How Abel looks back to his internship at element61

(written by Abel Kempynck - element61 Trainee in 2022)

Abel Kempynck

Who are you and what are your educational goals?

I’m Abel Kempynck, a third bachelor student Business Engineering at KU Leuven. When I saw the set of opportunities for my follow-up master studies, my attention immediately went to Data Science and Business Analytics. However, to be somewhat more sure of my choice, I wanted to gain some experience in this field already.

What did your internship look like? What did you do exactly?

My assignment was to design a data quality dashboard in BI Tool Qlik from merging CRM source systems NetSuite and HubSpot. I developed a full ETL process for the CRM systems and in the process encountered technologies and methods such as API extractions, ODBC connections, dimensional data modelling, data warehousing and many more. As a result, I was able to get a lot of hands-on experience with some of the latest data analytics techniques.

For the dashboard design phase, I sat down a lot with the business users to discuss their business requirements. This gave me the chance to adopt and explore the consultant mindset and to go over my dashboard from a business value perspective.

How did you experience the contact with the team of element61?

The Qlik team is very experienced and equally passionate about their craft. Everyone was very approachable and engaged in my work. Never experiencing any barrier to pose anyone questions has helped me tremendously in my learning journey and allowed me to pick up new things very quickly.

What is your biggest take-away from the internship?

What I mainly take away is the many aspects involved in working in a professional environment. For example, how to approach partners/management best when preparing, planning and conducting meetings so that they are productive and valuable. Furthermore, developing the skill to ask the right questions to arrive at very specific business requirements that you can immediately start working with. Also, thinking creatively about additional features of your developed product which the business did not immediately ask for, but which you consider important and valid and being able to sell this to them too.

These are all skills that are more or less essential to become a competent consultant/employee, yet you can only learn from work experience and you certainly won't learn these in school.

What do you want to share with any future students considering an internship at element61?

If you are a student looking for an internship with an interest in gaining practical experience on business analytics or data science topics, I would strongly recommend to choose element61. Their senior team gave me the chance to learn a lot and they’re all easy to talk to. Also, besides the experience I gained from the internship, I got additional benefits like taking home two official Qlik certificates and being allowed to participate in their in-house dimensional data modelling course for which I am very grateful.
To conclude, I believe that an internship at element61 will give you the necessary skills and fine-tuning in addition to your academic knowledge to be well prepared for your future professional career!