advice, personal development, the future is female, ucl, undergraduates, women in technology

Politics to AI: My Pivot Into Tech

It’s coming up to a year since I graduated from UCL in the manic haze of Lockdown 1.

So, it feels poignant to have just been interviewed by my previous university about my journey into tech since graduating!

You can read the full interview below:

UCL Careers: Interview with an Alum – Isabel Scavetta and the ‘Career Pivot’

1. Since graduating from UCL, you’ve spoken about a “complete career pivot” and being “grateful for having to re-evaluate”. Can you tell us more about your career journey so far?

I’m currently known for my work in the technology field, especially around improving its accessibility and diversity, which feels ironic given that I come from a non-technical background!

During my studies at UCL, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduating. I did a couple of internships, attended a variety of careers-focused events and studied in both London and Seville. Through that time, I learned that I loved creative problem solving, teamwork and building solutions with real-world impact. I graduated in the pandemic summer so decided there was no time like the present to challenge myself to pursue my interest in tech.

What makes technology stand out for me is how I’m engaged by learning more. Many other industries have a slower pace of change whereas, for me, tech has only become more interesting as my journey has progressed.

So, I started coding with Code First Girls, studied for and passed several Microsoft qualifications, participated in technology conferences and Hackathon challenges, and reached out to women in the industry. Before long, my hard work started to pay off and I was able to use this experience to start giving back to others, achieving a Fellowship at Code First Girls, advisory position at Microsoft on their TechHer Student initiative, and an internship in Rolls-Royce’s Data & AI Hub (R2 Data Labs).

2. As a UCL graduate, BA European Social & Political Studies (ESPS), you have commented that your degree helps you “every day to quickly understand new concepts, communicate clearly, and draw connections across diverse subject areas”. Could you expand on this thought? What other transferable skills have your UCL experiences given you?

People often say to me that I’ve made an amazing transition from my undergraduate studies, but I think there’s lots of complementary elements between them. The main skill that ESPS taught me was the ability to pick up new concepts and develop an in-depth understanding of them in a very short period of time. In one degree, you could study across 9 different humanities departments, and in our first year, we had an exam covering all of them! This is vital in industries such as consulting and technology because you’re constantly introduced to disparate subjects and you need to try and figure out ways in which they are similar to things you’ve seen before, and also what differentiates them.

I was an active student at UCL, as I was involved in several societies, mentorship programmes and sports clubs. Balancing my various commitments and part-time work alongside my studies helped me to become proactive and self-organised, which has been helpful in my career so far.

Also, as a London based student I got the chance to go to some really brilliant networking events over the years and these taught me a lot about presentation skills, strategy, communication and clarity which have helped in developing my personal online presence and a compelling story as to why I could be a great leader in technology.

3. You recently taught yourself coding, and volunteered at the online project, Class of 2020. How have extra-curricular activities and voluntary experiences aided your career journey?

My voluntary work and extracurricular activities were essential to making the transition into technology, and “bridging the gap” between my degree and my interest.

To begin, they showed I had an active interest in this field, which gave me a lot of content to talk about at interviews. Furthermore, they helped me to expand my technical knowledge, which wasn’t something that I had the opportunity to do during my time at UCL.

One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that so many organisations made their online learning resources accessible and free to use, which was the purpose of the Class of 2020 project. I’ve written an article where I’ve listed some of my personal favourites.

4. You’re now undertaking a remote internship in Artificial Intelligence at Rolls Royce. What does a normal working day look like for you?

My time is primarily spread across two parts of the AI Hub. I’m interested in business and strategy, so I don’t actually code in my day job!

Firstly, I’m working on an innovation project where we are designing a new capability that has potential to disrupt the industries that we operate in. Secondly, I work to implement agile methodology on an AI-based project, where I liaise with my cross-functional team to ensure that what we’re building runs to our business objectives.

Due to this there’s no such thing as a typical working day for me, but often I will be conducting interviews with experts in AI across the field, ensuring that our data scientists in the UK and abroad are working collaboratively, resolving any impediments my team may face and contributing to group synthesis and design thinking workshops.

5. You’ve spoken candidly about overcoming “decision fatigue.” If you could give a UCL student any advice when thinking about future career planning, what would that be?

Some really good advice I was given was to work backwards when you think of career choices. So, rather than choosing a job you think you want and seeing if it fits, think about what lifestyle and experiences fit you, then see what jobs align with that.

For example, do you prefer to work independently or collaboratively? Do you enjoy more analytical or qualitative work?

