Skills & Education

Data, Design and Project Management, Catching up with the cohort of the 2021 Digital Internship

As the fifth Summer Digital Internship draws to a close, we visited each of the interns to see what they have been working on during their placement.

We discovered high-level inclusion on company projects, from data collecting efforts and development work to on the job learning about Robot Process Automation. Most of all we found a reinforced confidence in our interns as they brightly shared their summer's work with us. Keep reading for a snippet of the day to day life of 2021's Discover Digital Interns and their experiences on this programme below.

Innovating platform support services, a day in the life of the Discover Digital Interns at First Central Group

Settled in their own corner office space at First Central Group (FCG), Elliot and Will look no more out of place than the platform wireframe designs and busy monitors surrounding them. Confidently they shared the work they have been involved in during their summer internship at FCG from working on the platform support portal to help the in house dev team by streamlining day to day tasks, to looking up errors and adding data fixes for any integrity issues. Elliot and Will have been hard at work enabling the shortening of the support chain to help the team save money and time, and thus support their customers better.

Learning on the job, catching up with the Discover Digital Intern at EY

Seated next to his colleague 2019 Discover Digital Intern Alex Turner, James ran us through the varied work he has undertaken during his summer internship at EY, from shadowing EY's RPA operations, assisting in IT audits to working and communicating with clients across multiple countries and jurisdictions all while taking the initiative to gain qualifications in Robot Process Automation (RPA) from EY.

Managing data with a sea view, CBO Projects Intern fills us in on his work this summer

Returning to the Digital Internship programme for a second year, Sebastian has been working at CBO Projects and as we sat with him in an office overlooking the sea, Sebastian talked us through the projects he has been working on throughout this summer. From migrating data from old systems to new ones to automating some of the data migration processes he has been working on expanding his experience portfolio in new areas of expertise. Over the six weeks, he also worked on some research projects with CBO for their clients in a variety of sectors, as well as advising through CBO's policy processes.

Creativity in a co-working space, catching up with the Digital Greenhouse's Discover Digital Intern

Here at the Digital Greenhouse you can catch Abbie sat amongst the team working on our ongoing projects, developing her skills in multiple areas of design.

Using her in-depth knowledge of Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Abbie produced logos, posters, and infographics for our upcoming event series National Coding Week and our Startup Hub Website. Not only has she worked on print, but also multiple marketing/promotional showreels.

Bringing in new and refreshing thought processes, Evolutions Groups Discover Digital Intern helps create functioning product

Excelling at the challenges he was presented with, Alex has spent his time at his placement working on an automated form system and testing the front end functionality against common pitfalls. Alex explained that he has been working on automating this process with a code and checking the process and writing down a process for those who will use the form after him.  

Growing existing skills and building applications at Resolution IT

Digital Intern Jenny has been working in the Business Solutions team at Resolution IT developing a request portal over the 6 weeks, this web application aims to help the user creation process, boosting the efficiency within the business. Jenny has had a busy 6 weeks gaining some real-life experience and applying her existing skills to new platforms.

 

 

Streamlining processes, PwC's Discover Digital Intern gets hands on with data projects

Sitting comfortably in a booth at the PwC offices, Alex walked us through the projects he has been working on. Alex spent his summer working on the formation processes within the company and streamlining those processes for their customers while working on website fronts and feeding all that data back to his team. Alex feels he learnt how to better handle projects by taking smaller steps and adjusting his trajectory in an agile working format.

A day in the life of an intern

Sebastian Isakovic

Placement Company: CBO Projects
What have you been working on during your internship?
I have been working on a variety of projects while at CBO, but the majority of my time has been filled by a data migration project in the public sector. This has involved using high-level formulas in excel in order to automate, and therefore speed up the transfer process. I have also performed various analysis to highlight errors in the source data. My other work has included in-depth analysis and research into unfamiliar sectors to help inform current and future projects.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
My day includes getting in at a time that suits me (within reason) due to a flexible working schedule, sitting down at any of the hot desks in the office, before checking my emails and setting my own schedule for the day.
What has the working environment been like?
The working environment is one of mutual respect. It is relaxed, but everyone in the office wants to be productive and work well, as they genuinely are interested and feel invested in their projects.
What skills have you developed during your placement?
The on-the-job experience of working towards deadlines, and looking at a problem and then discerning my own work tasks have been invaluable. Dealing with clients directly has given me a great insight as to how people across companies and sectors can cooperate efficiently to meet common goals.
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship?
I would say that you should really advocate to be given as much responsibility as the company is willing to give you. The more you are treated as an employee and given your own independence, with the chance to leave your own mark on the work, the more valuable you will find this experience. This will also give you real experience and workplace examples which can be put on your CV and used in job interviews in the future, which will really set you apart from a lot of other applicants.

