What’s it like to be a student at Microblink?November 1, 2021
Throughout the history of Microblink, over 200 students have found their place in one of our many teams. Regardless of their background, they left an indelible mark and contributed to what Microblink is today. Many of them became full-time employees after finishing college and decided to stay and grow with us.
We’re lucky that Daniela (Product Development team), Dominik (Tools & Software Infrastructure team), Iva (Design team), Hana (Legal team), Karlo (Product Management team), Tina (Marketing team), Roko (Data Preprocessing team), Marko, Marta and Matea (Data Annotation team) were happy to share their experience and opinion on Microblink and what sets it apart from other student jobs.
Why did you apply for a job at Microblink?
Hana: I heard about Microblink a long time ago through the media as a promising Croatian hi-tech company in which employees do exciting and innovative things. When I pictured myself in such a company, it seemed almost like a SF movie. The position description was also quite different from the student jobs I had seen until that moment, so I decided to apply and try something new. And here I am happily living my hi-tech law student life.
Marta: I applied because I am very interested in working with data. Being a part of the team that directly contributes to the machine learning system is really exciting, and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Among other things, flexible working hours (4 hours a day) made this job perfect for me because it allowed me to dedicate myself to my student obligations and have a cool student job.
Matea: In my previous student job, I realized that I was interested in the IT industry, but since I was working and finishing my studies in business economics, I thought I was far from IT. Microblink then released an ad for a student job offering non-tech students to try out new challenges and show off their abilities. I applied, showed what I’m made of, and here I am, an economist in an AI-powered world.
Roko: It was the spring of my first year of college, and I wanted to do something related to my future profession. At the “Job Fair” event, I talked to other companies and emailed ten of them looking for an opportunity. However, no one answered. After that, I stumbled upon a Microblink job ad for the Data Annotation team and decided to give it a try. After some research about what Microblink does, I found their products and technology quite interesting. Two days later, I got an answer to my email and an invitation for an interview. It was my first ever serious job interview! I was pleased with the atmosphere in the company and decided to stay. The rest is history.
Is working at Microblink flexible enough and does it allow you to dedicate yourself fully to your studies?
Daniela: I am incredibly satisfied with the level of flexibility about working hours. Working in Microblink never slowed down my academic growth. Everyone understands the importance of my college education. The key to happiness is open and transparent communication about how much time I have for my work and whether it affects the tasks I have to perform. For example, during the exam weeks, I often get assignments that do not have a fixed “deadline” to make it easier to combine work and studies. Overall, there is great sensitivity and understanding developed towards the students and their responsibilities.
Iva: Working at Microblink has always been super flexible, and there have been no issues balancing college and work. My team lead always knew my schedule in advance, but if the day came when I had to dedicate myself more to college or when I was swamped with exams, it was never a problem to take some days off. It is only essential to communicate everything on time and everything can be arranged.
Karlo: Working at Microblink is the most flexible student job I could ever get. All shifts are arranged together with the manager and are not set in stone. You can work in the morning, afternoon or something in between. As long as everything runs smoothly, there are no problems regarding working hours. Sometimes I work from 20 to 40 hours a week, depending on my student obligations, of course.
Roko: Microblink has very flexible working hours for students. Shortly after I started working, my exams started, and I worked three days a week for four hours without any questions or concerns from my manager. You can feel the education-is-the-most-important-thing vibe in Microblink. Team leaders even persuade you to take two weeks off to learn and pass all the exams. Because of that approach, I successfully manage to coordinate working and studying.
How is it for you to work at Microblink? Are you looking forward to coming to the office and why?
Iva: I have been thrilled with working at Microblink since day one! I love coming to the office, making coffee, opening my Mac and starting the day. The team is excellent, and I learn something new every day. I am involved in great projects and most importantly – there is never a day without laughter, sweets and joy in Microblink.
Hana: Microblink has a very positive work environment, so I’m always looking forward to coming to the office. Our office is not a place where you do tasks for eight hours and then go home. It’s a place for socializing and cooperation where colleagues exchange various ideas and common interests, a sense of humor, and a passion for food. The atmosphere is working but relaxed. You can say that Microblink is a place with many not-so-serious people who take their job very, very seriously.
