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An Intern’s Impressions 3: a spreadsheet in the making…

Ellie Jaques, a geography student at Bristol University has just finished her third week as a summer intern with AlphaBio, and here are her thoughts on what she’s been doing.

As the third week of my internship draws to a close, it is time to write another blog and reflect on what I’ve done this week, forewarning, there’s a lot!

I started the week with my trials task set by Susie, the company’s Marketing Administrator. This involves reading the trial reports, extracting the key information, and inputting this into the ‘Master Spreadsheet’. A somewhat ominous name for a spreadsheet, but I didn’t let that deter me. This was super interesting as I hadn’t done any work on the trials side of the company yet, so was learning more and more with each report I read. I made some good progress with this and it got to Monday afternoon, when I realised, I was working through these tasks at somewhat of a lightening speed.

So, I asked if other people could set me their tasks a little earlier than planned. Tuesday morning came and my inbox was full of people setting me jobs to do! This was exciting as it was from different departments that I haven’t worked with yet.

One of these tasks was set by Paula, who works on the regulatory side of things. I have been tasked with creating a spreadsheet synthesising the data from a database. This might just be the biggest spreadsheet you’ve ever seen, and it is only getting bigger! I have been working on it since Tuesday and working alphabetically I’ve only just reached the countries beginning with ‘C’!

I have not used Excel too much before this but after much googling on how to make the spreadsheet look ‘cool’ (something I specifically googled), I have created one of the best spreadsheets ever, if I say so myself! There are interactive lists, it is colour-coded and most importantly all the key information is in one place. Well, it will be once it is finished!

Who says you don’t learn things as an intern, because I certainly am, not just about AlphaBio and the world of biopesticides but also transferable skills like Excel. I’m not sure many people would be as excited about Excel as I now am! But my week only got better when I was set another task using the same program, this time making graphs.

This task is similar to a project I have done at uni so hopefully I’ll be quite good at it, although I still haven’t got my mark back for that assessment so who knows how I did. I use different software at uni to make graphs so using Excel is a whole new realm I plan on conquering before my internship is over! I will have to keep you updated with how it goes.

This week has really flown by and it feels like I was only writing last week’s blog yesterday. In fact, I have spent so much time talking about spreadsheets, I haven’t had a chance to mention the other interesting things that have happened, one of which was a Marketing Communications meeting which was very funny, not something you always expect from a meeting. Perhaps for next week’s edition?