LINK 2023 team offsite in Phuket, Thailand

LINK 2023 team offsite in Phuket, Thailand

The annual offsite trip is the most exciting event of the year for our team at LINK!. To celebrate the end of 2023 and kickstart plans for 2024, our distributed team across the world gathered in Phuket, Thailand for a 6-day bonding adventure in December. 

The purpose of the company-sponsored offsite trip is to bring the team together outside of the office for quality bonding time. With people coming from different offices and countries, the trip facilitates relationship-building across teams and strengthens the LINK culture.

Over 6 jam-packed days, we shared experiences and made memories to last a lifetime. From exploring idyllic islands to taking in cultural shows, Phuket delivered nonstop engagement. The trip brought us closer together, energized us for the new year, and strengthened the bonds between colleagues.

Day 1 

The first day of activities in Phuket started with everyone getting settled into the hotel after our morning arrival flight. We had some free time to relax at the pool and beach before our exciting evening plans.

In the evening, the group headed to Dolphin Bay for an amazing dolphin and sea lion show. We got front-row seats to watch the dolphins and sea lions leap, flip, and show off an array of tricks with their trainers. The dolphins splashed the crowd with water getting squeals of delight. The sea lions performed clever circus-style balancing acts. It was an unforgettable experience getting to see these intelligent marine mammals up close.

After the unforgettable dolphin show, we decided to explore the streets of Phuket to try the local Thai cuisine.  Sharing stories and laughs together on the first evening set the tone for an amazing trip.

 After dinner, we headed back to the hotel feeling excited for the adventures that lay ahead.


Day 2 

On the second day of the trip, the team headed out for an exciting full day by speed boat to Phi-Phi islands. The tour included visits to some of the most iconic spots that Phi Phi Islands are famous for:

Maya Bay – The pristine stretch of white sand beach made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach. Despite the crowds, it was a breathtakingly beautiful spot.

Loh Samah Bay- A quiet and secluded bay perfect for swimming in turquoise waters. The beach has soft white sand and tropical foliage coming down to the shoreline. 

Viking Cave – A unique cave inhabited by swifts who make their nests high up in crevices. Local fishermen climb bamboo scaffolds to harvest the bird nests which are used to make the expensive Chinese delicacy, bird’s nest soup.

After a packed morning of island hopping and sightseeing, the group enjoyed a relaxing lunch with a local Thai menu on Phi Phi Island before returning to the Phuket hotel. To wrap up another wonderful day, the team went out together for a group dinner in the evening.

Day 3

On Day 3 of the trip, the group embarked on the James Bond Island tour by speedboat. This was an exciting day exploring some of Phuket’s most famous islands and beaches. 

The first stop was Panak Island, known for its distinctive shape that resembles an upside-down saucepan. We had some time to take photos before heading to the next stop. 

After Panak, we arrived at Lagoon Beach on Phang Nga Bay. Here some people went for a refreshing swim in the emerald green waters. We then continued to explore the lush mangrove forests, taking in the unique scenery and ecosystems. Our guide explained interesting facts about the mangroves and pointed out ancient cave paintings along the shoreline.

The tour provided a delicious local Thai lunch, giving us a taste of authentic regional cuisines. After refueling, we headed out to sea kayak around the stunning limestone islands of Hong Island. It was a scenic paddle as we meandered through sea caves and rock formations jutting out of the water.

Our final stop was Lawa Island, where some people opted to do more swimming and snorkeling. The island has pristine white sand beaches and clear blue waters teeming with tropical fish. 

After an active day on the water, we headed back to our hotel in Phuket to clean up. In the evening the group went out together for dinner at a popular local restaurant, capping off another memorable day of sightseeing and adventure.

Day 4 

On the fourth day of the trip, we explored Phuket City. Our first stop was the famous Karon viewpoint, where we took in the breathtaking sights of the city, beaches, and bay area. 

After enjoying the views, we headed to Chalong temple. The temple is one of the most revered Buddhist temples in Phuket. We were able to observe the devoted worshippers and intricate architecture.

Next, we visited some lively souvenir shops selling everything from t-shirts to decorations to local foods and sweets. It was interesting browsing the stalls and markets.

A highlight of the day was visiting the iconic Big Buddha statue. The massive white marble statue sits high on a hilltop, towering over the island. We were impressed by the size and intricate details of the figure. 

After sightseeing, we enjoyed a group lunch together at a local restaurant. It was nice to relax and share stories over delicious Thai food. 

