This week we speak to James Gallagher, our incredibly talented sales and marketing executive. He joined Aveni in the summer and brings charm and positivity to the team! He is currently in his final year of university studying economics with finance. He has a passion for learning about systems and how to streamline the decision making process. James shares what he has learnt in the last 4 months and tells us what it takes to become a successful intern!
First off I would like to comment on the amazing experience I have had at Aveni. As soon as the gates opened I felt welcome and was given the opportunity to flourish in all disciplines. I came from a place of no professional experience and realised that it was the area I would grow the fastest in if given the opportunity. I did not, however , anticipate that rapidity would compound the trust to practise in areas foreign to myself and be a crucial part of the business.
Here are the 5 takeaways that I have learnt from my time that fully encapsulate my development:
Applying for jobs is a hard and time consuming process. Why? Because the firm wants to trust that you will be a hard working and a good natured individual. We forget to realise it is also hard for the firm to pick you too. So once you’re in, it is time to prove yourself by the fire. Take what you have been given; plan the work, carry it out diligently, and improve upon the process. If you mess up, claim it. If the work is easy, say it. If the work is hard, say it. The team needs you to complete a task, so feed back to them the ability for it to be done. This builds trust that you can and will make sure it gets done even if it takes help – humility is a virtue we forget but is always respected.
Aveni is a startup and does not stray from the beat of the startup drum. Work moves quickly, projects move quickly and sometimes most frustratingly ideas move quickly. A direction that was yesterday thought to be the best can be changed today which can mean throwing work in the bin. This means that I have leant to be able to have a flexible but firm grip. Quickly learning what is needed and communicating effectively how I shall be able to do that task.
3. Accepting failure as an opportunity
Every intern will question their ability. Imposter syndrome is natural. Humility, again, is a solid virtue for any student learning. Accepting that what you did could be a mess or just simply not very good is key. I already knew my creative pursuits in a visual sense have never been great and I was reminded of that while working. From time to time I may be needed to flex my visual artistic skills but I have also learnt to help the team in the areas of my strength, such as in writing, so as to free up others better at those tasks.
You may be a brilliant technical person with unmatched abilities but if you are not a very nice person, few will want to hire you. This of course is just obvious but it also extends to points we sometimes overlook. The technology sector has many contractors and, as in most industries, there is the casm like divide between engineering and business. An open ear to frustrations. A striving to go to the ever growing and draining online events are a good show of face. But nothing beats face to face. So if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity (like I have been) take it! Have lunch together, go on walks, etc. If you’re having fun while working and people enjoy your company then both of you will perform better.
The father of innovation is the question why? Why is this not working? Why is this process not more efficient? Why don’t we try this? When working we all have frustrations and realisations, ideas and revelations. Test ideas before you present (so you save time noticing quick failures) as far as you can but most of all voice them. It is a bit of a trade off. On one side, embarrassing failure, on the other, resounding success. But as Kahneman and Tversky found in their behavioural economics research “we feel losses more than we do gains”. Remember this so you can help overcome our universal fear and so succeed.
If you are reading this now I highly recommend you look at the careers page! I have honestly learnt all of this at Aveni. It is an amazing team doing something that is truly beneficial to all while also being of good economic value. I have been encouraged to build skills in every area of the company by simply just asking. If you are interested in the startup life of flexibility and learning this is the place to be!
If you are interested in intern-ing with us in the future then take a look at our careers pages for more information.
Or email us at careers@aveni with a cover letter and your CV