This is a useful frame of reference because it’s something that you can map your existing experiences to, no matter how much or how little work experience you have.

When I first started my job search, I actually sat down and wrote out a map of everything I knew about myself in terms of what I was good at and what I wanted to develop. This is helpful because it helps you take a more open-minded approach to job hunting. I applied for a really wide variety of roles – some in strategy, research, tech, healthcare – but the constant was that I knew that this was the kind of work I would find engaging. Sometimes that meant I was applying for very different roles and very different Industries!

6. Did you make use of the services/events UCL Careers offer during your time here?

I booked a one-on-one UCL careers appointment in my final year, which was useful because it allowed me to articulate to someone new what kind of careers I was interested in, and why I wanted to pursue them. I think that was a really good exercise to start thinking about my job hunt and also not to feel like it was such a solo mission. It depends on what you’re interested in, but I know that UCL Careers do sector-specific career weeks etc. that a lot of my course-mates in the Politics department enjoyed.

7. What is on your bookshelf right now?

The book I tell everyone to read is Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez, which is all about the implicit gender bias in data. It’s a harrowing but impactful read about the ways in which the systems we use can work against us, and a great first introduction to why an intersectional approach is necessary in technology (and other industries!) as we build for the future.

Source: UCL Careers: Interview with an Alum – Isabel Scavetta and the ‘Career Pivot’

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new year, personal development, undergraduates, women in technology

8 Ways to Digitally Upskill for Free!

Happy new year!

As a humanities graduate, people often ask me where I learned (and am learning!) my technical knowledge.

Today’s post is a cheat sheet of some of my free favourites.

Have you used any of these before?

As always, send me a message if you have questions about getting started!

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ucl, undergraduates

UCL Student? How to Bag Free FutureLearn Campus

Are you a UCL student? Did you know you’re entitled to free FutureLearn access til the end of the year? Nope? Me neither.

I only found out about this lately, and recently posted about my experience studying Innovation Management via FutureLearn. I received several messages afterwards from UCL students asking about how I did this, so thought I’d make a summary blog post!

What is FutureLearn?

FL is an online learning platform with hundreds of online courses from top universities and specialist organisations.

How do UCL students get free access?

UCL students (and, I guess, alumni with working credentials) are eligible for a free upgrade to FutureLearn Campus.

To access this, you’ll need to sign in with your existing UCL credentials as per this guide.

What FutureLearn courses can I study for free?

This UCL access lets you access any course listed under FutureLearn Campus for free and its certificate of completion.

Here’s a list of eligible courses you could study.

Can I link my existing FutureLearn account?

Yes, you can link an existing FL account with your institutional login. You can do this by going to “Account” -> “Connected Accounts” and adding your UCL institutional login account.

Already started/finished FL courses, but now want the certificates etc that you are eligible for via FL Campus? If you leave the course and rejoin under the “FutureLearn Campus” access, you will be able to get a certificate of completion. This does not erase your previous progress.

Happy learning!

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advice, future is female, her business now, networking, personal development, the future is female, ucl, undergraduates, women in business, women in technology

Why Young Women Should Post on LinkedIn: An Anti-Cringe Crash Course

Isa, how do you even start to post on LinkedIn?

– too many people, to me, in weird and wonderful scenarios (including pre-Covid house parties..?)

Now, whether or not this is something I’m okay with being my core personality trait (unsure), there’s a lot to be said for getting your name out there, especially as a woman just starting out on the career ladder.

But, why should you post on LinkedIn?

Here’s a couple of reasons why I think posting on LinkedIn is a great thing for young women to do:
  • Updates your network (and potential interested parties) about what you’re up to. You never know who’s paying attention! A lot of my opportunities have come about because seeing a post of mine has encouraged someone to get in touch.
  • Normalises being proud of your achievements – something that women are statistically much less likely to do. However you dress it up, self-promotion is a part of career progression, and an important part of closing the pay gap. A disclaimer that posting on LinkedIn doesn’t need to come across as “bragging” or ego – you are in control of your words and what impact you want to make.
  • Helps to build your professional identity – for your career, but also for yourself. Writing about your lessons, goals and aspirations helps you to reflect on your progress and gain confidence in your own skill set and abilities.
  • Makes your LinkedIn more “human” and personal. I was nervous about posting about starting out coding, but have since had 10+ people in my network contact me to say they are starting to learn, based off of my content. Sometimes that personal connection is really important in giving others the confidence to try something new!

