The value of principles, missions, and culture. From businesses to companies to higher institutions, you’re bound to come across these upon some research into the place, and while I knew these were important factors of an organization, it never really struck me until I entered aiXplain.

After sitting through meetings, working on projects, and interacting with more people — mentors and fellow interns — I was able to witness aiXplain’s principles and how everyone embodied them to create a persona for the company. Since I strongly believe that these philosophies played such a big part in my experience here thus far, I wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the ones I feel especially fond of. 

The value of principles

“Be humble, and respect and celebrate diversity.” Given the work-from-home status of the world, we have several team members from across the country and the world. With people graduating from schools and living in the United States, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Canada, and more, the community is not only diverse in location but also in experiences, cultures, and perspectives.

This environment is especially important for me as in the past few weeks, I was able to meet like-minded people as well as those who offered new viewpoints on a subject matter. From the friendly talk prior to starting a meeting to an end discussion signifying the conclusion of a meeting, I could tell that aiXplain’s rich diversity was a key factor in building today’s community. 

“Seek help, unasked questions have no purpose.” Personally, this one was the hardest for me to adapt to. In the beginning, I was terrified of speaking up during meetings, whether it be asking for clarification or contributing my input. After all, they were all experienced employees in the field and I was a mere intern who didn’t know much about AI yet,  right? Wrong. That was exactly why I had more reason to ask questions during meetings. 

Nevertheless, since I was worried that my questions would be seen as a waste of time, I didn’t say anything. But after a couple of days working on an assignment, I was unclear of — not sure whether what I was doing was correct or not — it only became frustrating for me.

I remember thinking that I could have finished an assignment much earlier had I asked a simple question during the meeting or by messaging my manager. However, after gathering up the courage to ask a question for the first time at the end of my first week, I’ve become comfortable with seeking help.

Looking back, this may seem like a small feat to some people, but to me, it’s one of the key factors I attribute my accomplishments and growth to so far. After all, interns aren’t expected to know everything, especially when joining in the middle of such a fast-paced environment.

In fact, that’s the whole point of internships — to gain knowledge of the field and build your experience. In the end, every unanswered question has no purpose and the question you want to ask but think is “dumb,” actually isn’t — it’s probably worse if you don’t say anything. 

Overall, in the eyes of someone rather new to the company and from a third person perspective, aiXplain’s progress and success is due to not only the people who work here but also the twelve principles they all personify on a daily basis…

  1.  Work Backwards from the Goal 
  2. Build long-term Impact and Value 
  3. Be the Glue, Enable and Engage 
  4. Be Humble, and Respect and Celebrate Diversity 
  5. Do the Best and what is Right  in every Project 
  6. Be Clear, Concise, and Communicative 
  7. Seek Help, unasked Questions have no purpose 
  8. Hold yourself then others Accountable 
  9. Celebrate friendly Competition 
  10. Invent & Simplify
  11. Instill trust
  12. Maintain Curiosity

From small words of encouragement to large accomplishments these 12 values are core elements marking important milestones in the company’s history. 

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