Reflection on My Internship and What’s Next for Me

If the reader in currently in their penultimate year at university then I cannot emphasise enough that they find out about the Saltire Programme to see if they would be a good fit and apply soon!

Hello and welcome to the final entry of my blog. It’s been just over a week since my final day at Craneware, and after 13 weeks as the Innovation Team’s Product Analyst Intern it now feels strange not being a part of the 10:30am stand-up every morning. In this entry I want to talk a little about the main goals I wanted to achieve while I was at Craneware (check out blog entry number 3!) and reflect on how this internship will help me as I begin my final year at the University of Strathclyde.

Goals

At the start of this internship I had three core goals in mind which I wanted to work towards over this summer: adopt responsibility; achieve professional and personal growth; and have a meaningful impact. These goals are life-long and I doubt there will ever be a point where I am ‘done’ trying to achieve them, but they are especially pertinent to my role as a Saltire Scholar and I am glad to say I made great progress with each of them.

By the end of week one I could see that I wouldn’t have to worry about a lack of responsibility. As a quick reminder, Craneware create a range of software for US healthcare providers that help them improve their margins and promote optimal value for their patients – an offering that is paramount to businesses in a complex industry facing incredibly challenging economic, political, and market pressures. Safe to say I was concerned about making a mistake that would hinder the process of developing new products; but as each week went by, I became increasingly willing to take on more and contribute, in turn became more confident and competent. I was eventually agreeing to work on projects where I knew I was out of my depth and catching up as fast as I could – forcing me to manage my time better and learn quickly!

Being able to make valued contributions and have a lasting impact mattered to me personally and is one of the main reasons I applied to the Saltire Programme. This of course could not have been possible without Craneware having the confidence in their interns to take on an important role in their team with real responsibility, and I can now proudly say the work I did this summer will help the Innovation Team going forward. One of my personal goals over this period was to speak with as many people as I could and listen to different perspectives, which I was able to do by living with two Americans, talking with my team and the other interns every day, and striking up a conversation with anybody in the breakroom while I was getting a coffee (which was pretty often).

Going Forward

Having had the chance to see how Artificial Intelligence can be used to identify patterns and trends in large data sets that could help healthcare providers mitigate revenue loss has given me a little more insight into real, innovative uses of data that can provide new insights for solving important problems. Before this internship I was already interested in the incredible potential that AI has for positive change, and now I am excited to take a more practical approach during my final year of my undergraduate degree before focussing entirely on this technology next year.

Additionally, spending more time practicing self-guided research to understand US healthcare, the software development process using an agile methodology, and the data we used will certainly be useful as I begin my research project with the Health Protection and Improvement with Operational Research (HAPIOR) team; and constantly working towards solving client problems will help me when acting as a consultant for a local business this year.

Thank You

I’d like to thank Craneware for providing their interns the opportunity to do work that really matters, and to every employee who was more than willing to answer my (many) questions. I’ll miss everybody I got to know this summer, particularly the incredibly talented Innovation Team. Of course, I would not have been able to do this without Entrepreneurial Scotland partnering with these great companies and generous individuals sponsoring Saltire Scholars to work in different countries around the world, so I really do owe a lot to the team at Entrepreneurial Scotland and my sponsor, Ian Walker, for making this possible. To make a start on giving back, I’m happy to say I’ll be a Saltire Scholar Brand Ambassador for this upcoming academic year, where I hope to raise more awareness of Scotland’s growing network of entrepreneurial individuals.

If the reader in currently in their penultimate year at university then I cannot emphasise enough that they find out about the Saltire Programme to see if they would be a good fit and apply soon! I hope I’ve managed to give every reader an idea of what it’s like being a Saltire Scholar, working in software, and living in another country. It has been a pleasure.

Thanks for reading,

Ben.

 

Want to get in touch or connect with me to learn more about me, the Saltire Programme, or anything else?

Email: benlitherland619@gmail.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-litherland/

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