Alex Rowe

Placement Company: PwC
What have you been working on during your internship?
I've spent the majority of my time developing a workflow to automate a simple process of a client requesting work from PwC. This process starts with a Google form being sent out and completed by a client, then the information is used to automatically generate a memo from the contents of the form. This memo is then saved and a copy is sent back to the client. The project concluded with creating a web app to display the status of work requested with direct access to the memo, this web app can then be embedded in a Google Site so that when someone visits the site they can see the ongoing work relevant to them and its progress. The rest of my time was spent using Microsoft PowerApps, I was tasked with trying to mimic a site created with a more specialised tool. The general idea was to produce an app where you can answer a series of checklist questions about a certain 'Deal' and then someone else can come along a approve the answers to each question. This was more of a proof of concept so this meant that the style and approach to the work was quite different.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
Most of the days were fairly similar, depending on who I was working with, there would be the opportunity to talk face to face or virtually on how the current project I was working was going. Normally, this would involve me presenting the work I've produced so far, and then receiving feedback such as suggestions on new features to work on, or an idea to look into. There was also the opportunity to spend time taking a closer look at the way I had approached problems and The rest of my time would then be spent refining my work and testing out new possibilities. In the beginning, I had a small amount of compulsory training but that was only for the first couple of days.
What has the working environment been like?
The environment was very relaxed, everyone works together on the same benches from associate to manager which made it feel like you were really part of a team. This also meant that there was always the opportunity to ask for help or any question you might have. The most useful aspect of this was when someone would come across an issue you can bounce ideas off each other which can help you overcome most problems you might have.
What skills have you developed during your placement?
I've been fortunate enough to been given to opportunity to develop a range of skills, these included using Google Apps Script (GAS) and Microsoft PowerApps for the first time which were both new to me. Within GAS there was the opportunity to write HTML and CSS code which were two things I was hoping to pick up as I had not touched any web design before. However, one of the more important skills was working and communicating with a team, the process of being able to explain the work you produced to someone else who might not necessarily be an expert in that field was an invaluable experience and something I will definitely use going forwards
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship? 
The Digital Internship is an excellent program that gives you the chance to take on new challenges and to get a taste of life working in an office. It's an opportunity not to be missed if this is the field you are interested in.

Abbie Coughlin

Company Placement: Digital Greenhouse
What have you been working on during your internship?
Throughout my weeks at Digital Greenhouse I've been involved in an array of projects that have helped me develop my skills in multiple areas of design. I've worked mainly on projects in InDesign and Illustrator producing logos, posters, infographics, printed promotional material and booklets. I have also produced multiple marketing/promotional showreels that have allowed me to develop skills in Premier Pro which I hadn't previously used.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
A typical day would be me getting on with my own projects that I've been briefed on, we also have weekly stand-ups that allowed us to communicate what we're working on, as well as any blockers we may be facing on certain projects. We also had weekly logistics and operational meetings which I got involved in, helping me learn more about the working life at the Digital Greenhouse and more about a working environment in the creative sector.
What has the working environment been like?
It has been fantastic, the communication amongst the team has really helped me develop my skills and learn alongside my developing projects, as well as working as an independent within the company. We each had our own spaces but were close enough together that it felt like a close-knit team, I really enjoyed this as we felt like a close team instead of a corporate environment which allowed me to shine as a creative and not be afraid to ask questions along the way.
What skills have you developed during your placement? 
I have developed my skills in Premiere Pro developing showreels, as well as developing my skills in tone-of-voice for promotional material and learning how to speak directly to the customer. I've also learnt more about how a small team works around meetings and the more operational side of things such as who comes in each morning/locks up.
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship?
I couldn't recommend it enough. Throughout my internship I developed my skills in multiple areas, allowing me to work alongside the team whilst also developing and growing as an individual in the creative sector. I've been able to develop my skills in multiple Adobe programmes which has given me a wide variety of work to add to my portfolio, which has been invaluable for me personally as a third-year student looking to get into the creative industry within the coming months. The team were also incredible to work with, they were very accommodating and friendly. I was asked what I wanted to get involved in, as well as anything that would aid my portfolio, it showed me how much Digital Greenhouse care about their interns, wanting them to get as much out of the placement as they can to aid them in future employment. Additionally, it's one of the only paid internship placements I'm aware of which has been amazing as well.

