What made you choose Gradwell as the place you wanted to do your internship?
My first encounter with Gradwell was in the internship fair during November 2016 at the University of Bath. Speaking to the previous interns at the internship fair and learning about the effort and time Gradwell placed into their training and developing the interns’ skills compelled me to apply for the internship.
As well as the added relaxed, and very open to suggestions based approach that Gradwell operates ticked all the boxes.
Why did you want to do an internship and how did this relate to your field of study?
In the age of ‘Brexit’, austerity, uncertainty, one particular saying has never been so important before; “Every Little Helps”, but this internship with Gradwell will play a significant role for my opportunities I can access in the future. (I will explain why later).
With the interest, I am already accruing with my student loan from when I first started University, this paid internship – yes you did read that correctly, this is a Paid Internship -, I hope to abide by the teaching of Hayek and build up my savings.
The world around you changes from the time you come in and come out of University. Through undertaking an internship, I am connected back to the world around me and can keep evolving.
Studying ‘Economics and Politics’, has helped me to perceive and analyse data in different manners as well as instilling me with the discipline to scrutinize and ask the critical questions that are need to complete tasks successfully. However, just as a side note, I use a more Bernard Wolley minus the puns, rather than a Jeremy Paxman approach.
What preconceptions did you have about working at Gradwell?
Having read the previous intern blogs, I was wondering whether I will come to terms understand the jargon, used in the Tech-Communications world, in which Gradwell operates. There is a saying which goes, “Eyes do not see what the mind does not know”, and to be successful as a Finance Analyst, it is important to know what you are dealing with and what it means, then just pure data crunching.
How did these compare to the reality?
After receiving the great training given by various Gradwell colleagues, and the opportunity to ask endless questions, I was able to understand some of the concepts and terms. However, there are some terms that I do give me the giggles like SOGFAST and GFAST.
It’s been an eye opener in terms of whatever I previously ever thought or knew about Broadband, Phone Calls and Cloud. Learning some of the technical jargon and understanding how the system actually works has led to making sure that I allocate time to conduct proper analysis when I hunt for broadband in future. As an economist, I am bound to life of ‘utility maximisation’ subject to budget constraint.
What did you do in your first few weeks?
In my first few weeks, I have been examining data from a financial accounting system called Zuora. I have been tasked to understand how the data is represented in the system and how the different financial accounts are linked with each other. The idea behind this project is to identify and use the necessary financial data that can then be inputted in Power BI, to the create meaningful and (hopefully) automated reports that can be used on a consistent basis in the future.
What did you enjoy most?
Reviewing the work I have done, with my line managers to make sure that I am on the right track and discussing how to improve my work and achieve my objectives. Another saying, “There is always room for improvement”. With Wimbledon taking place, I can take extra inspiration with Federer gracefully hitting my above point.
Making sure that my laptop is locked, or put it to sleep every time I leave my desk. In order to comply with security procedures, but also more importantly not to end up having to bake / buy cakes to 70+ staff if I forget to do so. # Cakes go around rule. # I may need to watch the new version of Bake Off…. (Sigh intended).
How do you feel working at Gradwell could help you in the future?
The future is ever evolving and Microsoft Excel one day, is going to be ancient history. Therefore, learning how to use Data Dashboards which are on the rise across many business, will stand me in good stead to face the challenges in the future. Although even as I speak, in the present, a Microsoft Specialist whom I had the great opportunity of meeting, conveyed to me that many business however small or large have already started to head in this direction.
Apart from the other soft skills of communication, including developing time management skills, I am very conscious of Brexit looming just around the corner that there is an even greater responsibility to make every opportunity count. And to add another saying from Uncle Ben, (#not the other Uncle Ben from maker of the rice packets) “With great power comes great responsibility”.
What are you looking forward to most of the coming weeks?
Learning more about how to use Microsoft Power BI and overcoming some of the challenges in creating reports on Microsoft Power BI. I’m also looking forward to developing my knowledge in financial accounting and process of Gradwell.