To end our last day, we attended the Phuket Fantasia show and buffet dinner. The carnival-style show featured traditional dances, acrobatics, martial arts, and more. The buffet offered a wide array of Thai delicacies. It was a fitting final evening for our trip.

Overall, our tour of Phuket city allowed us to experience the culture, landmarks, and flavors that make the area so lively and charming. It was a relaxing yet adventure-filled way to conclude the offsite visit. This offsite trip to Phuket is organized by LINK! turned out to be a great team bonding and memorable experience for all the team members. 

Over the 4 days, there were many fun activities planned for the group that brought everyone together and helped strengthen relationships outside of the workplace. From island tours to shows and local experiences, it was nonstop engagement.

The shared experiences like swimming, kayaking, or even just dining together allowed colleagues to see different sides of each other. Many new friendships were formed through the trip that will continue back at work.

Looking back, the trip will be remembered fondly by all who attended. The pictures and stories will linger as a highlight of their time at the company. It was so valuable to give this dedicated team a chance to play together.  

The change of scenery and barrage of activities allowed everyone to hit the reset button. They returned energized and excited about their work.

This kind of shared experience is a true bonding moment. The trip brought the LINK! family closer together through unforgettable memories. It was a rewarding investment that will continue paying dividends moving forward.

Insights from three working moms at LINK

Insights from three working moms at LINK

Ever wonder how it’s possible to juggle a thriving career with being a parent? At LINK, we’ve got some super parents who are doing just that, and today we are meeting three recently joined moms who are here to share how they make it work. Meet Divya, Natasha, and Sue, three new team members who joined LINK in the past two months.

First up is Divya Dirisam, our CEO’s executive assistant and mom to a 17-year-old boy. She’s all about LINK’s flexible work hours. “At LINK, we are trusted to work the hours we need to, to get the job done, rather than specific hours,” she says. “Of course I need to be available for meetings, and work with colleagues across different time zones. But the flexibility to choose means I can be there for my son’s big moments and still focus on my career.” Natasha Gowans, our head of communications and mom to energetic 7-year-old boys, agrees. She juggles meetings and mom duties, thanks to LINK’s flexible schedule. “Having young kids is very stressful, and it’s definitely a juggling act, but the way I can spread out my working hours during the day is very helpful.”

Our moms have their daily routines down to an art. Divya mixes work with family life, staying on top of things with a mix of planning and teamwork with her family, assigning duties to her son to help out his parents at home during the week. Natasha’s mornings are full of chaos and school prep, but once the kids leave for class she is able to get some time to focus on getting herself ready for the day, before heading to a co-working for some calm and focus. Natasha gets a couple of hours of free time during the middle of the day to catch up on errands, friends or family admin, but she is usually back online after dinner time for a couple of final calls with cross-timezone colleagues. 

Now, let’s shine the spotlight on Sue, our customer success leader and mother to a 10-year-old. Sue’s journey at LINK is a testament to how part-time roles can lead to full-time fulfillment. “Choosing a part-time role was my golden ticket to being there for my son’s milestones while growing my career,” Sue reflects. Her mornings are a whirlwind of school runs and work prep, but she finds her groove as soon as she logs in. “There’s something empowering about managing a successful workday and still being there for homework time,” she adds.

Sue also emphasizes the importance of self-care. “Finding time for myself isn’t just a luxury, it’s essential. Whether it’s hitting the gym or getting lost in a good book, it helps me recharge and be a better mom and professional,” she advises. She’s a big advocate of strength training, not just for physical health but for mental resilience too. 

These ladies aren’t going it alone; they’ve got a village at LINK and beyond. Natasha’s secret weapon? A solid support network and some emotional coaching helps to keep the kids regulated and to manage moments of higher stress levels. 

Recap: Top tips for working moms

  • Leverage flexible work arrangements: LINK’s flexible work arrangement empowers working moms to manage their schedules and be there for their families when needed while pursuing their careers.
  • Time management tools: Use tools like calendars and to-do lists to stay organized and prioritize tasks efficiently.
  • Delegate and share responsibilities: Don’t hesitate to delegate household chores and share responsibilities with partners and children.
  • Seek support and connection: Lean on your support network of fellow moms, friends, and family members to navigate the challenges of balancing work and motherhood.
  • Embrace flexibility and self-care: Adjust your schedule and practice self-care techniques like reading, music, or exercise to manage stress effectively.
  • Recognize the rewards: Balancing a career and motherhood can be deeply rewarding,  since we get to be primary care -givers and contribute in a meaningful way to a company like Link that solves such a big problem in the fintech world. 