Matea: Working at Microblink is something that every young and ambitious person can wish for. From the first day, you feel a warm welcome, great support from everyone and excellent knowledge sharing. It’s an organization that will treat a student as an equal to a full-time team member. I am looking forward to coming to the office and every new challenge because with a good team and professional leadership, new knowledge is easier to acquire.
Tina: If you ask my family and friends, they would tell you how I keep talking about how good a job I have all the time! Everyone I know sometimes complains about work. Only I don’t. I feel like everything is modified to me as a student and according to my obligations. I learned a lot about the job itself, interpersonal relationships, and how to cooperate with a big team.
Do you feel equal to other members of your team?
Iva: I think that my ideas and opinions are very much appreciated in Microblink. There is no distinction between my concept and the idea of more experienced colleagues. I feel that every voice in Microblink is essential and that is why it is important to talk openly about any ideas, suggestions for improvement, etc.
Hana: Many employees at Microblink are students, and special attention is paid to their work and development. I feel equal to the other team members, and most of the time I forget that I am “just a student”. There are differences in terms of decision-making and level of responsibility between senior and junior colleagues. However, despite being a student, I am involved in all team activities. My team believes in me, and with the help of my mentor, I perform tasks independently and successfully, just like any other full-time colleague.
Marko: The relationship leadership has with students and full-time colleagues are equal. For example, if we need to give feedback as a team, they always ask us students for our opinions. I never felt like I couldn’t talk to any of my older colleagues because I’m a student. I can turn to anyone and ask anything I need.
Roko: Definitely. Regardless of being a student, whenever I have questions, ideas, or suggestions, older colleagues will listen to me and take that into account. It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the company or your position, your voice matters.
Do you feel that your ideas for improvements are respected and that your voice matters?
Dominik: Yes, of course. I’m often asked about my opinion on various development and work organization topics.
Hana: Microblink puts great value on team member ideas and suggestions. Proactivity is valued and expected. Even if a person does not express their views on their initiative, they will be asked to voice an opinion. It’s one of the best things about Microblink – the feeling that your ideas and work have contributed to the end result, change, or improvement. Microblink also often conducts surveys asking for feedback regarding work organization, employee satisfaction and many more.
Matea: Certainly, and it is like that from the very beginning. There is no such thing as a wrong question or too many questions. It is a general opinion that students learn the best by asking questions and making mistakes. If there are ideas for improving the process, that is a big plus and deserves praise.
Has working at Microblink helped you develop your skills and competencies and in what way?
Daniela: Yes! I developed some organizational and soft skills that are not taught in college. I also developed technical skills by attending online courses that help me in my work and by observing various presentations and work of my colleagues. Microblink also made it possible for us to go to a C ++ conference in Berlin, which is a rare and valuable experience for students.
Dominik: I developed my skills and gained knowledge about technically advanced units of iOS programming and also much broader development skills. It’s awesome to learn from great developers with a lot of experience who are always there to help.
Marko: Although my formal education focuses on informatics, there is not much practical work within the curriculum. At Microblink I got in touch with people who do a lot of different IT things, which helped me get a broader picture of how this profession works. I get theoretical knowledge in college, whereas here, I get more practical skills and specific knowledge I can use in my future.
Marta: I learned how essential teamwork is, especially when creating complex solutions. It’s important that all stakeholders and the end-users are satisfied and happy with the final product. When learning about teamwork in Microblink there is an excellent practice Meet the team project where everybody gets familiar with what other teams are doing. So everyone has an insight into the whole process and different areas – from labeling, development, HR, project management, etc.
Matea: Microblink showed me that in Croatia there are still organizations that value effort and hard work and that there are colleagues who will use all their knowledge and skills to bring technology solutions from the future. In addition, all team members give importance to each other. Teamwork, investing in employees’ knowledge, togetherness, amazing leadership, celebrating small and big successes – that’s Microblink.
Roko: proximity to developers gives me an incentive to develop in this field outside of working hours, and I can always ask them for advice and help. I also progressed within the organization as I moved from Data Annotation to the Data Preprocessing team. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have from before, if you work hard you can learn a lot and progress to a high level. People who work at Microblink do not stand still but develop, become team leaders and continue their development even after that.
How satisfied are you with knowledge sharing in Microblink? Do you think you have enough opportunities to learn?
