam

Best: Super friendly people, always helping me and giving me advice, fun team bonding events, treats from Wework, amazing Wework staff and CSAs

Worst: I am always flooded with free food, not that it’s a bad thing either actually

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