James Thompson

Placement Company: Ernst and Young
What have you been working on during your internship?
I have completed two internal qualifications: Robot Process Automation and Government and Public Service. These EY awarded certificates include 15 hours of learning materials each, using a mixture of materials from Udemy and EY. The RPA course has given me an introduction to the functionality of UiPath, and the emerging RPA business analyst role. The Government and Public Service certificate has also widened my understanding of government and social security but from the perspective of business. I have also been involved with EY's IT Audit for an overseas client. This has meant I have been sitting in on walkthroughs that have focused on the clients IT controls relating to passwords, manage change and manage access. This experience has allowed me to understand the role IT security and IT responsiveness play in accurate financial accounting. Within the walkthroughs, I have been able to witness the proper exercise of professional skepticism, which is essential for a successful audit whilst retaining a client that feels engaged and cooperative. Finally, I have been exposed to EY's internal RPA system called Serenity. Through this system EY in the Channel Islands is democratizing RPA, by adopting an employee-led approach to which aspects of work become automated. Employees will inform the IT team of a work process that could be automated; the team then create the automation to assist other staff. This has functioned successfully for aspects such as desk booking and some aspects of client communications. Learning about Serenity has reinforced my understanding of the capabilities of RPA for business and government.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
A typical day consists of checking emails, completing modules for the EY certifications, receiving tasks from IT audit, and potentially meeting with clients or colleagues to confirm our understandings of incoming information.
What has the working environment been like?
The working environment at EY has been good. I have lots of space at my desk, right next to my mentor and work buddy. I have enjoyed the flexible working arrangement, which has allowed me to work from home a couple of days a week. This flexible arrangement has allowed me to manage my time more effectively to suit my own circumstances.
What skills have you developed during your placement? 
Throughout the placement, I have improved my general IT skills through engaging with RPA workflows and the security aspects of IT audits. Alongside these more specific skills, I have been able to improve my ability to view activities in terms of a business process.
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship?
I would recommend this internship for students with a general interest in digital. My background is in Politics and Economics, rather than Computer Science; however, during the course of my undergraduate degree, I have become increasingly interested in the economics and business of emerging technology. So going into the internship I did not have technical IT skills but did have a strong interest in the digital. On the internship, I have been able to improve my specific IT skills, whilst expanding my understanding of the business uses of new technology. Therefore, I would encourage any student with an interest in digital to get involved regardless of technical specialism; this internship is the ideal environment for an enthusiastic individual to gain the skills and experience of real-world digital work.

Jenny Hutchins

Placement company: Resolution IT
What have you been working on during your internship?
I have been developing a web app to help streamline the process for making new users. The aim of the app is to reduce the wasted time in getting the required information for the new users by building forms for clients to fill in and send requests for new users. This should help standardise the process and make it more efficient.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
The first step is to get a cup of coffee in. Then I'll check if there have been any commits to the project since the day before. I'll then work out which features or bugs to work on in the day. I spend most of my time writing and testing code or researching how to solve a particular issue. Other than that I'll be discussing the project's progress with the other developers and listening to their feedback and ideas.
What has the working environment been like?
I've been allowed to work largely independently with lots of support available when I need it. The office is open plan making it really easy to talk to people and ask questions.
What skills have you developed during your placement? 
I've been working with a bunch of new technologies c#, asp net core, entity framework core and jquery. I've also learnt the methodologies needed for a technical project and how to communicate my ideas to others.
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship? 
If you have an interest in anything digital apply. The Digital Greenhouse always looks to match the placements with your interests. Don't worry if you think you don't have enough experience the best way to learn is by doing.

