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 Jamie Finfer, aged 19, and studying Psychology at the University of Bath.
What made you choose Gradwell as the place you wanted to do your internship?
Whilst looking through the University-promoted internships, Gradwell struck me as a unique opportunity due to its identity as a local business with a significant place in the national market. Both the size and ethos of the company suited what I wanted in an introduction to the commercial experience.
Why did you want to do an internship and how did this relate to your field of study?
I was (and, to some extent, still am) unsure of my career path – having always had an interest in marketing, I thought it logical to test out whether I’d enjoy working within the field, and discover more about communications. Furthermore, the internship at Gradwell provided an opportunity to observe the principles of Organisational Psychology in a real world setting.
What preconceptions did you have about working at Gradwell?
I found it difficult to know what to expect; having limited experience of an office environment, I envisioned it being an unrelenting, intense working situation, with a vast list of acronyms and tech-based buzzwords to learn in order to analyse data (and an endless supply of coffee).
How did these compare to the reality?
In reality, Gradwell has a flexible and engaged attitude towards work. In terms of my own tasks, there was a far more varied schedule: meetings, team communication and getting to grips with data, to list a few. The fluid nature of the work kept the responsibilities refreshing and much more stimulating than staring at data all day. I’ve found the acronyms easier to learn than first thought, too!
What did you do in your first few weeks?
Following a little background about the company, it’s place in the market and services provided, there was a lot of analytics software to get to grips with; most my time was spent learning the fundamentals behind Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and social media ad tracking, whilst familiarising myself with the other software used by the company. What was more interesting was that I was involved in the real time conference calls, meetings and contracting of agencies that were part of the marketing team’s current projects.
What did you enjoy most?
The agility of tasks; having to tackle many different multi-faceted problems within a day meant that I was able stay engaged in Gradwell’s individual processes, whilst retaining a sense of perspective on the evolution of the company.
Some aspects of data handling have been challenging, as familiarity with numbers is not my strong suit; this means some issues can take a longer time to resolve.
How do you feel working at Gradwell could help you in the future?
Not only is the time spent here a great addition to any CV, but the comprehensive experience of the strategy, roles and environment of a company is an invaluable head-start if I ever want to work in a variety of business sectors. I feel that the more specific knowledge gained, such as the analytics qualifications, will definitely be useful if I ever decide on a career in communications.
What are you looking forward to most of the coming weeks?
I’m looking forward to finish familiarising myself with the data collection software and applying these skills to the upcoming projects. Additionally, the prospect of streamlining the marketing data to make it more actionable in terms of determining strategy is really exciting.