Sounds good? The next step is actually writing something.

I’m not a professional, but as we just said, hearing from someone you know can sometimes make all the difference!

Here’s my advice & experience:

  1. Get over yourself (..!) – no one is as invested as you are. The main roadblock for most people I have spoken with is the idea of judgement. Ironically, these same people themselves generally have a positive perception of others posting on LinkedIn. If other people can do it, so can you, and you have a lot to offer! It also gets easier the more you do it.
  2. Link to relevant organisations using @. This helps to increase the exposure of your article.
  3. Use relevant hashtags – but not too many. LinkedIn will often autosuggest hashtags dependent on what you’ve written. Use some of the most relevant ones to improve engagement but don’t #use so #many that your #post feels #artificial and #awkward.
  4. Bring out your personality. It’s cliche, but ultimately, we like to listen to stories and hear authenticity. Over-the-top clickbait or corporate content doesn’t tend to do well; your audience will be interested in you and how you’re doing!
  5. Photo content tends to perform better – especially if it has you in it. If you feel comfortable with this, it makes your post more personal.
  6. Keep it simple. Most of the time, your post doesn’t need to be incredibly long or complex. Think about what kinds of posts tend to grab your attention on LinkedIn, and where appropriate, mirror their length / content.
  7. Most importantly: create value. Whether this is what you learned, your story, giving thanks to others, an offer of help… think about how your post could help others around you. If you’ve have me on LinkedIn, you’ll notice that most of my posts include an offer that I’m more than happy to chat about the subject with anyone interested. You’d be surprised how many people take me up on it!

Here’s an example:

All together, that looks something like this ->

In this short post, you get an idea of where I’m at:

  • Developing my research skills, especially quantatitive data analysis
  • Working in a remote environment to achieve project goals
  • Positive experience at the Constitution Unit and grateful for their support
  • Looking forward to my next chapter at ClassOf2020

Feeling good?

We’ve covered why it’s a good idea to get comfortable with “self-promotion”, and how you might go about it.

This concept goes beyond LinkedIn, and I would encourage you do to further reading on why it’s important to own your achievements.

Got any questions? Drop me a message and let me know if I can help. And, if you’re ever feeling nervous, link me your post and I can show some support!

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future is female, her business now, internships, personal development, ucl, undergraduates, women in technology

Our CFG Project: Analysing Statutory Homelessness in the UK

After a great response to my article about my first coding lesson, I thought I’d do a follow-up article to show you what kinds of things you could learn to do with Python, or achieve by the end of a course with Code First: Girls.

Designing our project

I partnered up with my classmate Michelle to develop what we’d learned about .cvs files (comma separated values) into our final programming project. We were given three potential project options, and as we wanted to challenge ourselves, we chose the assignment we understood the least!

We were provided with a sample data set by CFG, which we initially used to practice what we’d learned. However, we then decided to apply our new knowledge to a new data set: the GOV.UK statistics on number of households in statutory homeless, by ethnicity over time (2007-2018).

https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/housing/homelessness/statutory-homelessness/latest#full-page-history

After successfully completing the course requirements, we set ourselves the following extension goals:

  • Collect all of the data for each ethnicity for 2007 and 2018 into lists
  • Compare the numbers of homeless for each ethnicity for 2007 vs 2018 
  • Compare the ethnicity percentage breakdown for 2007 vs 2018

To do this, we worked together to use our understanding of csv. files, functions and variables to process and calculate the figures. We had to reformat some of the statistics for them to be processed, but had a great chat with our instructor Marlene, who helped us to do this.

A sample of some of our project code, using what we had learned over the previous 5 weeks

Our results

Our programme analysed the original dataset and output a variety of statistics:

For example, we found that the overall number of households in the UK in statutory homelessness has decreased -22.87% from 2007-2018 (-16,780). The majority of these households come from a white ethnic background. However, in the same period of 2007-2017, whilst the number of white households in statutory homelessness has decreased by -35.6% (-19,350), the number of BAME households has increased by +18.6% (+2,820).

Furthermore, we got some hands-on experience in how using Python can be used to tackle real-life dataset issues. As part of our process, we asked our programme to sum up the different ethnicity statistics and output the total homeless for 2018. However, we found that our results (56,590) differed from the listed government figures for total households (56,580). Upon further investigation, we discovered that we had found a flaw in the official statistics – the total number given was more than the sum of the components added together. This taught us a valuable lesson in how good programmes can catch flaws and irregularities in data!