Daniela: My experience is that everyone chooses for themselves how much they want to learn and progress. We have available literature, online courses, internal lectures, etc. Anyone who wants and thinks that a topic would be helpful for them can educate themselves and even make a presentation for other colleagues in the organization. On the other hand, everything is optional, so there is no pressure if someone is too busy with college or some other obligations.
Marta: Every older colleague I have been in contact with so far was willing to share knowledge, experiences and help solve any problem. Also, it is common to exchange recommendations for online courses or share newly discovered findings in the area of work.
Tina: Within the team, we have various ways of knowledge sharing, from classic meetings where we share what everyone does at the moment to slack channels where you can share new and exciting information. It’s great that I have the opportunity to do courses on Linkedin learning. I also love our internal library, where I can borrow a handful of books related to my work area and many others. I especially like that Microblink ensures everyone knows what other teams are doing in the organization. It gives me a broader picture which leads to me doing my job better.
What would you highlight as a special feature of Microblink?
Dominik: Talented people from whom you can learn a lot. Also, I would highlight the special connection between people within the organization due to working together on one product.
Hana: It is primarily a shared vision, which includes innovation, creative thinking and even more creative solutions, and insistence on quality. But the most significant benefit is the people. At Microblink, there are teams of people with different educational backgrounds, different ways of thinking and diverse characters, but they are all bound by the same passion, dedication and excellence. What also characterizes Microblink is work ethic, accessibility and open communication. At Microblink, the open-door policy is not a cliché, but it means that you can directly approach any person you need an answer from – whether it’s a board member or a team member you don’t work with daily.
Karlo: For many students, this is their first job, and to be a part of a company that invests in your onboarding, education and development is amazing. This sense of belonging and contribution to the organization’s growth, from product to process, is the best thing about Microblink. This feeling pushes you forward to give even more because you know that Microblink will support you.
How satisfied are you with the organization of student work (tracking hours, Student Centre contracts, etc.)?
Iva: The organization of student work in Microblink is really simple. After a workday, you just enter how many hours you have worked. At the beginning of a month you sign a contract and you don’t have to worry about anything anymore. At the end of the month, all hours are added up, and then the team lead checks with you once again if everything is in order and you’re ready to go.
Karlo: The best thing is that once you pick up a student contract, you just come to sign it every month because the wonder women from Office Operations pick it up on your behalf. Working hours are recorded every day and calculated at the end of the month. I am thrilled that this is one piece of paperwork less for students.
Tina: When I first came to Microblink, I was surprised that I didn’t have to go to the Student Centre every month to get a new contract and carry it at the end of the month. It was an absolute shock and pleasure for me that the people in charge at Microblink handled that by themselves. Everything is very simple and transparent. From the operational point of view, everything is amazing.
Can you imagine your development within Microblink after graduation?
Daniela: I can imagine my development at Microblink even after graduating from college. It is encouraging that I have seen many examples of changing the “career path” within Microblink, and I think that everyone has the opportunity to do what they love, what works best for them and in which direction they want to develop.
Tina: I definitely can. This is an ideal company for developing a young person in such a young, dynamic and enthusiastic environment.
Roko: I see my further development within Microblink and I would love to stay. Colleagues are very helpful and they encourage you to develop yourself in the best way possible. You are even welcome to change teams and see how other teams work as well as the whole organization.
How would you describe to your friends what it’s like to work at Microblink?
Tina: This is the best job you can have. I have been working for almost two years, and I have never changed my mind. I always emphasize that it is a privilege for a student to work in a company such as Microblink. It provides accessibility of colleagues, knowledge sharing, mentoring and flexibility that is very important for students. I even brought my mom a Microblink bag. She carries it and brags when someone asks her about Microblink.
Karlo: Three words – flexible, relaxed, professional. Opportunities for advancement are endless and depend a lot on the individual. That is why team leaders and HR encourage students to stay in Microblink and find their passion here. Even if someone doesn’t stay, I think they get valuable experience of what it’s like to work in an organization that started as a startup and kept that family note of warmth and willingness to help until today.
Iva: Working at Microblink is really great. You can learn something new every day, the projects are exciting, the team is great, there is plenty of coffee – I think that’s all a student needs. And starting a career right in Microblink is a complete success!