A final week at RIG

Six weeks working at RIG have flown by, which I imagine is unusual for a first experience of professional life. My introduction to the work environment has given me a new range of knowledge, from making use of excel keyboard shortcuts, through to understanding how to use the office buzzer. I also learned how to write as fast as humanly possible while making call notes verbatim. LinkedIn and CrunchBase have become loves of mine. I was eventually prompted to take the plunge and create my own LinkedIn account. The things I have learned have not just been work-related; working at RIG has also given me the opportunity to get to know Holborn better. I have now perfected the art of efficient commuting. I am well-versed on knowing exactly which tube carriage to choose, making my commute as fast as possible.

I was struck during my work by the diversity of early-stage UK-based technology companies and it has been really exciting to see companies that have the potential to transform certain industries in the future. Even now, I have turned on notifications on my home computer for news about the 3D printing industry. A highlight for me has been taking part in company calls, where I have had the chance to hear experts in their field describe what their company does. Near the end of my internship, I introduced a call with a client whom I had initially contacted – this was extremely rewarding.

The market validation work I have been doing has certainly given a new-found relevance to my Natural Sciences degree. Reading about agricultural technology companies that are transforming crop yields or solving human health problems has given me a different outlook to my plant sciences lectures at university last year. This commercial insight will stay with me.

On top of widening my awareness of the scientific world, I have learned a lot throughout my internship about how venture capital works. I now know much more about the arena of CVCs and family offices and I have gone from never having read an annual report in my life to using figures such as net, operating and gross profit. I can proudly say that I now know what acronyms like EBITDA and GAAP mean. I have been struck by how international venture capital investment is, with venture capital firms rarely being restricted to investments in one country.

In the context of the climate strike which took place in London last week, hearing the team describe some of their circular economy and decarbonisation-focused clients has given me a lot of hope for a future. I learned about a lot of very cutting-edge companies, who are driven by renewable energy technology and motivated to find new ways to reuse waste.

Companies with novel and exciting scientific technologies have a truly global reach and there are lots of people in the team with the ability to speak foreign languages. This has prompted me to finally sign up to take German language lessons next year; a skill which I am sure will be valuable in the future.

I am really grateful to the RIG team for being so kind to me – it has been a great six weeks!

First week at my RIG internship

After reading these intern blogs singing RIG’s praises on the website myself, my first week at RIG has luckily completely lived up to expectations. It’s been full-on in the best way possible, in a blur of learning about everything from how 3D printing is used for gas turbine parts, to how to take meeting notes and research potential clients,  to how to set up a laptop and even (importantly) being taught how to use a cafetière for the first time.

The team at RIG are all immensely hardworking and have a breadth of knowledge about their clients, despite being ‘generalists’ who become specialised in a certain field very quickly. They are also funny, welcoming and friendly, and happy to offer advice and show how they do things, with James and Ellie inviting me to see them make a client call an hour into my first day. And they treat their interns well; even though it’s my first week, I’ve apparently been given the nicest laptop in the office!

On the first day I was also given information about two companies I would be working with, both very different and exciting. The first is an alloy-making company that makes parts for a variety of companies, and the second is a company with water-purifying technology that seems to have a huge potential for transforming a variety of markets, from agriculture to the swimming pool industry. I spent time reading about what these companies do, which was really interesting but meant that I needed to learn a lot of definitions! By the second day, I was reading a business plan, learning still more jargon, and was taken by Simon into a client meeting with the water-purifying company, where I learnt still more technical words and figures.

Since then I have been doing market validation, researching potential clients for the first company and looking at the size of the market in different countries for the other. Although this week has had the potential to be overwhelming, the warmth and helpfulness of everyone in the office has meant that it’s been really exciting, and I can’t wait for more time at RIG!