Lessons and next steps

We were really pleased with our project and enjoyed presenting about it to the rest of our CFG cohort. I was so impressed by the quality and creativity of my class’ work, and learned a lot from my peers about their coding journeys!

Having passed the 8-week course, I’m now working on self-teaching more Python, and exploring other programming languages. I’ve completed a Coursera Introduction to Python Course and am now getting to grips with Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science CS50!

I will shortly be creating a blog post of all my favourite free e-learning resources for anyone interested in beginning to code. As always, feel free to drop me a message if there’s anything I can help out with.

Finally, I just wanted to say thanks to my great teammate Michelle for all her hard work, and our brilliant instructors! This has been a challenging and inspiring first step into developing my technical skill set.

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future is female, her business now, personal development, undergraduates, women in business, women in technology

Girl Meets ‘hello world’: My First ‘Code First: Girls’ Review

(fun fact: getting your code to say ‘hello world’ is one of the oldest traditions in software)

I’m currently on Week 5 of an Introduction to Python Programming course ran by not-for-profit organisation Code First: Girls (CFG). Over the past few years, I’ve had a particular interest in the technology sector, and decided it was time to bite the bullet and start investigating how I could get involved.

Now, this was an interesting challenge, given that I’m a pure humanities student who hasn’t had formal Maths education since GCSEs and didn’t have the opportunity to learn to code during my undergrad. I heard about Code First: Girls through a friend and was apprehensive of how I’d find it.

Regardless of this, I decided to go ahead with the CFG online course, and have never looked back. The course is designed for university students and those in full time work, and consists of 8 weekly 2-hour workshops.

I’ve had lots of other non-STEM peers ask me for an honest opinion on how I’ve found the experience, particularly in the early days. So, to give you an idea of what it might be like, here is a summary of my main takeaways from my first lesson.

Note: the content of CFG classes remains the intellectual property of CFG, so I’ll primarily be discussing how I prepared for my first Python class and how I found it.

Things I wish I’d known before my first CFG Python class:

  • I promise you don’t need to have done coding before. Promise. P r o m i s e. Especially for your first class! Everything is designed for complete beginners, so come with an open mind and willingness to learn. If you get stuck, there are multiple instructors, so it’s straightforward to ask for help. If you enjoy logical processes, you’ll probably enjoy it; my degree background is social and political sciences and I liked the way you can slowly build upon your coding knowledge to create more advanced programs.
  • Give yourself some time to install and set up the required technology: CFG provide very clear instructions on how to set up everything you need for your first class. We use PyCharm Community, and at the beginning of my first class, when I went to open this for the first time, it took about 20 minutes to open on my incredibly slow laptop. I was stressed trying to simultaneously memorise the steps the class was taking and waiting for the programme to open – lesson learned and it’s been plain sailing ever since.
  • It doesn’t have to be a solo battle. CFG offer a variety of courses – why not encourage a friend to sign up as well? Although CFG manage the applications and allocation of students to courses, having someone you know do any of their courses is a good way to hold yourself accountable. I was fortunate enough to end up on the same lesson slot as one of my friends (hi, Michelle!) and have found it incredibly helpful to talk to someone else during this learning journey about both its highlights and challenges.
  • There are so many online resources to support you in your journey. CFG do a great job providing their core curriculum, teaching and homework tasks. However, if there is anything you are unsure on, there are also hundreds of blogs, videos and courses that you can follow to go over topics covered in class.

Interested in signing up yourself?

Code First: Girls run three free courses:

  1. Introduction to Web Development
  2. Introduction to Python Programming
  3. Introduction to Data Science and SQL Programming

These courses are open to self-identifying women:

  • aged 18-23 
  • OR are currently studying at university
  • OR have finished their studies in the last two years 

If you’re interested in signing up for a free course (2 hours, once a week for 8 weeks), you can do this here. As you can probably tell, I’d highly recommend it.

In these uncertain times, it is useful to think of different ways to approach challenges and think broadly regarding different options which may be available to you.

A big thank you to all the volunteers at CFG for helping female students from all backgrounds to begin to explore careers and possibilities within the tech industry.

Got any questions? As always, feel free to contact me through the HBN contact page, or LinkedIn.

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advice, internships, networking, undergraduates, women in business

25 Questions to Ask your Interviewer

No matter what your interview is for, there is only one question that I can nearly guarantee your interviewer will ask you:

“So, do you have any questions for us?”

