Undergraduate Intern at Online Lubricants Ltd.
Project Title: Customer Profiling
Placement Supervisor: Mr. John Collings
"I did my eight week placement over the summer between my second and third year. I chose a business placement because I wanted to experience first-hand the feeling of working in a business environment. Initially, I applied for another placement within the same company, which would have involved the investigation, testing and utilisation of the social media and its impact for the company. However, when I arrived at the interview, they offered me the choice of an alternative project, which is Customer Profiling. I stated my preference for this project, as I believed that it would put my mathematical and analytical skills into practice. Lo and behold, I got the Customer Profiling project and Stacey, who is also studying Physics at Royal Holloway, got the social media one.
The main objectives of this project were to collect and analyse historical data of the company’s customers. Processes included filtering and sorting the relevant fields and information, and ultimately providing a concise yet meaningful indicator, per customer entry, for internal reference at point of sales. Apart from the obvious usage of Microsoft Excel functions, to sort through some forty thousand records, I’ve also picked up on some SQL programming language.
Aside from my main project of Customer Profiling, I was assigned separate tasks too. In my eight weeks, I’ve accomplished assignments from researching the possibility of acquiring a new web domain extension for the company, sourcing and purchasing promotional materials and uniforms, to organising a delivery van to be wrapped in vinyl graphics and a brief feasibility study of a new depot location. Although I had little experience in all of the side tasks to start off with, I quickly learnt the skills required. All the tasks were interesting and enlightening. I was continuously supported by a friendly team of staff, which made the time fly by.
On the whole, I would say that my time was well spent within the company. The variety within my placement has been greater than I expected, which I truly enjoyed, as at no moment was I left with nothing to do. One thing that I’ve learnt is that in the real world, flexibility and initiative are two vital skills that one must have and utilise wisely. This placement has given me an introduction into what working in a business would be like, outside of university life, and that should help me in making my decisions regarding my career path. Finally, I would definitely recommend anybody who is even vaguely interested to work within a business environment, to apply for a business placement."