FAECTOR Research Project Internship - Marie-Sophie Graftiaux and Christina van Spaendonck

The FAECTOR Research Project is the most exciting international study trip that has been a longstanding event organised by the FAECTOR Research Project committee. This trip (actually more of a journey) is focused on ambitious third-year students of Econometrics (and fourth year BSc2 students) that are interested in widening and enriching the perspective of their study.

This study project consists of two parts. The first part is an internship at companies that are interesting for econometricians, which will be arranged by the FAECTOR Research Project Committee. Think about companies within logistics, finance or marketing like Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), de Nederlandse Bank and T-Mobile. When you apply for FAECTOR Research Project you mention your preferences for a specific field in your application. The committee will take all preferences into account when they select the students for the participating companies.

In this article, Marie-Sophie Graftiaux and  Christina van Spaendonck tell us a little bit more about their internship this year at T-Mobile. They are currently waiting to hear where they are going for the 2-3 week trip next summer. Previous destinations were Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Cape Town, Shanghai and New York.

We arrived at the main office with our econometrics book and zero practical knowledge

Dearest people, last month, we did an internship at the T-Mobile The Netherlands Consumer Marketing office in the Hague, as part of the FAECTOR Research Project. This was a new and exciting experience for both of us. The project that we were given, was a price-elasticity analysis of the sales of the GO bundles that were introduced in January 2017.

We arrived at the main office with our econometrics book and zero practical knowledge, thinking that we would be getting a lovely clean dataset and program in our beloved MATLAB. Little did we know, that both those assumptions were wrong. Our first observation: excel does not open large spreadsheets, which put us at square zero of understanding anything. Because of this, more than half of our internship was spent on cleaning this large dataset, cutting out observations, adding missing observations, and meanwhile learning the programming language R (which was new to us).

After hours of studying a billion different models and methods, we ended up using the very first model we ever learnt

Once our dataset was (relatively) usable and clean, we attempted to create a model. It was rather disappointing to find out, that after hours of studying a billion different models and methods, we ended up using the very first model we ever learnt: multivariate linear regression, great. In addition, zero of the seven assumptions held.

The company itself is very progressive, young, and motivational

On the bright side, the team of T-Mobile was extremely welcoming. Not only did they help us with any problems we ran into, answer questions we had and attempt to understand what we were doing, they also took us on an off-site outing to Haarlem. There, we had free pizza, free cocktails, and a free overnight stay. Additionally, we met some other lovely interns, with whom we now have coffee once in a while.

The company itself is very progressive, young, and motivational. Quarterly, the CEO holds a presentation about the progress that T-Mobile is making in the Netherlands, motivating the workers to do even better in the next quarter. Additionally, the marketing consumer department is split into groups, which are called squads. Multiple squads together are called a tribe. Although these squads have a squad-leader, they do all their work as a group, eliminating certain positions. This makes the company very vibrant, dynamic, and systematic. It is a new and fun way of carrying out work, which we were both fascinated by!

All-in-all we had a great time during our internship, and feel like we both learned a lot during our time there. Now that we are done, we are excited for the trip that we are going to have in the summer of 2018, with all the other FRP participants. If you are doubting whether you should participate, you shouldn’t. We would encourage everyone to apply and gain the same experience as we did. Neither of us regret our decision to join.

You can find more information about the FAECTOR Research Project here. Do you want to organise the FAECTOR Research Project yourself next year? Apply now for the FAECTOR Research Project Committee!

About this article

Written by:
  • Christina van Spaendonck
  • Marie Sophie Graftiaux
| Published on: Jan 10, 2018