Startup Life, Product and Engineering

Not Your Ordinary Internship - My Summer at ThoughtSpot

I joined ThoughtSpot as a Product Marketing MBA intern in the summer of 2017. Hailing from Israel A.K.A “Start-Up Nation”, I was excited to spend my internship with a disruptive player in Silicon Valley, the origin of innovation. The leading factors that led me to believe that ThoughtSpot would be a great fit for me were the sense of a “hands on” approach, a vision that seemed focused and fierce, and a product that took my breath away in demos. Oh and let’s be honest, the fact that there was no strict dress code (Gotta love that Bay Area #startuplife).

As I was making the journey from University of Chicago to Palo Alto in June, I was expecting a summer full of adventures. Now that I am reaching the finish line of my internship, I would like to use this platform to share with you readers how my summer actually unfolded. More specifically, I would like to tell you what I had learned about ThoughtSpot along the way.

I was lucky enough to intern at ThoughtSpot at a very interesting time that included the launch of SpotIQ, AI-Driven Analytics for Humans, and the announcement on $60M in funding round. This was a big deal and a true game changer. As you can imagine, our Marketing team’s hands were full with crucial projects that made my internship very exciting.

Throughout my summer, I not only had a fair share of enriching professional experiences, but also got to experience ThoughtSpot’s awesome company culture. While many believe you must be a seasoned insider to understand a company’s culture, I think I got a great feel for it in a short time. I hope my impressions will provide you readers with some food for thought, and believe they will be beneficial to those of you considering to apply or join ThoughtSpot.

As I think back on all of my summer experiences, it’s easy to see why ThoughtSpot was crowned the “Best Big Data Company to Work For” by Glassdoor and has won these company culture prizes. From high-profile events like the yearly Hackathon that’s all about innovation and teamwork, to daily HQ life that included the likes of an Eclipse rooftop viewing party, to our Friday Beer Bashes - I had the time of my life during the summer. Here are the 3 things I learned about ThoughtSpot’s company culture this summer:

Interns are treated like full-time employees

From the minute I arrived at HQ, I was a part of the ThoughtSpot mission and was in sync with the company heartbeat. I received immediate exposure to varied product marketing functions and “got my hands dirty” in projects that moved the needle. The best part about it was that no one ever treated me like just an intern... Quite the contrary. In the first departmental marketing meeting with our CEO, Ajeet - he asked me what I thought. This was a cool way to show that everyone (interns included) has a voice at ThoughtSpot. Moreover, I felt that my manager and team members cared about my opinion and were very inclusive, encouraging me to engage in pursuits that were central to the marketing department and ThoughtSpot as a whole.

We are one ThoughtSpot

Through the summer, I noticed that there were no ranks and no artificial divisions within ThoughtSpot. Everybody was moving together in the same direction and had the same goal of making the best ThoughtSpot possible, no matter how junior or senior they were. As an example, CEO Ajeet has a coffee cup in his Slack handle. At first, I wondered about this artistic choice -- is Ajeet's a huge fan of Cappuccinos? Then, a team member explained that Ajeet describes himself as Chief Coffee Maker at ThoughtSpot and views his job as simply helping others, getting them coffee, whatever it takes. I thought that this unpretentious approach was admirable and my impressions was that it trickled down from the top to all ranks within each team. In contrast to many unfortunate startup controversies that were taking place lately, ThoughtSpot embodies a healthy startup dynamic: One that is all about moving forward as a unified team, while respecting the individuals involved.  

It’s all about Selfless Excellence

If you explore our website, you’ll learn that we describe the culture in two words: Selfless Excellence. What does it mean, you might wonder? That we put the company and team ahead of self as we aim to be world-class in everything we do. Don't be mistaken and think that this is about the bottom-line or the business outcomes. Actually, on the “Selfless Excellence” Slack channel, different team members were applauded for offering a hand to others in need, being gracious, and going the extra mile for team members and clients. For me, this culture of cheering one another while being fiercely and fearlessly excellent proved to be a true mission statement and not just an empty tagline.  

As I bid adieu to Silicon Valley and return to another year of MBA studies at Chicago Booth, I want to take a moment to appreciate the opportunity to be part of ThoughtSpot this summer. It’s being surrounded by such inspirational people and company culture that made my internship what it was. I can’t rave enough about the summer I spent here and if what I described in this blog hit home for you, you should take a look at open positions here and consider to apply.