After eight productive and fun-filled months with AE, the time has come for me to be on my way. I’m off on a grand adventure that will take me all around B.C. and Alberta, across Europe, and finally to Australia, my new home as of January 2019.
Needless to say, it’s pretty exciting.
But it’s also sad because, as always, leaving means leaving things behind.
For most people who subscribe to the whole Quitting Your Job to Travel and Move Across the World Agenda, quitting your job is part of the dream. In my case, it’s an unfortunate side effect.
Even though we all knew from the start that I would only be here eight months, it’s unbelievable how quickly those months flew by. It’s already time for me to do my retrospective, so here we go — here’s 3 things I love about AE, and 3 things I learned at AE.
What I love about AE
1. The People
If you have a typical full-time job, you spend eight hours a day with your coworkers, five days a week. That’s a pretty good chunk of your waking life. Hopefully, your coworkers are competent, punctual, and productive people — people you can count on. If they’re also fun and hilarious, that’s a huge bonus. If they’re so fun and hilarious that you simply can’t imagine a better group of people with whom to engage in activities such as…
…well then, you know you’ve lucked out! More than anything, I will miss the incredible people I have been fortunate enough to work alongside.
2. The Heart
Working for a small company keeps you close to its heart. When you work in the same office as the cofounders, you gain a deep understanding of the brand and the vision behind it.
AE is definitely a company with heart. Annabel and Jeff decided that they wanted their brand to be genuine and approachable. At AE, we don’t use corporate buzz words, we just tell it like it is. AE’s brand voice is friendly and straightforward, in keeping with the company values: be good, be solid, be helpful, be real.
In the world of data collection, mutual trust is incredibly important. It’s vital that people are able to trust AE, and happily, AE is a trustworthy company that holds its values in high esteem. I’ve loved working for a company with a good heart.
3. The Value
Eight months ago, I didn’t know much about social login. But when I saw examples of AE-powered social login, I recognized it as something I’d encountered before. You’ve probably seen it too. If you’ve ever gone to a website with options like “Sign in through Facebook” or “Log in through Spotify”, you’ve seen social login.
Once I came to understand AE’s social login and the insights behind it, I realized how powerful it really was. There’s a good reason AE is trusted by the biggest music companies in the world. Even though it’s a small company, AE is able to provide incredible value to huge enterprise clients like Sony and Universal Music Group. Annabel is fond of saying around the office, “At the end of the day, we’re not saving lives here.” That may be true, but what AE is doing — connecting millions of customers with the brands they love and allowing marketers to build powerful and tailored digital campaigns — remains uniquely valuable.
It’s been both exciting and rewarding to be a part of something this big.
What I’ve learned at AE
From the start, Annabel trusted that if I wasn’t sure how to do something, I could figure it out — and I did! I taught myself to use new programs and accomplish new tasks by trying things out, reading help documentation, visiting forums, and watching YouTube tutorials.
I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my ability to solve problems independently. I know I can trust myself to get things done, even if I don’t know at first how I’m going to do it! On the flip side, I’m also more familiar with the limits of my self-sufficiency: I know when I’m in over my head and I need to ask for help.
2. Creative Thinking
Creative thinking is a process and it isn’t always easy to switch it on. There are times when your brain feels like a lump of undercaffeinated clay that will never again produce an original thought. Learning how to push past that feeling and jumpstart your thinking is an essential element of creative work.
Between writing content, designing images, and making social media posts, AE has given me a lot of time to be creative. I’ve developed greater control over the flow of my creative thinking.
3. Communicating Big Concepts
AE’s technology is complicated and it performs a lot of functions. It can be difficult to talk about what AE does in a way that’s easy to understand (for people who aren’t developers or giant nerds). Nevertheless, when I’m writing comms for AE — be it a blog post, case study, email, or help doc — I often have to find a way to do it.
Working for AE has taught me how to communicate big concepts and simplify technical jargon into terminology most people can understand and relate to.
That’s it from me. Thanks so much for joining me and being a part of my AE experience! Keep it real, or stay gold, or whatever. ✌
Read about Avery’s co-op experience as a Junior Software Developer here.