The early talent team made a pronounced effort to ensure there were weekly social activities and professional development opportunities for us despite the online nature of the internship. My team was welcoming friendly and supportive when I needed it, as was the organisation as a whole. My work was challenging at times, but overall allowed me to develop new skills. I was also afforded the opportunity to explore areas I was particularly interested in within the confines of the project.
Throughout the internship, it was emphasised to interns the value the company placed on internal hiring and developing talent. My work was in an area no one had explored before, which I found quite exciting/engaging. In this respect I felt greatly valued. However, as my work was focused on a single project, I did at times feel that it was disconnected from the company as a whole - I would have preferred the opportunity to contribute to larger projects, at least in a small way, which I believe would have felt more meaningful.
My team was consistently there for me throughout the experience. As well as weekly (or often more frequent) catch ups with my manager, I had weekly catch ups with my buddy as well as my team leader. This meant that any questions I had could be answered quickly, and other team members were also always happy to help out. I was also at liberty to reach out to other team members for a chat which was a great opportunity to get some extra opinions and an insight into the company.
The bulk of my work was in data engineering and analytics. I developed familiarity with software including R and SQL as well as the challenges one typically experiences when working with large datasets. I believe these skills will help me as I move into the future. The programme also offered learning sessions on topics from business acumen to communication. I found sessions focused on mental health in the workplace and allyship to inter-sectional colleagues was particularly interesting and helped me develop skills I will take back with me to university and into future life.
The experience was quite clearly structured from the start with goals and regular check in points. I do not believe more could have been done on this front to provide a stronger structure, considering the online circumstances of the internship. The flexibility of the programme was also to its credit, with plenty of space for the interns to engage in meaningful work without being swamped in scheduled sessions etc, this also allowed me to speak to the people I was most interested in speaking to and develop at my own pace.
The atmosphere of EG was exceptionally encouraging and positive. People were more than happy to offer whatever support was needed. From the careers team to the senior leadership there was an overwhelming atmosphere of optimism, both for the company and the new cohort of interns. This definitely had a knock on effect on the attitude on myself and other interns, encouraging us to develop and reach our full potential which made the programme extremely enjoyable.
With weekly learning sessions and an online learning resource where courses could be browsed and completed at leisure there was plenty of resources allocated to the interns as a whole. However, there were no training sessions specifically for analytics interns as compared to almost 2 weeks of training for some other intern groups, which I felt left some uncertainty in work and gave the feeling that we were less valuable/invested in than other types of interns.
I feel like there is a limited amount of clarity that a virtual internship can offer in this respect - while I left with a strong impression of what working for EG would be like on a virtual basis, I did not have a strong impression of what the office atmosphere was like. Furthermore I feel that the conversations one might have about what the working environment is really like at Expedia were difficult to have online.
EG gave a strong understanding of their culture from the offset. I left with an extremely favourable impression of EG's attitude to its work.
I felt I left EG with a strong understanding of what a career in data analytics might look like, having had the opportunity to people who had been with EG for an extended period, as well as some who had joined more recently and had worked for other companies more recently. It also showed me the breadth of work which falls under the umbrella of data analytics, from engineering and data handling to machine learning. The employees were all clearly passionate about their work which I really enjoyed.
I was more than happy with my reimbursement, especially considering the online nature of my work.
There was theoretically infinite opportunity to speak to other staff members, the limit being staff members you knew existed. However, there were no events specifically arranged for the purpose of networking and I do not feel the online medium easily facilitated strong connections upon which I could rely leaving this internship. There could have been more effort made on EGs part to build this network more thoroughly - even with respect to training/guidance sessions on how to seek out this support.
Social events were small but pleasant. Certainly the best that could be provided for given the circumstances.
I was invited to various social activities outside of work - the extent of these was of course extremely limited due to the online nature of the experience - both in terms of enjoy-ablility and involvement. However I cannot critique the arrangement and am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved, as I am sure that many other interns in a similar position would not have had the chance to be involved in such social activities.
The experience and work that they would be involved with (which is of course the core value of the experience) would depend strongly upon which team they were assigned to - the enjoy-ability and interesting-ness of it would therefore be quite varied.
Business Analytics, Mathematics/Statistics, Travel and Tourism
25th August 2020