Thursday, 4 September 2014

A Student's Temple

James Seddon - Intern

My contract with Temple began almost immediately after my summer exams at Southampton University. The previous year I’d spent 3 months in Germany working on turbo machines with Siemens and I was keen to try consulting work to broaden my horizons as to how my degree could be used professionally. Having studied Acoustical Engineering for three years, I hoped I’d be able to contribute to the noise team and learn new things and new ways of working.

I was reasonably sure that offices, for the most part, were the same worldwide: closed off boxes where different teams worked, each person with their own project, with a single leader interacting with the other teams. My first day proved that notion to be false. Having been shown around by Rachel, I could see that there was a strong sense of integration across all the teams and departments. Though the teams each had their own areas, they were working side-by side, rather than as separate modules and there were even instances where members of one team would help with work for another.

Right from the off I was given work to do, analysing data and reviewing Key Account data, allaying my original concern that I’d be given nothing to do, or making the proverbial coffee. Instead, over my three months I've been able to contribute to work for a number of the Noise team’s projects.

It has been an especially interesting challenge to learn VBA, the programming language behind Microsoft Office, in order to write a Macro to sort time sheet data into useable statistics. This was especially interesting in no small part because of my love for computers and programming.

Having had minimal experience in official report writing, I found that I was provided with some invaluable advice at Temple. This not helped with my work throughout my internship, but it will also help for my return to Southampton with regards to writing up my dissertation and Group Design Project. In addition, going over grammatical principles and good use of data was incredibly useful, as these were things that would be taken as read, even though they’re frequently misused in everyday speech and even in reports.

One of the things that surprised me was the way in which people interacted with regards to projects. Having worked in an office where people had made turbomachinery their livelihood and therefore didn't ever seem to need consultations. The people at Temple seem much more willing to make use of others to check work, generate ideas and otherwise make progress with work. Thinking on it, this type of discourse seems inevitable given the wide range and fluid workload consultants face on a regular basis.

I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed being able to understand how a company works. Having only seen snapshots form parents and lecturers, it’s been fascinating to look at the internal structure of Temple on its own and at the Temple Group structure, being a series of partnerships.

Overall, my time at Temple’s shown me the benefits of having larger teams with diverse backgrounds, as well as individually practical things such as report writing skills, analytical skills, as well as the ability to think more practically about noise and issues involving noise.

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