Life at Busbud

My Summer Internship at Busbud: Marc-Olivier Alain

Being in my fourth and final year as Software Engineering student at Laval University, I was looking for an internship that would challenge me to get out of my comfort zone. Montreal’s startup community was an obvious choice to help me achieve this goal. At this time, I already knew a little bit about Busbud, and the more a learned about the startup, the more I felt it was the right fit for me. After going through a rigorous hiring process, I was finally hired as Web Developer Intern for the summer of 2014 – and it was amazing! Here are 10 reasons why.

The team playing soccer at our annual Busbud BBQ
Soccer match at our annual team BBQ

1. Being challenged on a daily basis
Everyday is different at Busbud. Evolving in a startup means moving fast – really fast. So everything you do challenges you, and in turn, you never stop learning. That’s probably why it’s very stimulating to work here. You never know what your next challenge is going to be; you just look forward to it!

2. Spontaneous soccer games
After a busy month of June where we were living the World Cup (we built a widget to help travelers in Brazil get to each World Cup match), we had a team BBQ to celebrate all our hard work. Inspired by this big sporting event, we improvised a 90-minute soccer game in the park between two Busbud Nations: The Old against the Young. Note: At Busbud, being over 27 means being member of the oldies!

3. Broadcasting the World Cup on our walls
One great thing about Busbud is that our team is made up of talented people from all around the world. In turn, everybody had a different team to cheer for. We decide to broadcast the games on a wall in our office and as you can imagine, it lead to some pretty intense and dramatic moments, along with some in-house rivalry!

4. Build-up to the announcement
July 9th was a very important date for us as we announced the closing of our Series A funding round. All the preparations, along with the anticipation, were amazing. We were all very proud of the work we had accomplished and sharing the big news with the rest of the world was very rewarding.

busbud BBQ
The team

5. Hack Week
Every three months, we take our minds off usual business to work on a completely new project. In three days, we pitched our ideas, developed the best ones in small teams, and presented them. It was an amazing week because it gave us the chance to work and collaborate with different team members at a light speed pace.

6. Owning a feature
I really enjoyed the fact that each team member is given the responsibility to create and deliver something from point A to point B. It’s nice to have enough freedom to plan and decide how you are going to do something – especially for an intern. It’s the best way to learn new things and to get the most out of your experience in a company.

7. Epic ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
After being challenged by many members of the startup community, our three founders decided to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Busbud is not like any other startup, so we decided to do it in style at the Gare d’autocars de Montréal armed with a big Orléans Express bus in the backdrop, many bags of ice, and a lot of fun.

8. All-hands
Our weekly all-hands meeting every Friday afternoon is something I find really cool here at Busbud. We talk about what is going on in the company, what we like, what we need, what we want to improve, etc. This is the best way for everybody to speak their minds and obviously, there are a lot of funny moments.

9. Releasing J3
The last days before delivering one of our new partners were pretty crazy. Almost everyone on the team put some work into this so it was a big win for all of us. It was a long but rewarding final week concluded with a themed drink on Friday to celebrate in style!

Busbud drinks turns into Busbud BBQ!
Busbud drinks turns into Busbud BBQ!

10. Busbud drinks
At the end of every Friday afternoon, we finish the week with a 5 à 7. Everybody chills around our picnic table over some beers – or really strong Caipirinhas – while playing an intense match of Ping-Pong!

As I mentioned earlier, there were several goals I wanted to accomplish at Busbud this summer. I can without a doubt say that I have now officially completed my internship and that every one of these goals has not only been reached, but exceeded. I’m proud to say that I was a member of the Busbud team and that I contributed to its success in my own way. My biggest memory will always be the fun we had as a team and that’s why I can say that this company has a very bright future.

Photo credits: Alain Wong