It’s been almost a month since I’ve been back home after spending this summer at Bounce. Recalling all the time I’ve spent as a part of the startup, I decided to share my entire journey and learnings on this blog, and how I could make my dream of working at a rapidly growing startup come true.
Having spent the last winter at StoryXpress in the chilly Gurgaon winter, I was exploring my options this summer and actively started applying, reaching out to recruiters, and connections from March to enquire if there was any opening this summer. To keep things simple, I prepared a Google sheet and kept track of the status of my application with whichever company I was interviewing. After multiple rejections, interviews and a lot of patience, I finally got an offer to join Bounce as a UX Research Intern in the Product Design team. It was truly one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. Given that I just had four days to pack and leave for my second solo journey, there was a lot at hand and so little time!
On the evening of 25th June, here I was in the Silicon Valley of India, a city of dreams for a lot of young graduates, and a place full of opportunities. This being my first time in Bengaluru, there were a lot of first-timers; some of them being the almost cashless economy of the city, the amazing weather (with a striking difference from Bengal), “Kannada Gothilla”, and traffic woes🤔.
The first day I walked into the office, the realization set upon me that the company was way bigger than what I had imagined. As a first-timer in such a startup, my heart thumped to explore, learn, solve and make memories worth a lifetime here. The best part about working in a startup is that there is always a space for new ideas and everyone is so approachable. This being my second internship in UX and my first in Research, I was looking forward to a steep learning curve from the coming two months.
Building the base of a new function as the first hire in the User Experience Research team, every new day posed new challenges to solve for urban mobility. After spending a few days in Bengaluru, I came to terms with how challenging mobility as a solution could be to build for. As a UX guy, my primary aim was to understand the commute/mobility challenges users, as well as non-users of Bounce, would face and derive insights that could make the overall product’s experience better.
“To become an adept user researcher, one of the vital skills is empathy. You need to see with their eyes, feel with their hearts”.
I read extensively every day, whenever I could. Being a very niche role with not many people talking about it, I realized that the best way to get better at it was by just doing more of it.
Never before had I loved hearing and listening to people’s stories so much. Every single user interview, FGD taught me a new aspect of human behavior, psychology. I’ve always loved storytelling since childhood; but this time around, hearing out people gave me much more satisfaction.
One of my key takeaways was how important it is as a business to put yourself in the shoes of the customers and solve around those pain-points, which otherwise might have gone unnoticed.
Being a UX Researcher also teaches you to be a great communicator, since you are the voice of the users and get to talk to them first hand. Closely working with Product and Business functions, each of the insights you make translates itself into a high-level feature or update in the product.
Research and data teams can together weave magic, the former with the why and the latter with the what.
“We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves”
~ From the book ‘The Rythm of Life’ by Matthew Kelly.
I consider myself to be lucky to have a super-cool manager like Sruthi, a team that always helped, mentored me whenever needed to help me become a better researcher and a human being, every day.
Having spent the most happening time of my life at Bounce, a top startup to work for; I can vouch that its one of the coolest and best places to work!