Work experience can be quite a daunting prospect for many teenagers, especially if they have no prior experience in either that field, or work in general. Yet, I was always incredibly interested in tech businesses and start up culture in general so when the opportunity arose to do work experience at Codex Edge, right away, I jumped on it. This is what I learned.
Walking into the office, I was instantly greeted with inviting and comforting faces, one of whom was Daniel, the Office Administrator. He offered me a tour first of the office, and then of the whole building complex, with a particularly enthusiastic description of the food and canteen options available to all the office users. After this, I went through a short verification process to set up my new access card.
After the tour de office finished, I was sat down with the people I would be working closely with for the upcoming week. They took the time to carefully, yet simply break down the internal workings of Atlas, their legal search engine.
With the introductory session complete, I was given my first task – completing lawyers profiles. To my surprise, a lot of the information about a lawyer’s journey was conflicting so I had to be very critical with the data I collected. This allowed me to practice my critical analysis skills, which will always come in handy, but especially during my university application due this October. As a whole, the first day went smoothly and I was left with a good impression, excited for what would come next.
Second day disaster
I went back to the office the following day, eager to learn more but upon entering the office, my entry card kept getting declined. My thoughts began racing and I thought maybe the first day didn’t go as well as I thought, and my placement had been cancelled after one day of work. However after a quick chat with the receptionist it turned out to be just a minor error with the verification process that caused the card to not work. After the initial scare, I continued with the previous task for the following two or three days, with the occasional support in times of doubt from Paulius, the Head of Product and Customer Success.
Overall, I was very surprised with the friendly atmosphere in the office, as I was previously led to believe that an office was a sort of semi-hostile environment where one mistake would lead to redundancy. On the contrary, the team at Codex Edge were very quick to dismiss this idea and show how in their case, this was very far from the truth and, instead it is all about support.
The learning curve gets steeper
By the time Thursday came along, the difficulty of the tasks increased requiring me to further apply critical analysis, but now with investigative components. The research skills that were necessary became tougher as the information became less concise. Friday was also similar with the only exception being that I was introduced to a new approach to sorting data. And just like that, my first week at Codex Edge had finished with me gaining a much more solid understanding in data analysis.
After a two-day break, I came back on Monday, where I was introduced to SQL databases which was a very eye-opening experience as this was the first time I had been properly shown how data is sorted on a large scale. Having been given a run-down on the basics, it was time for me to use Excel to do some data computing. I knew of the importance of developing your Excel skills, and couldn’t be more grateful to have had someone like Paulius take the time to walk me through this.
Probably the hardest part of the work experience was using the Excel formulas because I had never been exposed to these new formulas so it took some time to get used to their functions and how to use them correctly. Overall, I think learning how Excel formulas are used and large data sets can be sorted via the program was the most interesting part of doing work experience at Codex Edge because I had to find my own solutions to problems, instead of following an established template. I see how valuable this experience is and will most definitely be a great tool for my EPQ.
Atlas has over 66,000 lawyers in its database, and many of them practise law from very obscure parts of England. This was an intimidating prospect when locating them, because I hadn’t studied Geography since Year 9, however with the help of Google, this problem was overcome relatively simply.
Steering away from the more work-related subjects, lunch was a very surprising experience for me. I expected a sort of school-style lunch regime with strict timetabling, but the reality was very different as I was allowed to leave to eat when I wanted, and come back within a reasonable time. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the biscuits on the kitchen counter were free.
The commute to work and back was eye opening as well. However, luckily Codex Edge were kind enough to sort my working hours around the off-peak times so that the train fares were cheaper, a very nice touch on their part, and my sleeping schedule thanks them for this.
A wonderful experience
I would like to thank the whole team at Codex Edge who were all there for me whenever I had any questions, doubts and uncertainties. This has proved to be a very useful and informative experience and I have learned and developed so many new skills that will be without a doubt, very helpful further on in the future.