Nearly all interviews will end with an opportunity to ask your potential employer a question or two. It’s a great opportunity to learn and can also be a chance to demonstrate your interest and proactivity. However, it can be hard to think of what to say on the spot.

One of the easiest ways to combat this is have a think before your interview about what you might like to ask.

To help you out, here’s a handy list of some straightforward, industry-neutral questions to get you started. Feel free to adapt them depending on your role and personal situation!

Day-to-day

  1. What would an average day in this role look like?
  2. What kind of work would occupy most of my time?
  3. Broadly, who would I work with on a day-to-day basis (aka team composition: individually, in a small team, international team)?
  4. Are there opportunities for international work?
  5. Who would I report to? How does the management system work?
  6. (if applicable) Are there support networks within the company for different groups (eg LGBT, women’s networks)? If so, what work do they do and how would I get involved?

Skills-based

  1. What opportunities are there for training and development?
  2. What kinds of skills would help me to succeed in this role?
  3. What are the main programs/technology/systems that I would use in this role?
  4. What would be the rough timeline of my first year in the role?
  5. How does the performance feedback/review system work?

Hiring

  1. What made you hire the last person you hired?
  2. When can I expect to hear about next steps in my application?
  3. What advice would you have for me as I begin my early-stage career in this industry?
  4. Is there anything which I have mentioned which you would like me to elaborate on?

Industry

  1. What are the company’s goals / direction for the next 5 years?
  2. What is the biggest problem your company is currently facing, and how could I help solve it? (even better, research this yourself and come with the angle “I read about issue XYZ” and think about what solutions you could suggest)
  3. What is the biggest change in industry that you’ve seen in recent years?
  4. I was reading about <INDUSTRY NEWS> and found it really interesting. Has this had any impact on the company’s recent work?

About your interviewer

Asking your interviewer about their own experiences is useful for a number of reasons: primarily, it helps to build rapport and gives you an individual insight into the sector and company.

  1. What is your favourite thing about working for this company?
  2. What has been your greatest opportunity in your role here?
  3. What have you found most challenging about working in this industry?
  4. How would you describe the company culture?
  5. What has surprised you about your role?
  6. What has been your biggest lesson in your current role?

Try them out at your next interview! (Albeit, not all 25…)

Do you have any other favourites?

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advice, future is female, new year, personal development, ucl, undergraduates

5 Final Year Tips

The past few months have been an exciting and fast-paced return to life at UCL.

From my dissertation-filled study schedule, here are some quick tips on surviving the final year rush:

  1. Make the most of your university opportunities – this is your last chance to! When chatting to my friends in the post-graduation world, this rings in as the top piece of advice. Whether that’s sports, travel or volunteering opportunities, there are so many chances to enhance your final year which will give you great memories to look back on.
  2. Sign up for your university careers service. Most universities will not only offer you career support during university, but also in the next few years post-graduation, so it’s worth having this set up and good to go.
  3. Spoiler: no one really knows what they’re doing. In final year, there’s so much pressure to have all the answers – none of us do, and that’s just fine. Be kind to yourself at a very challenging time!
  4. Make sure you have your basic plan sorted. What’s your worst-case scenario? If this does ends up being what you’ll be doing next, make sure you have given a thought to your basic logistics and considerations for this next step.
  5. Renew all your student discount cards and accounts. Your future self will thank you!

Hope those are useful! Are you in your final year at the moment?

There’ll be some exciting new content to come in 2020; for now, wishing everyone a great holiday break.

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HBN CV Clinic: Find out the 5 Top Tips!

Thank you for the great response to last week’s CV Clinic! I received over 20 CVs, the majority of which were from female undergrads outside my network, and was delighted with the response from participants.

Participant Feedback:

The process was very simple and I am so thankful that you got back to me so quickly! It was definitely very useful – I will be revising my CV keeping your comments in mind, and it’s great that I can implement them immediately. 

HBN CV Clinic participant, 2019

This review has been very helpful. Additionally, you have pointed out things that I would not have seen myself. So your knowledge and experience in this matter has been valuable.

HBN CV Clinic participant, 2019

Your points are really insightful! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my CV.

