Description and Self-Reflection on Summer Internship

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I started my internship with BNC Network on the 15th of July 2018. I worked as a Research Associate in the Research Analysis Department. Part of my job was to perform market research, data analysis and data entry and reporting and cold calling. My supervisor Ms. Noopur Challa provided a document, which included a list of companies and its associated employees. My task was to get the contacts verified through the means of primary and secondary sources. I gathered information through primary source, by making cold calls. I used to make 200+ cold calls a day. When contacting a company, I would enquire about a certain employee and verify their employee status. Also, verify contacts through secondary source, by searching an employee either on LinkedIn or the company’s website. After collecting information from various sources, came the step to validate the data. BNC has a system called Synergy which is a custom developed operations management system that includes modules for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Workflow Management for Research and Data Processing of construction related information, Compliance Management and Document Management in accordance with ISO 9001, and reporting.In compliance with the company's data policy and standards, and using the information which was gathered, I would update the company’s profile on Synergy. Such as if an employee who no longer works with the stated company, would be marked as ‘inactive’, and those who still work with company, I would add an interaction that this contact has been verified as ‘active’.

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After making calls to various company for employment verification, I would update the status of each employee accordingly in the ‘Verification Status’ column.Other than updating the status of existing employees within a company, I was also tasked to add new contacts and authenticate the acquired details of each employee. For instance, if a company hires a project manager, then I would inquire about a certain employee and add them as a new contact on the system.

In the Research Analysis Department, there are various teams who are assigned different tasks. Construction Progress updates are tracked throughout the construction life-cycle. In addition to updates from the industry, a team visits thousands of construction sites every month for first hand verification and provide site pictures as part of their project reports. The site pictures along with details about the project are later posted on BNC AIR App by the Research team. Another task given was to acquire vital project details. I was provided with a document, which included a list of companies who were either the main and MEP consultants, and main and MEP contractors for various ongoing projects. I had to contact the companies and enquire details of the projects handled by them. I made calls and acquired information such as name of the Project Manager of the project and after getting the information I would add those contacts in the system under the company associated with a certain project. All this interaction was added according to the information I received. The five stages of a project are concept stage, design stage, tender stage, on hold and under construction. Based on the data I was provided with, I would inquire about projects to know what stage a project is currently in, and then updated projects on Synergy in accordance to all project details which was gathered.

Data Cleansing, a task that was assigned in which I identified incomplete and inaccurate data about various companies and edited the profile of those companies. Company’s details such as the phone number, e-mail id, address of the company and website address would be inaccurate or incomplete on the system. I completed my task by gathering all the required information and carried out a research and found the necessary information about a company. Then updated the company’s profile on the Synergy system and deleted any inaccurate data. When a project is identified, the research team tracks it throughout its life-cycle till it reaches completion. We worked as a team and scheduled dates including the date of main and MEP design contract award, the tender release and closing dates, the main and MEP construction contract award, and the projects estimated completion date.The key companies we tracked included project owners, main and MEP consultants, and main and MEP contractors. For both main and MEP contracting tender we also identified bidders and as a project progressed through construction various other sub-contractors were also identified.

Synergy and AIR are both connected, changes made to a company’s profile on synergy such as adding new contact, editing and verifying company details and project updates, would get posted on AIR. In the Research Analysis Department, a senior quality analyst reviews project and company information in accordance with quality standards prior to approving and posting online. Subscribers to AIR can view the details about the company on the app, depending on how many credits they have. They can view limited number of information based on that. I also had the opportunity to work with the project hotline team and was responsible of handling customer complaints, providing appropriate solutions and alternatives within the time limits. Providing clients with accurate, valid and complete information and keeping records of customer interactions.

A training session was conducted by Lynn Peter, the training specialist who gave a brief overview of the BNC AIR App. She discussed that BNC AIR App users and subscribers can view the daily updates of projects. They can follow up on the construction progress and can view details of each project and can connect with Developers, Consultants & Contractors across the MENA region. After the training session, we had an ice-breaking session. During this session we had the opportunity to get to know each other and we discussed our views on the construction intelligence and presented our views and ideas on how ‘BNC AIR App’ product can be improved. On the third week of my internship, a meeting was held with Avin Gidwani, the CEO of BNC Network, who discussed that technology for information sharing, big data processing, artificial intelligence will have a lot of impact on the construction industry in the coming years. He also spoke about how construction intelligence empowers people with unprecedented transparency and significantly increases sales and marketing efficiencies. The market research conducted for the construction sector helps the construction industry save time on lead generation and project tracking to stay focused on selling instead of research. Also, saves money on advertising, marketing, market research, trade shows and business travel to minimize decision making risks with verified intelligence. Lastly be able to win projects to connect with key companies and people and create substantiated budgets with more accurate forecasts. Learning ExperienceI acquired a great deal of learning experience at BNC Network. I grasped the opportunity I had to work with BNC Network, and applied the skills I’ve accomplished throughout my coursework. Course such as, Principles of Marketing provided me with an understanding of the basic procedures, steps and techniques of conducting a market research. I gained experience in the research market and learned the way how each step of the market research is carried out. From defining the problem, to collecting and analyzing data and to reporting and presenting the research findings. Each of these steps helped me understand how I can achieve the objectives of the organization, and that to succeed in this business world conducting a market research is essential.

Acquired firsthand experience of working with data analyst and learned how to use specialized analysis tools and techniques. Understood how front-line market insights can be obtained, and how the data acquired about market is presented to managers that helps them increase their business productivity. I was acquired the skills to analyse the causes of certain events based on data findings. The environment at BNC Network is quite relaxed, yet it taught me how to behave in the workplace. Observing the everyday events in the company taught me more about teamwork, and how people can come together to get things done. After completing this internship, I got the exposure to new and interesting professional situations.

I spent majority of my time making cold calls and had to contact various companies daily. Business Communication, a course in which I learnt about the basic skills of communicating with an individual in person or over the phone helped me a lot and I was able to apply those skills at the work environment. A thorough research about the company needs to be done before making a call and should have a clear understanding of the information which is being acquired. The more calls I made, the more resilient I became. I gained a new sense of professionalism and a clearer view of what it meant to be in the professional world. ConclusionAt its current rate of growth, the BNC Network is envisaged to become the region's largest BNC industry project database and the primary source of Middle East project information to companies globally as it allows comprehensive analysis and monitoring of the region's construction industry. The internship with BNC Network was throughout a great learning experience. I would like to give my sincere thanks to my faculty supervisor, Mr. Zulfiqar Memon, for his guidance and constant supervision as well as for providing necessary information regarding the internship report. I am thankful for being given the opportunity to work in a market research company for the construction sector. I learned a lot during my short period spent there, and I also got a chance to build a network of contacts. My experience there, has taught me to act professionally at tough situations, and has also helped me develop personal and social skills. I look forward to implementing the skills that I have acquired to achieve my career goals and aspirations. I look forward to implementing the skills that I acquired, and I aim to expand my career farther.

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