Week 1: Intros & CTM
My first few days at BGL were packed with meetings with different people in Business Technology, where they’d tell me about their role and team. This was a great way for me to understand what the company does and gain an insight into what jobs are out there - for example, until these sessions, I didn’t know what Business Analysts do!
At the end of the week I went over to CompareTheMarket (CTM)
to join the User Experience (UX) team for four days. I’m interested in working in UX so it was really exciting to meet the UX team who took me through what UX is all about, the design process and how UX designers and researchers work together. They gave me a journey prototype they’re currently working on and the user research they’d collected, and gave me the job of going through their journey, research and competitor journeys to come up with improvements for the prototype.
I’m interested in psychology so one of the UX designers gave me loads of resources and books about the psychology behind designing user interfaces and experiences, which was really useful and I’ll take away with me.
While there I met Sarah who is on the Digital Graduate scheme which I’m interested in applying to, so I scheduled a meeting with her and another grad to ask them questions about their experiences.
Week 2: Business Customer Service
This team is working on automating the customer service contact centres using machine learning. Before joining I didn’t know much about machine learning or how it can be used in business so it was interesting to see how it was being used. In the four days there I made my own chatbot that was programmed to respond to someone wanting to cancel their policy, and then I connected it to my mobile phone so I could have the conversation by text message. I used Google Dialogflow which is what they use. How awesome is that?
It was an insightful few days and gave context to something I previously had little knowledge about.
Week 3: Digital CX
I really enjoyed my time with the Digital Customer Experience team. The Optimisation team gave me an introduction to what they do and then gave me the task of looking at their journey and competitor journeys to see how they can improve the design and wording to get more people paying monthly.
Tuesday was an extremely insightful and enjoyable day - eight of us spent the day in a design sprint. It started by explaining the problem the team wanted to solve which was increasing the number of people using the self-service centre (SSC) on Budget Insurance
. We were given data from insights & analytics about Budget’s customer demographics. Then we split into two groups to create a persona of who we are targeting. Once we had a clear idea of the person, we brainstormed ways we could encourage them to interact with SSC. I made a wireframe journey and then we walked around the BGL building and gathered feedback from seven different people. We used the feedback to refine our idea. By the end of the day the team had made two prototypes. It was great to see the design process from problem to solution, and it was fun working together in a team and gathering feedback.
Week 4: UI development
The user interface team develops and delivers the designs created by the Digital CX team. I was given the task of designing a website for desktop and mobile about anything I’m interested in, so I started off with making a prototype using Adobe XD and tutorials. I’d been meaning to make a website anyway so this was a good opportunity to make it. After finishing the mobile and desktop prototype I begun coding it in HTML and CSS. One of the lead UX engineers sent me lots of UI and coding resources which I can take away with me. By the end of the four days I had a prototype and website skeleton and I learnt a lot by making it myself.
The UX development team work with the Digital CX team I was with the previous week so it was good to see how the two fit together. By the end I had a good understanding of how the different parts of UX fit together, from research and design, analytics and optimisation, to development. At this point I realised that UX is where I want to work!
Week 5: CTM Meerstrap
Day at the London office
In my first week at CTM I asked if I could see UX research and I was put in touch with with a UX researcher at the London office and could join their team for a day! I got to see them carry out interviews with customers to test out their new broadband prototype which I had researched in my first week. I saw they had used some of my ideas in the new prototype which was really cool. That day was one of the highlights from my internship because before joining BGL I thought I might like to be a user researcher so it was great to see it first-hand.
DOVE and mentors
The structure of the internship was four day rotations from Thursday to Tuesday. I spent every Wednesday with the software engineer apprentices who are working on project DOVE which is an internal website that builds an org chart showing the employees at BGL. Apart from seeing the structure of the company, it was good to experience coding in a group and finding solutions to problems together. I got to learn C# over the course of it.
At the end of each rotation on a Tuesday I met with my mentors Victoria and Ellie, to tell them about what I did. It was nice having them there if I needed anything and they really put me at ease.
I’ve learnt so much about myself, BGL and the world of work over the past six weeks. I now have a clearer idea of what I want to do in the future, and what’s been really valuable is seeing how the things I’ve learnt at university is applied to the real world. I’m sure this new perspective will help me going into my final year and in making decisions on what to do next. This experience at BGL has given me the confidence to enter the world of work and apply myself. I also met some really nice people along the way and realised work isn’t as scary as I thought!