Every summer, Gradwell takes on a number of paid interns from the local colleges. It’s a scheme we, and the interns, value enormously. It gives the interns, mostly from University of Bath and Bath College, the opportunity to experience working life in a fast-paced communications technology company, and it gives us the chance to foster the local talent pool and to gain valuable insights on Gradwell’s products and services from these fresh, young minds!
Over the coming months, we’ll be publishing a series of blogs charting our intern’s progress. But first, the introductions… Meet Greg Chapman, aged 21, and studying Philosophy at the University of Bath.
What made you choose Gradwell as the place you wanted to do your internship?
After considering all the possibilities at the internship fair at the University of Bath, I decided that the emphasis on communication and working alongside other people at Gradwell was a good fit for what I was looking for in a summer internship.
Why did you want to do an internship and how did this relate to your field of study?
I wanted to find out whether a job in communications suited me, whether the work-space, people and tasks appealed to me. The experience is a massive part of the internship and I hope it will improve my CV when it comes to seeking employment after graduation. Earning a bit of money doesn’t hurt either!
What preconceptions did you have about working at Gradwell?
I wish I could say I had a clear expectation of what the internship would be like, but honestly I had no idea what to expect. I suppose the one thing I did anticipate was that whatever I was tasked with doing would involve a lot of communication with the team I was working in. I was not looking forward to the early starts – student life has definitely removed the authority of the alarm clock.
How did these compare to the reality?
The early starts are definitely getting easier! In terms of the work itself, it has involved a lot of communicating but it has also been significantly more technical than I was anticipating, having to learn about how servers and databases work in particular. I’ve always been fairly technically minded, which has definitely helped me pick up some of the details.
What did you do in your first few weeks?
After the induction meetings where I was introduced to heads of department and learnt about the products that Gradwell sells, I started to learn how to use Microsoft Power BI. This has been my main job in my time so far and has been a mix of talking to colleagues in my department to learn how they use data to help inform their own tasks and also getting to grips with the software itself.
What did you enjoy most?
The best part of the job so far has been the problem solving: some will take almost an entire day to solve, and finally cracking the problem is very satisfying.
The opposite to the best part – when you can’t solve a problem for a long time it can become very frustrating because all the work you are doing is amounting to nothing tangible.
How do you feel working at Gradwell could help you in the future?
I hope this internship will improve my critical thinking when I come up against a problem, as well as developing my patience and remaining calm. When considering future employment, I hope that this experience will show other employers that I am capable of performing in a professional environment as well as an academic one.
What are you looking forward to most of the coming weeks?
I’m looking forward to completing the project I am working on at the moment. Currently I am still in the earlier stages since I am still learning about Power BI and talking to other departments about how the software could make their jobs easier, but in a few weeks I hope to have some results which can be used within the company.
Meet another of our University of Bath interns – Christie Limnois.
Interested in Gradwell’s internship scheme? Contact Martin Lippiatt, our QC and Training Manager today!