Anna Gibson recently undertook a four week internship at MIS having completed a Geography BSc undergraduate degree at The University of Edinburgh. In this interview, Anna talks about the benefits of her internship, the breadth of issues that she got involved in at MIS and her key takeaways as she moves on to her MSc in Environmental Technology later this month.
Having recently finished your Bachelor of Science degree, what area(s) are you focusing on in your upcoming Masters?
I thoroughly enjoyed my Geography BSc undergraduate degree, where I could explore a wide range of modules from meteorology, glaciation, and climate change to social, economic and political geography. A particular module covering Natural Hazards sparked my interest in tsunami risk and vulnerability. This led to my dissertation research where I modelled the worst-case scenario tsunami event and the projected inundation and community impact in Seattle, which was nominated for the Royal Geographical Society’s Planning and Environment (PERG) prize.
My focus will shift from catastrophe risk to environmental economics and policy once I start my MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College. I am specifically enrolled in the Global Environmental Policy and Change stream as I would like to understand how issues surrounding climate change are being tackled from a global perspective. Studying this important topic at the same time as the international COP26 event in November will bring my interests to life.
Do you have a particular career path in mind?
I am unsure exactly, but I know that it will involve my key interests in either climate change and/or catastrophe risk within either the consulting or insurance industries.
What particularly interested you in an internship with MIS?
When applying for internships in my penultimate year of university, I struggled to find a company that aligned with my core interests in physical geography. When I came across MIS, their overall purpose and use of geospatial analysis and imagery sounded extremely interesting.
What sorts of issues and projects have you been involved in during your time with MIS?
When I started, MIS’ new product GEO was about to be launched and I was asked to identify any issues and suggest ideas to improve the product. My work moved on to researching the definition of a high impact event in the insurance sector, and investigating what factors contribute to the classification of a Lloyd’s CAT code. My final project was to map the journey of an MIS client, resulting in future portfolio insight suggestions. I was also able to highlight the need for a tsunami response framework in the future.
What were the highlights and key takeaways from your internship?
As my first experience of the workplace, I could not have asked for a more rewarding experience. Highlights included meeting with international satellite suppliers, being exposed to the backend coding that has generated GEO from scratch, and analysing client data with members of the product team. Presenting to heads of departments about the ‘Lifecycle of an MIS client’ was a rewarding and useful experience, combining everything I’ve learnt personally and professionally.
I am extremely grateful to have been able to witness the rapid and exciting growth of a start-up in the early stages of its journey, and to be involved with every aspect of the company. My time at MIS has enabled me to envision how my interests and skills can positively impact a business. A key takeaway would be that working for a start-up would interest me in the future.
If you had one piece of advice for anyone thinking about an internship, what would this be?
To not be daunted by the high-pressure process of online applications, but to put yourself out there and get in touch with a company, whether by email or through their website, that aligns with your interests and personal values.