Alexander Potter

Placement company: Evolution Group
What have you been working on during your internship?
I have been working on a selenium automated test for the front end of the new States of Guernsey Tax form. What this means is that I create an automated process that checks many different scenarios for different potential customers, verify that the form works and that the overview of the form is in line with what has been filled in.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
I get into the office at about 8, since the working times are flexible and it means I have a longer evening after work. I usually start by running the test python files to remind myself of where I left off yesterday by seeing which errors pop up. Since the code is fairly complicated, I spend most of the day editing parts of the code, running it, see what the output is, and edit some more. By about 8:30, I have an idea of which issues need to be fixed for that day, so I put some music on and start fixing the problems. I mostly work by myself but I am next to other members of the Evolution Group so if there are any issues or questions, I can always ask them.
What has the working environment been like?
The office environment is usually quiet, and everyone just gets on with what they are doing. It helps to focus on my work as there are very few distractions. However, I work from home on Fridays, which provides a refreshing change.
What skills have you developed during your placement? 
I have gained a much deeper understanding of python since I had to do lots of research to find the right commands or concepts. I also learned much more about automated testing and how useful it can be. I have also become better at presenting and communicating since I had to explain my code to colleagues who will take over the project and I am going to present my work to the Digital Greenhouse.
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship? 
There is no reason not to do this internship if you are interested in the digital world. You can develop valuable skills, work on projects that keep you engaged, and create something new, all while getting paid for it!

William Dereham

Placement company: First Central Group
What have you been working on during your internship?
I have been working alongside Elliot Harris to extend the capabilities of the existing Platform Support Portal, created by last year’s interns. It's function is to allow the Platform Support team to automate data fixes on the live systems, which quickly enable the business to support customer impact. We added multiple features, including the capability to view, stop and start bulk processes, and access system errors across the entire platform easily.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
We used agile development techniques, following scrum principles, which is a fast, iterative approach to development allowing rapid change and continuous output. We planned our work for the week ahead on a Monday, which gave us a clear picture of the tasks for the week ahead. It was interesting to work in the same way that any other development team in the business would be run, since it gave an insight as to how software is developed in the real world.
What has the working environment been like?
The work environment has been relaxed yet professional, with everyone being respectful and understanding. I would often find myself in conversation with many different people a day about different things, and it was eye-opening to observe how the business operates on a day to day basis.
What skills have you developed during your placement?
I have developed a wide range of skills, from learning about working as part of a team, following agile methodologies, to technical skills in a wide variety of areas. From Angular development with TypeScript to backend development using C# and .NET Framework, working within a Service Oriented Architecture. I also enjoyed working with SQL databases to access and manipulate data. 
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship? 
I’m so glad I took this opportunity, I have learned so many invaluable things and really enjoyed it. It has also shown me what it’s like to work in a professional environment and helped me choose my career path in the world of tech. Additionally, I was really inspired by the work of everyone else who did the internship. To anyone considering a career in technology, I highly recommend applying.

Elliot Harris

Placement company: First Central Group
What have you been working on during your internship?
During my internship, I have been working alongside Will Dereham to evolve the platform support portal, providing more functionality for the platform support team. We were working as full-stack developers, meaning that we wrote code in both the front-end and the back-end. We added many items, including the platform support and server maintenance pages, which included finding system errors and viewing scheduled tasks respectfully. We also added functionality to remove notes made by a platform support user from a claim, as well as a data fix, allowing the user to remove a card from a policy. These changes will hopefully be added to the live servers in the next release.
What does the day in the life of a Digital Intern look like?
Besides a morning coffee, not much is the same day-to-day. The company uses the “sprint” system, which, for us, worked on a week to week basis. We planned our activities and tasks on a Monday, guessing how long they would take using the story point system ( 1 point = 3 hours ). We distributed the workload between us, with Will usually focusing on the back-end, and me on the front. This gave us the best outcome based on which parts we enjoyed coding most.
What has the working environment been like?
The working environment has consistently been warm and welcoming. I was surprised to see that we got our own office with 2 monitors each! All the facilities have been great, and we had the chance to take part in the meat draw.
What skills have you developed during your placement? 
During my placement, I have developed an accurate insight into the process involved in the technology of a business. I have learned the process, from front-end to back-end. The skills that I have learned in this internship can be easily applied to my computer science course at university; which I couldn’t be more grateful for. The digital internship has given me an amazing head start.
What would you say to students looking to take part in the internship? 
To anyone who is even a tiny bit interested, my question for you is, why not? There are so many great opportunities and experiences you can partake in, spending 6 weeks with all these intelligent individuals. It is amazing how much easier it is to learn from others than to try to learn for yourself.

Interested in joining the 2022 Digital Internship? Register your interest

here

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