Placement Experience Blog

My name is Osaze and I’m a third year International Business Management student currently undertaking a placement year at the GSMA. I am half way through my year in industry having already completed six months and I can definitely say it has been a truly exhilarating experience so far! I’m sure many of you in second year are contemplating whether to apply for a placement or not. Some of you will be putting off completing that long application form which seems to go on for an eternity. Hopefully, this blog will encourage you to persevere and get those applications completed!

My Placement in Central London

Truth be told, before applying I wasn’t overly familiar with the GSMA. I knew they were in the mobile network industry without fully understanding their role – are they a company which sells expertise or products? To put it in layman terms, the GSMA are a membership association which acts in the interests of mobile network operators. They act as sort of like an agency to mobile operators worldwide as well as other players in the broader mobile ecosystem (e.g. mobile phone manufacturers such as Huawei or Samsung). With offices around the world, I work at the HQ in London (Bank/Cannon Street).

At the GSMA, I am the programme intern for the Future Networks Programme. Future Networks, one of GSMA’s three major industry programmes, focuses on three main streams: the development and innovation of 5G, the implementation of RCS (Rich Communication Services) & Network Economics which focuses on operators achieving economic optimisation of their networks with the transformative capabilities of RCS and 5G. Sounds very technical but over time it becomes a lot easier to understand!

My Responsibilities & Projects

My role is programme orientated meaning I focus more on supporting the delivery of projects across the team. This involves working alongside the PMO (Project Management Office) ensuring all projects are tracked and accounted for in the form of a spreadsheet we call the Deliverables Tracker –  this also means improving my Excel skills. I am also responsible for monitoring and managing programme finances which includes finding suppliers and raising purchase orders as well as being in charge of organising fortnightly team meetings.

Fortunately, I have also had the chance to work on a number of projects in our Network Economics stream. Within my first week, I was thrown into the deep end to work on a project which involved creating/updating a database (Network Vendor Directory) containing details on companies who specialise in three key areas (energy efficiency, backhaul optimisation & infrastructure sharing). With this, I then used the newly collated data to update an innovation heat map showing the key trends and hotspots. I recently co-wrote a blog post regarding the heat map, which is now live on the organisation website! You can read it here.

My Chance to Attend Events

The fact that the last six months have flown by, probably symbolises that I’m thoroughly enjoying my time at the GSMA. Though I have been fortunate to attend a few outings thus far, namely the Huawei Mobile BB Forum Launch at the London Excel in November, I am thoroughly looking forward to MWC 2019 in Barcelona at the end of February. The GSMA organises the event, which is the mobile industry’s largest annual exhibition and conference. Though I will be working, I’m sure it will be an experience to cherish. Without doubt, I will be sure to let you all know how that went down sometime in March!