It was the last day of May and as I lay down on my single bed, I could not help but ponder the fact that I had spent over four weeks locked-up in a musty yet oddly comfortable room. Knowing that I would begin my long-awaited internship with FidusFi the next day filled me with quite an assortment of emotions. On the one hand, I was extremely excited by the thought of working for this very successful company, while on the other hand, I was terrified of how the people there would perceive me and whether I would be able to perform up to standard especially as I would be working remotely. Little did I know that by the end of my internship, I would have managed to create meaningful relationships and also learned numerous interdisciplinary skills from running a client relationship management (CRM) system to analyzing financial statements.
I vividly remember feeling nervous during the entire first week of my internship at FidusFi. In fact, I was nearly three hours early for the first zoom meeting with my supervisor! During our first virtual meeting, my supervisor explained to me how the company would focus on ensuring that I was gaining the important skills I needed for the American job market. He also thoroughly explained to me some of the projects the company would have me working on.
That very day, we set up a schedule of meetings for the week, as well as a g-mail account. I was granted access to classified company files and even given a company phone number. Although nervous, my supervisor remained very supportive throughout and before I knew it, I began to feel at home. The last working day of that week, I was invited to meet the rest of the company staff (virtually, of course). I was initially intimidated but soon saw how friendly everyone was. Looking back, I realize that the main objective of week one was for me not only to understand the importance of being organized, but also to quickly get acquainted with company team members. I would come to see the importance of these abilities in the following weeks.
During week two and three of my internship, I was assigned the task of assisting the finance department to complete a project they had been working on for almost a month – let’s call it Project Z. The project involved data analysis and aggregation using Excel software. Our goal was to input financial and contact information for all company clients since 2018 into an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet would later be used to create informative visuals on a Microsoft platform called Power BI.
Working on Project Z certainly gave me a taste of how dynamic Excel is. I was tasked with accurately entering information for over 200 contacts. In the beginning, I was worried I would not be able to complete the task on time. However, my supervisor shared with me numerous tricks associated with Excel as well as easy ways to clean up data. Before I knew it, we had a well-organized spreadsheet ready to be imported to the Power BI platform. Working on the project taught me not only the benefits of consulting on whether a job can be done more efficiently, but also the joy that comes with successfully completing a task with one’s teammates.
By week four, I was feeling much more confident about myself. In spite of the fact that I could only communicate with other company members virtually, I had managed to create a good relationship with everyone I was working with. My supervisor outlined the two projects I would be working on for the fourth and fifth week on my internship. I would be working closely with the human resource department to hire freelancers in addition to working on the Power BI platform to create financial visuals for the company annual report.
In week four, I was added to the company Fiverr account – Fiverr is a professional platform where freelance workers may be hired by companies to perform a variety of roles, especially on marketing related assignments. I was required to create numerous postings on Fiverr – from graphic design to video editing gigs. Human resources trusted me to find suitable candidates for various jobs and work closely with them to produce adequate results.
Working on Fiverr boosted my communication skills and exposed me to the ability of being able to explain a project to somebody else. In week five, I invested over ten hours in Power BI training. My supervisor explained to me the kind of visual depictions he had in mind and I got to work. Coming up with the diagrams proved to be very challenging at first. However, I managed to pull through by staying patient, consulting from the training videos I had access to, and constantly asking questions.
The sixth and seventh week of my time at FidusFi was undeniably exciting. The company was launching a new branch in Puerto Rico. In addition, the company was shifting to a new customer relations management platform (CRM) as well as rebranding its website. To prepare for the launch of FidusFi Puerto Rico, I worked closely with my supervisor – the company president. We worked on numerous projects including scheduling meetings, creating marketing emails, following leads, and researching COVID-19 restrictions in Puerto Rico. Towards the end of the week, my supervisor travelled to Puerto Rico and successfully spearheaded the launch of the FidusFi branch.
The very next week, I attended a meeting with a staff member from HubSpot – the provider of the CRM system we had selected . During the meeting, I was assigned numerous tasks associated with setting up the software. In addition to that, I had to apply what I had learned working on Fiverr by communicating with the company website developer on what rebranding was needed for the new website. Working on these projects not only introduced me to the world of marketing but also showed me what goes into planning an event.
I was filled with an enormous feeling of accomplishment by week eight. It was indeed astonishing to see how fast time had elapsed since the beginning of my internship.
During my last week on the job, I was assigned to work with the company controller. Together, we created an asset to liabilities balance sheet and visuals depicting the data. We later had meetings with my supervisor in which we discussed the ‘story’ of the company based on the data. We also created a forecast depicting the kind of numbers the company expects in the future.
Throughout my internship, I was able to apply the quantitative skills I have thus learned in both my calculus and introductory statistics and econometrics classes. I certainly experienced challenges while on the job but I am glad that I was surrounded by teammates who were always available to help. My eight-week learning experience at FidusFi is certainly one that has helped me grow professionally.