Summary: Remember that having the grace to do the dog work, means the rewards are even sweeter.
I have been in my second position for just over 2 months now. I have been really pushing myself; staying late, doing extra, bringing in new ideas, getting involved with all departments, which is much easier in an SME. Sadly most of my tasks where mainly about helping the support team get both their internal and external business processes in order. Nonetheless I made the most of it and at least it wasn’t sales *cringe*. In turn I have learned a lot about being commercially aware. It is all about the end user’s needs. Matching business scenarios to the available services. I have managed to make the company aware of a lot of shortcomings, show them what I am capable of and that was an interesting journey. More competencies for the bank.
The company was still, is still very fascinating. What they do is quite phenomenal, with so little manpower. Their client’s data is such a playground, so many missed opportunities to discover. This was the one part I could display my skills and my potential mathematically, I rolled out everything I could. They were confident enough to put me in front of their biggest client, a FTSE 20 company. Then another company, and then another. Another competency.
I also realised I enjoyed learning about software, back and front end. That love is growing. I feel actuarial software and systems is maybe where I am heading in the future. These guys do bespoke stuff and I get to work with really clever developers every day, who don’t mind me pestering them with all my questions. I think. I did ask one day ‘Am I a pest?’. Boy they weren’t expecting that question!
I have taken every opportunity to have discussions with everyone. What they want from me, where do we think the company is going? This is when it started juicy. Predictive analysis, machine learning, financial modelling, developing new products with product management and the development team. I stuck at it and started getting what I wanted.
I put the effort in and they started to trust in my potential. It isn’t a trust I take lightly and I am proud to be given such a massive opportunity.
I could have gone a different way about it. I could have said this is absolute ape s***. This is beneath me, or doesn’t interest me or challenge me. There was another intern, he started just before me. He seemed nice enough, but never seem to be doing much, didn’t talk much to anyone unless he had to. Didn’t make the job his own, or ask for more. They let him go last week. To be honest I don’t think he was ready for the world of work, or knew what he wanted.
My manager said last month, ‘When I give you something to do, not only do you come back with what I want, on time, you give me more’. I still gleam with pride when I think of that compliment.
I gleam even now when I think that all my hard work means I am finishing my internship half a month early and staring at a contract for a permanent position, with so much responsibility and scope for future professional development. A job that I showed a need for and helped shape. All with a 2:2 in Financial Mathematics. Finally looks like that grade won’t be wholly defining who I am.