When arriving on my first day, one of the great things that I could immediately sense about CBO is that the employees know each other very well. While this is due to natural friendships forming like they would in any workplace, it is also due to a concerted effort by CBO to make sure that all employees get to know each other. They even went so far as to make sure I was going for coffees and ice creams with people to get to know them. No complaints from me on that front!
Through observing others, and through my own experience in the office, it is clear to see the strength of this approach. Not only is the office a friendly, positive environment to work in, but as you know your co-workers very well, you know how they work, their strengths, and therefore you always know who you can go to when confronted with an unfamiliar problem.
During my internship, I have worked on a variety of problems, including research tasks, filling out job descriptions for a public sector project, and a large data migration project. By working on different tasks, some only briefly and some in more detail, I feel I was able to get a grasp of the different areas of project management and consultancy through first-hand experience.
I have recently graduated from the University of Southampton, studying Mathematics, and therefore the data migration project played very well to my strengths, and as such, this is the project that I spent the most time on. Through previous internships, I have a lot of experience with excel and was therefore able to come into the project and identify new ways in which we could automate the migration process through complex formulas. By leaning on the client’s expertise in their line of work and combining it with the experience that the consultants at CBO have built up over many years, we were able to find creative solutions to unique problems. Solving these problems has been far from easy, but through meetings and collaboration, while using my own individual strengths, and the strengths of those around me, we have been able to untangle the data and get to a place where we are on track to deliver the project to CBO’s high standard. It has been extremely interesting and fulfilling work, and due to CBO’s policy of making sure that each employee’s time is spread out across multiple projects, I have not experienced burnout.
This has meant that after 6 weeks, I am just as interested in the project as I was on day 1, only now I am fully invested in the delivery of a good solution and new system. In fact, I am very excited that I will be staying on for a couple more weeks to see this project through to its completion, as I am deeply invested in the outcome.
I would like to thank CBO for taking the time and care to find projects for me that could play to my strengths, as they do for all their employees. This internship has been invaluable for me in-so-far as it has shown me that the environment in which you work is just as important as the job itself, and it has shown me the value of working in a smaller company which treats employees as equals. It has also shown me that I would very much enjoy a career in consultancy and/or project management, following my master’s in economics at the University of Bristol.