09 Feb 23
My first 3 weeks at Rockborne
Adam Copestake

It has been three weeks since I joined Rockborne and I am thoroughly enjoying my experience here.

I have a background in mathematics, having studied for a master’s at the University of Birmingham, but I had no prior experience in data analysis. Rockborne’s mission is to bridge the gap between university and the workplace and so my lack of experience was not a concern.

I knew a STEM background was not required but was still pleasantly surprised by the variety of degrees studied by those in my cohort, everything from neuroscience to the history of art, and it has made for an interesting and diverse mix of people who have gelled as friends very quickly. The workplace is very relaxed and everyone is very social – Thursday evenings often involve a beer or two while playing UNO or Mario Kart in the common room after work, not something I expected from my first-grad job!

After the onboarding on day 1, the first two weeks at Rockborne were all about Excel. We spent the first week studying the different functions and tools that are available in the software before in week 2 being thrown straight into a small but challenging project on analysing a dataset based on UK traffic data. This came with the challenge of not only analysing the data itself but then collating and presenting my findings to my cohort and data coaches, something which was quite daunting having never done anything like this before.

Naturally, I was a bit shaky but throughout the following weeks, we partook in multiple ‘soft skill’ workshops focussing on presenting skills, communicating with colleagues and managing workplace relationships. These have had a noticeable effect on both my and my cohort’s presenting skills and talking to an audience is no longer the daunting task it was only 3 weeks ago.

The third week brought us to SQL and database architectures. This has been the most challenging content so far, having been given different scenario briefs and being tasked with designing a database to store all the necessary information. We are currently halfway through our SQL project; after designing our databases this week, next week will see us trying (and hopefully succeeding) to implement them in PostgreSQL, a server-based database management system widely used in the industry. The projects offered on the Rockborne course are a useful and accurate reflection of real-world tasks and stand us in good stead for transitioning to working for clients after training.

Overall, my first three weeks at Rockborne have been an exciting and challenging experience. I have learned a lot about data and have been able to apply what I have learned to real-life projects as well as developing my self-confidence and presentation. I have also formed great relationships with my colleagues and trainers and I’m looking forward to what the remaining 10 weeks of training hold.

Find out more about the Rockborne graduate programme here.

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