In the course of the three months, I had the great luck of working with professionals in the business industry in Albania, working as a Data Analyst. This was all made possible due to the hard work of Center for Career Excellence at St. Lawrence University and the generous donations of Jennifer W. Knowles ’89 and Robert M. Knowles P’21, ’23, ’25 Internship Fund. This experience gave me strong foundation in the work setting allowing me to create a wide network of connections in the business arena of Albania.
One of the first things I learned in a very short time was creating data driven financial reports using python, R and SQL showing the quarterly progress of the company and also the data visualization of the monthly sales and achievements. The hand-on experience in different data analytics tools and software, was crucial in terms of applying the academic knowledge I gained at school in a practical environment, especially in terms of gaining competitive advantage in a part of the industry that is absolutely relevant in the employment market.
Secondly, the constant feedback from professionals in this field gave me a good sense of how business and companies work in terms of trends and also the different responses people have to different campaigns and innovations. In other words, there was a lot of small details related towards investment and the risk management that I could not learn unless I worked with people who have a lifetime dedicated to understanding unconventional responses of humans and analyzing trends in Data. One of the most important projects I worked on this matter was analyzing the risks of possible expansions in terms of acquiring exclusivity of an Italian brand in Albania.
Thirdly, I have been abroad for the past 4 years starting with Japan and now the United Sates and my only work experience have been in these two countries, which are quite similar in terms of work culture and hustling so going to my home country to work in Data Analysis I was kind of nervous of what work environment I would be facing especially in terms of communication which is very important in any job that involves other people. So, the change in scenery made me adapt to a whole new work environment where the quality of work was more important than the volume. Due to how used I was to work in different work environments, I had to learn how to communicate in a manner that was more direct and less in hurry due to how people perceived work and work relations to be, especially with how much in a hurry I was to finish everything given to me.
All in all, this internship was not simply a way to learn necessary skills needed to work in this field, but a way to explore the work culture and hidden secrets of business from up-close while developing a very strong network of connections.