As we get closer to the final presentation to the C-suite, the pressure is on since this is one of the most important customers in the Middle East. In previous weeks, research on several sites was performed using internal audits which required a lot of manipulation in Excel where once again Visual Basic programming saved me a lot of manual labor. I generated graphs to showcase the distribution of users and volumes on several spots across Dubai where Ericsson technology was deployed previously. After generating dozens of graphs, it was time to create master PowerPoint. Even though the analysis part was over, it was very challenging to fit two months of research and analysis into a 45-minute presentation, and on top of that still have the CTO and CMO not fall asleep. The hardest part of the PowerPoint creation was deciding which parts of the analysis should be included and which ones were to be excluded. My mentor and I created the master PowerPoint and headed over to the Abu Dhabi office with several other colleagues to meet the Key Account Manager (the main person responsible for the relationship with the client). While my mentor presented our slides, I sat there just hoping there were no mistakes that none of us saw before. Luckily, the presentation was very good overall and the KAM was very pleased with the multi-site analysis that I had performed in the past weeks.
I will be leaving Dubai soon with a lot of very nice memories tied to the city, but more importantly many important lessons about my future career, meeting tight deadlines and navigating through corporate life.
I did not let long working hours prevent me from enjoying the benefits of Dubai and warm weather (as you can see in the picture above – one of the sunsets with the Dubai skyline). One may notice that here everything is in progress, as if the authorities decided to build the city yesterday since numerous projects across Dubai are flourishing. Nowhere else I have I seen such harmony between contemporary style and the local culture. Dubai is a vibrant city with many things to do, especially in the evening.
Moroccan tea was one of the major discoveries and a favorite activity to relax after work (the best one that I tried was at the City Walk cafe, shall you ever visit). Since it is the month of Ramadan, it was very hard to notice many people on the streets – on top of that, Dubai isn’t the most popular destination in the summer due to its high temperatures – but it was very nice to walk around in a non-congested city meeting different people, mostly expats in their late 20s working in Dubai. One of the most interesting feelings was going to The Palm and while driving down to the one of the hotels for tea, imagining that several years ago the place I was driving on was nothing but ocean. All in all, Dubai has a very healthy, positive vibe, with a lot of energy originating from the young minded people populating it.
Getting out of the plane at 11 pm, a heat wave strikes. Typical of Dubai, I thought, but it was only 34 degrees Celsius. Soon I will discover that 45 would be something much more appropriate for Dubai. Below you can observe The Galleries at Downtown Jebel Ali where the Ericsson Dubai offices are. An interesting part about the Ericsson office is that there are no assigned tables but rather everyone is welcome to take any spot every morning which greatly enhances an open corporate culture that facilitates sharing and collaborative work.
My first day at the office, briefing with my mentor and straight to work, consulting in a nutshell, I thought. Research on pricing that I have done previously needed to be expressed through graphs and put into PowerPoint until the end of the day. I thought that would be easy. What’s a bit of Excel manipulation and PowerPoint? I did it so many times at Brandeis before. But alas, the required graph was nothing close to what I have seen before, so Lynda.com came in as a great resource to learn Visual Basic and a bit of programming that was of great use throughout the entire internship. In the coming days, my mentor gave me a fast course in working with cash flow statements and how to analyze them, along with an introduction to Ericsson-specific technology and basic information on how it works. I won’t lie, I was so happy that I had a good physics teacher in high school who enabled me to grasp the concepts much faster and perform the analysis more efficiently. After learning about cash flow analysis, it was time to perform the forecast and update the business model which was used to estimate the revenues from specific technology installed on-site. Forecasts are always very hard for anyone since they include many assumptions, but with right data and many years of working in field, my mentor’s model was very accurate in predicting which sites needed to be updated and with what technology. This is yet another time when previous learning of Visual Basic was more than welcome.
The first part of my summer internship working as a Business Analyst for Ericsson began with a long explanation of what needs to be done before I arrive to the office at the end of the month. First things first, Ericsson is a company with 100,000 employees spread across the globe whose primary business is production and implementation of telecommunications radio equipment. Ericsson worked with most of the carriers you are very familiar with to enable you to read this blog using their LTE technology, for example. As setting up an antenna with radio equipment isn’t cheap, business cases need to be developed for almost each and every spot where the carrier thinks it would be beneficial to provide coverage. With no previous experience in the telecommunications industry, I was assigned to research two carriers and compare them on several criteria. The first part of the research was focusing on press releases and social media presence to determine the presence of both carriers and their interaction with the consumers. My mentor checks in with me once a week to set goals for the next week, discuss deliverables and explain the plan for the next part of the research. I’m really looking forward to meeting him in person in a few weeks.