Notes from an internship - By Shrey

31/10/2019 - 08:34

Shrey, short for Shreyansh, came all the way from India to Belgium to do an internship here at Lemon. He joined us to get some first hand experience after his graduation from Information Science and Engineering at MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology.

This is the letter we received from him after his internship finished:

Just wanted to share some thoughts and lessons I’ve learned from my two months at Lemon.

The thing I appreciate the most about Lemon is that right from the get-go I felt very welcomed here, Tom, Laurent, Vincent Verbist and all the other guys were always very approachable and ever-ready to help me with any thing I needed. I felt this had a direct correlation to my work and how I was able to move at a faster pace, learn, absorb and implement ideas faster because I didn’t have to spend time worrying and overthinking each thing I did. I was given the freedom to form my own ideas and implement them in my own way. 

Outside the office environment, the football games for Lemon Kompany, monthly drinks on friday and ‘greasy friday’ lunch made work fun and something to look forward to rather than something which one might otherwise dread waking up for every morning . 
All the small details like these lead to the overall experience being so much better than a traditional office experience. I’m sure the other Lemon squeezers would feel the same way. 

Another unique and innovative practice I saw here was the Friday Lemonaries. In my opinion these one hour informal meeting have multiple benefits:

1. Giving the presenter a boost in how he perceives his value to lemon, building the relationship especially if the presenter is an outsider like a client (Ex: Charlin, Kwarts) .

2. Giving the employees information that is related to work but, by doing it through a medium that is informal, the acceptance and registration of information in their mind is greater. They may not be as attentive in a formal meeting

3. Great way to end the week

These are the kinds of things that companies in India don’t focus on enough. Keeping the employees happy especially is not a concern of most managers in traditional Indian companies. The relationship between employee and employer in India feels purely like a transaction and is seldom one of mutual friendship. There are of-course exceptions and not all Indian organisations function like this. At Lemon it doesn’t feel like there is a boss-employee kind of structure. The absence of this fear of approaching a manager with a new idea I’m certain will lead to good things, if it has not already. 

It is similar to what I think Google does best, which is encourage employees to experiment and openly defy what their managers think is right, all within certain constraints of-course. 

I listen to a podcast called Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman, and so many concepts I hear on it, remind me of practices here at Lemon. (I highly recommend listening to it, very cool podcast with some of the biggest founders in tech

There is also very clearly a large effort to ensure the best tools are used (Jira, G Suite etc) even if the cost is high. For Lemon, my perception is, cost comes second to the value of the tool i.e. cost doesn’t matter as long as it brings enough value. This is another thing I feel Indian managers and executives miss out on, they tend to be too cost conscious. 

These factors may seem inconsequential or normal to you guys but it’s not something I’ve come across very often in India. 

When it comes to what I would like to see change about lemon there is pretty much nothing.

However if there’s anything I feel I could do differently, I would have tried to spend more time with you or try to learn more from you personally because it is amazing to me how much you have achieved already in your life. I too have similar goals but not much clarity as of yet, on how to get there. Of course as you mentioned in our meeting, free time is a luxury that doesn’t come too often to someone in your position, so I understand not being able to spend a lot of time with you. 

Finally I would like to thank you very much for this opportunity, the experiences and lessons I’ve learned here will forever be cherished. I hope you know that you now have a home in India and are always welcome there. Maybe we’ll see you there soon ?