What’s it like being a Student data annotator at Microblink?August 30, 2022
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably curious about our Student in Data Annotation position. You’re in the right place! You’re probably wondering if this is the right job for you. Is the pay good? How flexible is the company around work hours, will they accommodate me during exams? What’s the atmosphere like in the team? Will this be good for my career?
If you have friends working at Microblink, you could just ask them. But if you don’t, then it’s much harder to find answers to these questions…
Unless we ask them for you. So, we invited three of our students from the Data department in Croatia to share their experience of working here. We hope their stories paint a more vivid picture for you than the job ad, and help you decide if you should apply or accept the offer.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: what do you study, what year are you, and what is your position at Microblink?
Dora Sučić: I’m just about to start an Applied computer science program at Algebra and I just became full time junior data annotator at Microblink.
Bruno Jurčić: I’m in my 3rd year at TVZ, majoring in IT design. I’m a Senior student annotator at Microblink.
Avelin Bingula: I’m studying Mechanical engineering, it’s my final year. I’m also a Senior student annotator.
2. Could you describe in simple terms what student annotators actually do?
Avelin: In machine learning, you have to teach models how to recognize inputs and classify them correctly. Microblink is in the field of digital identity so we work with all sorts of personal documents like IDs, passports, driving licenses..from almost all the countries in the world. And so we train our ML models to recognize those documents in real life – which country they are from, if they’re valid, expired or forged. In order for the models to work correctly, we first need to process and annotate the data, that is teach the models to recognize every element on the document, such as a photo, first and last name, ID number etc. In addition to that, us seniors supervise the work of junior and mid colleagues, educate them and give them feedback.
3. Tell us about your student job at Microblink. What do you like most about it?
Dora: People! We are a huge department, there’s 120+ of us, but you really find your connections here. Some of my colleagues became really close friends.
Bruno: First and foremost my team. I think our team lead gathered a really great bunch of individuals. And I love working in the office! We have a lot of fun together, there’s a sense of belonging and people really appreciate you. And your effort is noticed and rewarded.
There is also a lot of room for progress; there are plenty of internal job openings so that’s an opportunity for students to grow in their career or try something new.
Avelin: That everyone is so open. There is no pressure. You can always ask someone for help if you get stuck, or if you’re just having a bad day. We try to help each other out.
There is a lot of room for progress; there are plenty of internal job openings so that’s an opportunity for students to grow in their career or try something new.Bruno Jurčić, Senior student annotator
4. How is it different from other student jobs you’ve had before?
Dora: I feel really appreciated and recognized and I’m growing much faster. I feel just the right balance – the job isn’t so hard that you can’t do it, but there are also plenty of challenges. And I never have to carry my work home or worry about it after work hours.
Avelin: The feeling of togetherness is really powerful, it makes you feel like you matter. And the pay is really good.
5. How would you describe the atmosphere in your team?
Dora: The atmosphere is relaxed, but professional. People talk, share their knowledge, we go for drinks after work, and eat lunch together. And I don’t feel any pressure, I’m happy when I go to work and I leave work in a happy mood. And if you’re not satisfied with something, you can always tell someone, either your colleagues or your manager and they will try to help you. Your opinion is really respected.
Bruno: People are really supportive and the atmosphere is so relaxed. You just put on some music and do your thing. I like that whenever I have some idea or suggestion, they really hear me out; I feel like my opinion is really valued.
6. Tell us a bit about your role at Microblink and how it evolved over time.
Dora: First, I started as a junior, after a few months, I became mid, and then a senior. Then there was an opening for a full time position, so I applied and got it. I never thought I would work here full time because my field of study is something completely different, but I liked it so much, so – here I am.
