Catherine is leaving. How was her internship?

by Vivien, on the 20th March 2018

Catherine at work

Catherine at work

After 5 months working with us, Catherine Bailey just finished her internship. She was a very helpful and dependable part of the team, with lots of energy, a great team spirit … and a large appetite!

Funny enough, she inadvertently became the face of Platform, Leeds new tech incubator (where we are based) on one of their promotional prospectus.

We asked Catherine to write a few lines on her experience, and — as often with her work — that turned up into something a bit more in-depth than expected.

Catherine, the team is wishing you the best in your future work! You’ll be missed.

Catherine’s statement at the end of her internship

On completion of my legal studies at The University of Law in Leeds and before starting my training contract as a commercial solicitor, I wanted to spend some of my gap year gaining more experience of working in a high performance technology-focused business. I particularly wanted to see first-hand how such enterprises functioned, the intellectual content of the work and the skills that produced a successful business.

My internship in Driad was as an intern assisting two dynamic and welcoming consultants who were supporting innovation in High Technology SMEs. These scientifically trained specialists (one in Chemistry and the other one in Chemical Biology) shared their experience and knowledge with me, providing constructive feedback on the grant applications I was writing for their clients. They were very open and collaborative and often asked for my opinion when proofreading their work. I found the latter very stimulating and helpful as it made me feel part of the team as well as familiarising me on what our goals were.

It provided great insights into commercial practices needed in technology-based businesses and allowed me to develop and enhance various skills such as researching and analysing data, and drafting in French. It deepened my understanding of how high technology startups distinguished themselves from their competitors. I learnt that it was important to select information carefully in order to decide what was relevant in an application and how to use words strategically to describe a startup’s innovative project.  

In addition, I also enjoyed taking part in other professional development activities within the consultancy business. This ranged from reading articles in the Harvard Business Review to  researching the issues created by electronic waste for a potential article in Inovell.io, attending a workshop on the General Data Protection Regulation, updating Driad’s client information spreadsheet, and contributing to Driad’s marketing activities.

Driad is based in the innovative co-working space and tech incubator based in Platform. Owned and managed by property development business Bruntwood, this was an ideal environment for a consultancy business like Driad. It provided an opportunity to see how such environments worked and to meet a wide range of other tech businesses and experts. There were weekly social events that offered both learning and networking opportunities. My favourite events were: the Founders’ Network Summit in Sheffield and trying out different restaurants in town!

The whole experience helped me develop professionally and personally. It also provided familiarity and direct experience of the type of impacts that artificial intelligence, technology and innovation will make in transforming legal advice, which will help me work in an international law firm embracing such changes. The technical expertise and know-how that I have gained during this placement will definitely make me feel more confident and knowledgeable in approaching and advising clients in IT, the health tech, the media tech, the ad tech and the fin tech sectors.

Catherine Bailey, March 20th 2018