Looking back at the internship, there were several things that challenged my expectations of office life; for example, I thought that working in an office would be a very insular experience, with each person tapping away at their own computer without much interaction. Thankfully this preconception was incorrect. Whilst there are days where tasks require you to spend your time working on something by yourself for an extended period, there are also days where the work means you have to interact a fair bit with others. Having this variation keeps things nice and fresh.
Probably the most useful lesson I will take with me when I leave Gradwell will be focusing on detail in my work. The majority of problems that need to be solved in work come from a previous mistake that would have been avoidable if I had spent more time researching the concept before starting or checking my work over before submitting it. Also, I learnt pretty early on that lunchtime meetings often result in leftover sandwiches put out in the kitchen – you have to be quick to get in before they’re all eaten. Not sure how this is a lesson that will help me in the future, but it became an enjoyable part of my day, nonetheless.
As mentioned in all three blog posts, my least favourite part of the job is the early mornings. Getting up to be in work at 8-9am has not been enjoyable at all, and honestly has not got much easier. I still need about five alarms each morning to make this kind of a schedule a reality.
This experience has affected how I look at jobs in the future; doing a 9-5 for 10 weeks has underlined that for me – I need to find a job that motivates me. Luckily, this job has had enough parts which make me want to learn more to improve my performance, and this helps when it comes to making tired Fridays and early Mondays more bearable. Before this experience, I think other aspects of a job offer would have monopolized my attention, whereas now I would spend more time considering the work itself.
I would recommend a Gradwell internship to other students, the big draw to Gradwell being the responsibility you are entrusted with. Bath Uni offers a lot of more practical engineering placements which could be helpful for somebody doing an engineering degree, and if somebody is dead-set on working in London, there are plenty of opportunities with big financial firms. For somebody like me, who feels that none of the previous offers suited them, I would recommend Gradwell. Gradwell is a large enough business that the work feels very important but small enough that the work you do makes tangible difference to the business, even at the level of intern. There’s a chance to learn about different parts of the business by working with people across the whole company, with my role requiring me to work with product and marketing, sales and the dev team as well as doing presentations in front of the Senior Management Team.
Before planning my ambitions for the future, I want to first enjoy a break before going back to uni. The wages earned from this Summer will certainly be put to good use – mainly rent for this year, but also a few nights out, I’d imagine. Rude not too, really.
Interested in Gradwell’s internship scheme? Contact Martin Lippiatt, our QC and Training Manager today!