Hello again everyone! I am thrilled to be starting my virtual data analysis internship with Wrkit in Dublin this week! I met with my supervisor as well as the CEO or Wrkit and another coworker last week, and I could not be more excited to get to work this week. As I explained in my previous blog post, (if you haven’t read it yet go give it a look: https://pittbusinesstotheworld.com/2021/05/23/a-virtual-trip-to-dublin/), Wrkit is an intriguing company, which produces a customizable platform complete with any combination of seven different modules for companies to monitor and manage their employee engagement. The modules include Surveys, Wellbeing, Move, Recognition, Lifestyle Savings, Learning, and Talks & Workshops, and each module targets specific aspects of an employee’s work-life balance in order to create a more pleasant workplace experience, ultimately resulting in a more productive workforce.
Wrkit essentially operates at the cross section between two separate industries: the tech industry and the employee engagement/human resources industry. In recent years, partially due to the United Kingdom’s pending removal from the European Union in addition to the cheaper taxes available in Ireland, Dublin has become a hub for technology companies. Many large tech companies (including Google, Microsoft, and Facebook) now operate their Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in or just outside of Dublin. The presence of these tech giants lures some of the best technological talent from around EMEA to Dublin to work at these tech giants or at smaller firms in the area such as Wrkit. The employee engagement industry, on the other hand, is a bit more niche and specific than the tech industry. The employee engagement industry is pretty interesting because it is not nearly as well established as the tech industry. This can likely be attributed to the fact that until recently it was extremely common for employee engagement concerns within companies to be handle in-house by the human resources department. Now, it is becoming more and more common for companies to hire third-party providers to handle situations that human resources would ordinarily be tasked with, making it even more likely that the employee engagement industry will soon grow immensely.
At the intersection of these two industries, there are several skills and strengths that are necessary for success, but none more important than flexibility. Technology is an everchanging industry, with new developments being made continuously, so employees in the tech field must constantly adapt to keep up to date with the newest advancements. Similarly, as technology has evolved so too have the potential issues surrounding technology, thus it is important to be flexible (and prepared) to deal with whatever problems arise. In conjunction with flexibility for some of the same reasons, another skill that is crucial for success in these two industries is the ability to either multi-task or transition seamlessly between projects. As I said earlier, there is a plethora of problems that can arise while working in a technology heavy environment. Because of this, it is essential to be able to pivot and work on other projects if there is something that cannot be easily resolved, so that you can maximize your time and energy accordingly. For my position in particular as a data analysis intern, a skill that is absolutely necessary when working in this industry is Microsoft Excel. For many companies and especially smaller companies that may not have the infrastructure for an advanced database, the majority of data is stored and analyzed in spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel, and thus having an advanced proficiency in Excel is certainly a valuable skill to have in order to succeed in this particular role.
Generally speaking, communication in the Republic of Ireland is rather high context, meaning that often communication is more indirect and requires more interpretation than communication in the United States. As someone from the US, it will likely be a challenge to function in an environment that is less direct and more relaxed than what is normal here in the US. Hence, it will be extremely important to be very intentional with both oral and written communications and especially questions between myself and my colleagues when working. Additionally, the Irish tend to be a more collaborative and less individualistic culture than we are in the United States, which will be an especially interesting situation to navigate being that typically speaking occupations in technology are more independent than in other industries.
I am extremely excited to finally be getting started on my (virtual) journey this week, and I can’t wait to share more about my experience at Wrkit.