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My Internship, Reporting for Duty

Written by Tom Nice, Junior Data Analyst at Trackpal and Wired Sussex Intern Placement Programme success story. 

The title of this blog post might suggest that I have been stationed with some sort of military faction courtesy of Wired Sussex, but no, nothing that drastic. I am working for Trackpal, a company specialising in automated reporting and data collection for digital marketers, as a Reporting Analyst. 

Being a Londoner, I’m very much used to the status quo, which is that internships are generally unpaid. Then along came Wired Sussex (via my Sussex graduate job email updates) who offered this exciting opportunity, through their Intern Placement Programme, at a wage that motivated me to pack up my stuff and leave the relative comfort of the nest to return to Brighton. I haven’t looked back.

The internship has been massively educational. Firstly, digital marketing is a world of its own, and one that is constantly evolving. I’ve been given the autonomy and support to research this industry, and while doing so, it has become clear that adapting to these changes is what Trackpal does in order to provide the most up-to-date service to its customers. For example, when Google started restricting keyword traffic data available via Google Analytics, our reporting was adjusted to reflect that.

On the other side of the learning curve, to increase my technical savviness, I’ve taught myself, along with the help of Chris Marsh, Trackpal Data Analyst, to use Excel in a pretty skilful way. As a semi-schooled Excel enthusiast I am now looking to the highly esteemed VLOOKUP formula when in the midst of a problem. Getting more familiar with Excel has meant that I have been entrusted with more responsibility to format and even create reports that will be used in the future for Trackpal customers.

Initially commuting from London didn’t feel as much of a slog as it would have, in part due to the healthy work to office banter balance (possibly related to the fact that Managing Director, Scott Lawson, and Director, Claire Eden are both from Tasmania, an island off Australia). As a technology startup, there is plenty of scope to create my own role in the company which was a huge selling point when having my interview with Claire and Chris. A couple of weeks into the internship Claire talked of the bigger picture in what we should be presenting to our customers. Since then, I’ve had that in my mind while creating and contributing to new reporting templates.

There are two stand-out benefits of working for a small startup. The foremost has to be the close-knit nature of the team. I was welcomed in from day one, and never felt awkward asking for any guidance from the Trackpal team (and our IT guy/Support and Testing Analyst, Nick Cooke, has given me ample advice on time and cost saving measures when using tech). Secondly, a smaller outfit provides opportunities for you to grow with them in tandem. This was an exciting prospect on starting the internship which is now becoming a reality.

At the halfway point of the placement, Claire and Chris offered me the full-time position, which I gladly accepted.

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