Shahad AlMulhim | Product Development Internship Experience

October 29, 2020

6 minutes read
6 minutes read

October 29, 2020

I have finished 5 months as a Product Development intern with Sabbar, and when I look back at the time that I got the reply regarding the internship application and how hesitant I was to continue the interview process, I tell myself that I was lucky that the path led me to be part of Sabbar’s family 🧡🌵

As a graduate-to-be, I knew that at this phase I need to try different experiences and push myself to get more out of my comfort zone. With the little experience I had, I felt that I hadn’t discovered my potential yet and I was not confident enough that I’m ready for the job market. What I needed was the hands-on experience on real projects. My interest to experience working in a startup company that brings real value led me to apply to Sabbar, and I definitely got the experience that I was looking for.

The experience that I had since I applied until I landed the internship was unusual to me. The interview with the Sabbar team made me feel that I’m in an interesting discussion more than I’m in an interview. The amazing impression I had during the interview made me so much thrilled to be part of the team. Thankfully, I was delighted to be accepted and joined Sabbar’s family as a Product Development Intern.

As a product department team, we are responsible for gathering the requirements needed from the Operations team and the giggers (The hourly workers) who used the products to identify the pain points and find solutions for it, and we design the UI/UX for the products. Beside that, we work on the quality assurance of the products by testing each feature and reporting any bug to the engineers. We work closely with the amazing engineering team to support them by preparing the user stories and enhancements along with the UI/UX designs.

Working in the product department has many advantages. We are responsible for the creativity, solution design, and visual side of the products. Mostly we don’t have repetitive work and each week is different. Meetings are our thing! We do a lot of meetings on a daily/monthly basis; there is the standup meeting which is a quick meeting where we talk about what we worked on and what we will work on today so the team is aligned with each other.

Also, there are the engineering/product retrospective meetings which we do at the end of the month or at the end of a release where each one talks about what they like and not like about the month, how we can improve our work next month and what action we need to take based on that. And between all of that we have several meetings with the other departments in the company t o make sure we meet their needs in the products. All of this brings a lot of excitement, fun, and certainly anxious moments but all is worth it when you have amazing and supportive teammates and mentor that made all of my experience much more valuable.

The most exciting project that I worked on was the waiting and claiming journey. What made this project different is the fact that it was the most important and biggest feature that the company released where we moved the work from manual to automatic. We started by brainstorming sessions and we went back and forward until we settled on the best solution design. This applies to designing the UI/UX for the features where we had many discussions to make sure that we meet the user’s and business’s needs. It was one of the most challenging tasks that I had in Sabbar where I had to write a user story for a complex concept but it opened my eyes to much more things about myself, how to tackle challenges, and how developing a product really works.

The stressful but fun part was testing the features. There was a high sense of responsibility from all of the product team to cover all the test cases. After we test each user story we do regression testing to make sure that the new features are not affecting the performance of the existing features in the system, so we planned to separate all the system functionality between us and go to the office early in the morning, sit in a room together and not get out of it until we finish all the testing. The vibes were stressful because we committed to finish the testing before noon so we could launch after that but the collaboration between us at those moments was extraordinary.

“Shahad is such a dedicated young soul! She contributed to launching many key modules in the product by shuffling between design, QA, and analysis tasks all while studying and working on her graduation project! I have personally enjoyed getting to know Shahad and bonding over our hate for tomatoes 🍅”
Afnan Sherbeeni –  Co-Founder & Head of Product Department

I was lucky enough to have Afnan as my mentor in the internship. She is one of the many reasons that made this journey so special. The amazing spirit and the little details she does to the team, the constant appreciation and compliment for the work made a huge effect on my motivation and productivity at work.

Most importantly, she cares genuinely about improving the team and each individual in it, as we have monthly 1:1 meeting where me and her discuss my experience during the month, what the improvement that I noticed on myself, what are the things that I need to improve, things I liked and not like at work, the learning curve, and at the end she gives me feedback about my work and progress during the month. This monthly meeting helped me boost my self-confidence and reflect on the little improvements that I achieved in my soft and hard skills and push me to get the best out of me.

I’m very grateful for everyone in the company that made me get the best experiences that I could get. I had the opportunity to work on real projects, know more about the tech industry, and understand the software development lifecycle. The essential part that made the whole experience remarkable to me are the people behind Sabbar. They always create a positive atmosphere and will not hesitate to offer help at any time and to take our minds off of work they always try to find time to do fun activities together.

Lastly, If I have one piece of advice to the students who are looking for a Product Development internships, it is to try to take an internship at a company that you are interested in their products and believe in the value that they offer. This will make a huge difference in your experience, excitement on daily work, and your contribution to find better solutions with them.

Shahad AlMulhim
Final Year MIS Student
Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University

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