From Melbourne to New York: Derek Huang on interning at LiveTiles

A few weeks ago, we had four Monash University students in our New York City office as part of Monash’s Global Discovery Program. Before departing, we sat down with the students and asked them what it was like to live and work in New York City for a month. Data Science student Derek Huang shares his experience below,

  • What brought you to the LiveTiles Internship?

DH: It was mainly due to my interest in technology. A few years back I completed a commerce degree and wanted to do something a bit more technical. This internship was the middle ground between business and technology. For me, it was all about trying to broaden my opportunities and LiveTiles was a good place to start.

  • What was your first day like?

DH: Overwhelming but very exciting. I haven’t been to New York before, so this was a good chance to branch out a little bit. 

  • What were your first thoughts and observations when you first started doing some work for the internship?

DH: The amount of autonomy I received when I was doing my work was quite good, and in a corporate setting, you really don’t get that. There wasn’t a lot of micromanaging. Instead we were given the space to figure things out ourselves. 

  • How was the internship experience different from what you expected it to be?

DH: The office is super chill and I wasn’t expecting that. A lot of the people were quite open to talk, even if it wasn’t work related, and that openness was really surprising.

  • What skills did you acquire that you would be able to put on a resume or talk about in a job interview?

DH: Definitely. A lot of the tasks I’ve done up to this point have been diverse. Preparing material to help convert leads to opportunities. In terms of analytics, analyzing data and cleaning data up. My degree mostly focuses on data science, so the work I did at LiveTiles was directly related. The work we’re given is not about theory anymore. It’s about putting the theory into practice.

In addition, I’ve gained a lot of social skills. At LiveTiles, you have to talk to people to get things done and you’re always put on the spot to socialize.

  • What’s your favorite New York City experience so far?

DH: I would say Top of the Rock because you could see everything. Not just the city itself, but also what was beyond the city, which was something I’ve never experienced back in Melbourne.

  • How is Melbourne different from New York City and do you have a preference?

DH: Something that you have in New York City and not Melbourne is the amount of activities going on each day. It doesn’t matter what day it is, there’s always something happening–could be an art gallery, could be a pop up shop. In Melbourne, we get that from time to time, but not on the same level.

  • Do you have a favorite LiveTiles memory?”

DH: Definitely the American Snacks Day where our mentor Cynthia introduced us to smores. I got some chocolate on my face. Even though it was embarrassing, we all had a good laugh.

Derek Huang Monash University

  • Now that you’ve spent a month here, would you ever want to come back and live in NYC?

DH: Not sure about living. Melbourne is definitely more laid back. I’d love to come back to New York for a holiday though.

  • How has the internship changed you personally?

DH: In terms of dealing with different types of people and the way they work and interact, it was a bit challenging, but it certainly helped me develop important social skills.

  • How would you rate the overall experience of LiveTiles?

DH: It was fascinating, definitely fun, challenging, and very fulfilling.

  • What’s next for you?

DH: Obviously going back to uni, finishing off the degree, and I think after the degree it’s all about trying to figure out which pathways there are and trying to figure out where I fit on the spectrum of business and technology.


Want to work at LiveTiles? Check out our opportunities here.

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