HBN CV Clinic participant, 2019

Didn’t have time to submit your application? Here are a couple of the most common feedback points that were made:

The 5 Most Common CV Feedback Points:

  1. Think critically about what content and roles really bring value to your CV. The ideal CV at this early career stage would be 1-2 pages (ideally 1), which is often possible with some content analysis and changes in formatting. Participant example: We decided to cut content that was largely irrelevant or felt arbitrary (eg rating oneself out of 5 for different skills), which had originally been included just because the original CV template had said to do so.
  2. Where you can, quantify your experience to show the impact you had. This helps an outsider to quickly understand the size and scale of your work.
  3. Don’t be afraid to rework the subsections of your CV into a structure that best fits your experience. Consider what subsection titles would best showcase your wide variety of positions. You want to highlight your most relevant and interesting roles which have helped you build your skillset to date. Participant example: We considered reworking their CV structure into Education / Work Experience / Further Relevant Industry Experience / Volunteering and Extracurriculars.
  4. A simple one but make sure to run your CV through spell check! It’s important that your CV shows you pay attention to detail and you would be surprised how often this comes up.
  5. If you can, add a predicted grade for your degree in your university section. When you’re applying for roles, most recruiters will want to see 1) that you’re eligible for the role 2) that you have good predicted grades (a First or 2:1) and 3) that you go to a target uni. You more than likely have all 3 (which is great!) so it’s worth having this information clear and up front.

As always, my inbox is always open for questions and feedback. Feel free to drop me a message on LinkedIn or contact HBN via the website.

Good luck with your applications!

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advice, future is female, her business now, insight days, internships, networking, personal development, summer internship, ucl, undergraduates, women in business

5 Mistakes I Made on My Internship

As the summer draws to a close, thousands of students across the country are rolling off summer internships. Inevitably, that means nearly every third Linkedin post is a success story about the awesome things that undergrads have achieved this summer!

Social media is very much a highlights reel, and for young women to succeed in male-dominated industries, we need to normalise the day-to-day learning experience that comes with entering new environments

So, I thought I’d mix things up with something different. I’ve had an amazing time interning at a consultancy this summer, but in a world where female students are more likely to suffer from impostor syndrome, less likely to apply for internships in fields such as tech and often won’t apply for positions they don’t feel qualified for, I’m here to share some of my key mistakes over the past ten weeks – and the lessons I took from them.

The 5 Mistakes I Made on My Internship

Catch the key learnings in italics

1. Assumed that quant work and Excel was way out of my ability. As a humanities student whose IT education ended at the grand old age of 15, my mind was all over the place during the Excel workshop on my first week. Whilst most of my fellow interns were flying through the tasks, I was trying to covertly Google how INDEX/MATCH worked (or even… what it was?). However, after a couple of weeks of extra effort, learning by doing and incorporating feedback from my managers, my skills improved twelve-fold.

Don’t count yourself out before you’ve even started. Be honest about your familiarity with different tools and take a growth mindset.

2. There’s no comparison between you and your peers. My intern cohort was great and impressively talented, including numerous languages, coding skills and Masters- & PHD-level students. Initially, it was hard not to question how my own skill set would compare. Recognising that this bias came from myself and receiving the support of my fellow interns made me realise that we all brought something different to the table.

An internship is an opportunity to develop your skills as an individual: focus on how much you’ve grown and developed, rather than the progress of others.

3. Tried to use the printer for the first time: auto-stapled straight through my ID card. The less said about this one the better.

4. Not specifying task granularity. Once I ended up staying in the office til late, attempting to piece together an incredibly complex piece of work in a short time frame. I cancelled my evening plans and almost definitely drank too much caffeine for a normal human. Come morning, the research didn’t cover a key element of the task… and needed repeating regardless.

When taking on a new piece of work, make sure you understand exactly what information is required and to what level – it’ll save you time in the long run.

5. It’s never too soon to think of the bigger picture. My initial approach was that as an intern on a project in an unfamiliar technical space, it would take me months before I understood enough to grasp how the entire project linked together. With time, I realised that it wasn’t necessary to understand everything to make more meaningful contributions.

When you’re working on a task, think about what the impact of your work will be for the next stage ahead, or the next level up. When you’ve finished, before talking to your manager, take a minute to summarise what the key takeaways from your analysis are and what you think would be a good next step. This helps to build a proactive approach to problem-solving.

IN SHORT…

The key message of this article is that mistakes are normal and a huge opportunity to learn. I did numerous things this summer that I was really proud of, but above all, I was proud of my own resilience and growth-orientated approach.

I was fortunate to have this experience and know that internships and early careers can be a mystery, so I hope that this article is useful to you.

As always, my Linkedin inbox is open for any questions – drop me a message here.

What mistakes have you made lately, and how have you learned from them?

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