At LINK, we’re not just about the 9-to-5. We’re about building a place where moms (and dads!) can thrive, not just survive. We celebrate diversity and champion women in the workforce. 

So, if you’re thinking about joining a place that gets the whole work-life-mom-life balance, check out our Employee Handbook for the inside scoop. At LINK, we’re more than a team; we’re a community that lifts each other up, every single day.

What it is like to be a software intern at LINK

What it is like to be a software intern at LINK

Intern Rohit Talmale shares his experience at LINK, highlighting the supportive team, growth in technical skills, and key lessons about staying curious, goal-oriented, and adaptable.

I started my software engineering internship at LINK with excitement but also a bit of nervousness, not knowing what to fully expect. As a relatively new software developer in my early career, I was eager to gain hands-on experience and learn new skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals. An internship at a fast-growing company like LINK offered me that invaluable opportunity. 

In this article, I’ll provide an inside look at my experience as a software engineering intern at LINK. I’ll share details on the work environment, projects I contributed to, skills gained, and key lessons learned during my time there. My goal is to give readers insights into what it’s like to intern on the software engineering team at LINK as a developer early in my career. Whether you’re considering an internship at LINK or just curious about typical intern experiences at high-growth tech companies, I hope this article provides helpful perspectives. So let’s jump right into my rewarding internship journey at LINK!

My first impressions of the company culture 

When I first came to the office, I was a little nervous. However, upon joining the company, I was impressed by the positive and cooperative atmosphere. The team members were not only highly skilled and dedicated but also very approachable and supportive. I could tell right away that this was a collaborative environment where people worked together effectively. 

Despite my initial nervousness about starting a new internship, the warm welcome I received from my new colleagues put me at ease. Their friendliness and obvious expertise gave me confidence that I would learn a lot from this talented group. I was very impressed that, in addition to being accomplished professionals, my teammates made me feel included as part of the team from day one. The cooperative spirit and camaraderie were evident immediately and made my first impressions of the company extremely positive.

Work Environment

The work environment at LINK stood out as being incredibly positive. I was highly impressed by the flexibility in work hours, allowing for a more adaptable approach to our responsibilities. There was no pressure to complete tasks within rigid timeframes, which supported better work-life balance. 

The flexible and adaptable environment enabled me to effectively manage my time. I could adjust my schedule as needed to collaborate with team members located in different time zones. Having the freedom to structure my day eliminated unnecessary stress. I felt motivated to do my best work knowing it would be evaluated based on quality rather than hours logged.

LINK trusts employees to effectively budget their time and efforts. Without micromanaging, they empowered me to take ownership of my work. I appreciated their understanding that some tasks require intense focus during standard work hours, while other projects can be handled successfully with a more flexible approach. The adaptable work environment supported my natural rhythms, allowing me to maximize productivity.

The pressure-free, flexible atmosphere demonstrated LINK values results over Facetime. I never felt anxious about my schedule or worried I wasn’t putting in enough hours. The adaptable environment optimized my internship experience.

The coolest project I have worked on so far

I was relatively new to project work when I started, but I’m now engaged in an exciting integration project in ServiceX (EZ Texting <> HubSpot). Creating my very first recipe felt like a significant personal achievement. What’s even more satisfying is the collaborative nature of our team discussions, where we discuss recipe creation and challenges while creating it. Getting the chance to work on an integration project so early in my internship was an incredible learning experience.

 Having the opportunity to build a recipe from scratch and see it come to life has been incredibly rewarding. But what’s been most meaningful is the collaborative team environment. My teammates don’t just provide instructions – they engage in active discussions, share their perspectives, and make sure I’m learning. Our team discussions where we work through challenges together have been the highlight of my internship so far. I’ve learned so much through this collaborative process, and it’s made my contributions feel truly valued.

Supportive team

My team has been incredibly supportive throughout my internship. I want to give special mention to Tushar, who guided me from the very start and still provides invaluable support in every possible way. He consistently encourages me to take on new projects to expand my skills and generously shares his deep technical knowledge. Tushar is my go-to person whenever I encounter challenges. His mentorship has been instrumental in my growth.  