Bruno: I’ve started as a junior student annotator and then got promoted to mid position a few months later, and eventually after about a year I got promoted to the senior position. In the meantime, I got a scholarship for Erasmus mobility in Portugal. But because in the Data department we deal with personal documents, it’s mandatory to work from the office. So I asked if I could join the remote-friendly team that works on another product that doesn’t deal with such sensitive data. I wanted to keep my work rhythm and not lose my “mojo”. They granted my request, so for 4 months I worked remotely from Portugal. With this opportunity, I got a chance to work in another team and to expand my knowledge about other processes in the company. It all went smoothly so now I’m back in the office. And since I’m studying IT design, I am also doing an internship in our Design department. I work full time, that is 40 hours a week which are split 50-50 between Data and Design.
The feeling of togetherness is really powerful, it makes you feel like you matter.Avelin Bingula, Senior student annotator
Avelin: I joined as a junior and after a few months, I became a mid, and after a year, a senior. I find the role quite interesting, and I’ve been working hard, so I got promoted. I’ve been here a bit over 2 years. I usually work 3 full days, so around 24 hours a week because I’m also doing a summer internship at another company.
7. Which student benefits do you enjoy the most and why?
Dora: You get 2 weeks of paid vacation after working for a full year. I’ve never heard of any company doing that. You also get a personal budget for tech equipment that you like. Having the flexibility to work whenever it’s convenient to you is also pretty amazing. Oftentimes, students lose their job if they cannot work for more than a few days, the company finds someone else. But at Microblink, if you have exams, you can agree with your manager to be absent for a while and come back once you’re ready.
Another thing I really liked as a student is that you get regular feedback; you have two buddies who help you adjust at the beginning. And the office is full of seniors who help you if you get stuck. If you’re not performing very well, they organize workshops to help you improve.
Bruno: I’m a big fan of parties, I love team buildings. And I love that students are not excluded; we get to participate in all the company gatherings like summer parties, hikes to Sljeme, different sports activities…I really like that spirit of togetherness.
Also, students in the Data department who are top performers get to travel to New York for a week to visit our team there!
Then there are interesting soft skill workshops like communication skills, assertiveness and many more. There was this great finance workshop “Kuda idu divlje kune” where we learned about taxes, net and gross salary etc.
And finally – fruit 🙂 I love fruit and the fact you can always grab some from the kitchen is awesome.
Avelin: Paid vacation is number one. Soft skill workshops are also great; they are usually held in small groups and we end up having a great discussion and learn a lot from each other, as well. It’s also important to me that I have a safe place for my bike because I go everywhere with it; so I’m glad I can keep it in the garage. And team buildings because everyone is invited, even us students.
You get 2 weeks of paid vacation after working for a full year.Dora Sučić, Junior data annotator
8. What do you like the most about Microblink as a company?
Bruno: Connectedness. I’ll never forget my first day. I was in an elevator, and Igor Strejček, who just joined Microblink as the new managing director, stepped in. It was his first day, too, and he spent it by going from person to person to say hi. As we were riding, he started a conversation and I said this was my first day in the company. And he looked at me, smiled and said: “Fingers crossed to us!” 🙂 I like how you can be casual with everyone, it’s so relaxed. It feels like home.
Dora: What attracted me are interesting technologies and the company’s potential.
And the people are chill. Whenever I need anything, people are always super approachable and warm.
Avelin: The fact that everyone is striving for greatness. We are all young, ambitious and so people give their best to create something top notch.
9. Would you recommend Microblink to your friends and if so, why?
Dora: Yes, of course! It’s an amazing student job, flexible and without pressure. You meet awesome people and gain a lot of experience.
Bruno: I already have. Primarily because of the atmosphere, because people appreciate you and evaluate your work fairly. You get great benefits, even better parties. 🙂
Avelin: Yes, I absolutely would and I already invited a lot of people. In my opinion, two factors are key to students: pay and flexible hours and both are great at Microblink.
Also, the atmosphere is really good and you feel like you’re part of a community.
Our Data annotation team is constantly growing. If Dora’s, Bruno’s and Avelin’s story sparked your interest, check out our Student in Data Annotation position (Zagreb, Croatia) and join us! No tech background required, just willingness to learn. We’ll take care of the rest.