I must also acknowledge Kamal and Raj, who are both exceptionally talented engineers and always ready to help. Their technical expertise is outstanding, yet they take time to explain concepts and teach me new skills. I feel fortunate to work alongside such brilliant professionals who are also caring mentors. Kamal and Raj’s constant encouragement and advice have made me a better developer. Their support has been essential to my positive internship experience.

I feel lucky to be part of a team with such exceptional members. Their guidance and assistance have made me genuinely happy in my role. Having approachable and supportive coworkers has been invaluable in building my confidence as I gain hands-on experience.

New skills I have acquired

During my internship at LINK, I was able to develop new technical skills as well as soft skills that will benefit me in any career path. 

On the technical side, I gained valuable experience with:

– System architecture – Learning about LINK’s product architecture gave me insight into how complex software systems are designed and built. I now have a better understanding of how the backend and frontend connect.

– APIs – One of my main projects was integrating two platforms using their APIs. Through this work, I learned how to make API calls, handle responses, and troubleshoot issues. These skills are essential for any developer role.

– Authentication – Implementing user authentication expanded my knowledge of security best practices like encryption, sessions, tokens, etc. Securing an application is a key responsibility.

– Integration – Combining separate systems taught me how to plan and execute real-world integrations. I now understand the steps required to connect technologies and merge data.

I also improved soft skills like:

– Communication – Daily standups, design reviews, and team discussions required clearly conveying my work and ideas. I became better at public speaking within a professional setting.

– Collaboration – Brainstorming, providing feedback, and working with others on projects enhanced my collaborative abilities. I learned to solve problems together.

This internship provided diverse real-world experiences that allowed me to expand both my technical expertise and professional skills. I feel well-prepared to apply this knowledge in future roles. The broad range of skills I developed will serve me well in any industry.

My key takeaways from this internship experience are:

– Stay curious – As an intern, I was constantly learning new things, so it was important for me to keep an open and curious mindset. I asked many questions to deepen my knowledge.

– Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask questions! My team was very supportive and helped me whenever I needed clarification or was unsure about something. 

– Build relationships – Getting to know my coworkers personally really enhanced my internship experience. Those connections provided valuable guidance and could potentially open doors in the future.

– Set clear goals – Having defined goals helped me stay focused and motivated. It also allowed me to measure my progress throughout the internship.

– Be proactive – I tried to take initiative on projects and be a self-starter. This allowed me to take ownership of my work.

– Stay adaptable – Software development often requires shifting priorities and strategies. Being flexible and adaptable was crucial for effectively rolling with the changes.

My favourite memory

My favorite memory is when Kamal was moving from India to Canada. We had a great time playing games and celebrating together as a team to commemorate Kamal’s big move. 

The celebration captured the spirit of our team’s bond. We will cherish the memories we shared with Kamal over the years. Though the team dynamic will change with Kamal working from the Canadian office, the relationships and collaboration we built will continue to strengthen.

Advice for the future interns

My internship at LINK has been an incredibly enriching experience that has equipped me with practical skills and professional connections to build my career. As I wrap up my time here, I want to offer some advice to future interns.

First and foremost, embrace your internship as a valuable learning opportunity. You will gain exposure to real work projects and collaboration that classrooms simply can’t replicate. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, take on new challenges, and learn as much as possible from your team. This experience is a chance to gain hands-on training while building your skills and confidence. Make the most of it.

Set clear goals for what you want to accomplish during your internship. Do you want to improve your coding abilities? Become an expert in a new program? Shadow team members in different roles? Identify objectives and share them with your manager so you can work together to achieve them.

Stay curious and proactive. Don’t just wait for assignments – look for ways to help out and add value. Offer to take meeting notes, draft documents, conduct research, or anything else that could lighten your team’s workload while building your skills. 

Finally, nurture relationships and connections. Get to know your coworkers. These valuable connections can provide mentoring opportunities and potentially open doors down the line. Internships are a chance to grow your network, so build bridges.

Embrace this internship as the foundation for your future success. Soak up all the knowledge you can, take on new challenges, and form meaningful connections. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve in just a few months.

Overall, my experience as a software development intern at LINK has been extremely positive. I’ve had the opportunity to contribute directly to meaningful projects, gained valuable hands-on experience, and worked with an incredibly supportive team. Most importantly, this internship has reaffirmed my passion for software development. I’ve learned so much in just a few short months. 

I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity. The projects, mentors, and connections at LINK have paved the way for my future success. I could not have asked for a better internship experience.

I look forward to applying what I’ve learned and continuing to grow as a software developer.