My first few days at work have been great, not a dull moment so far, and now I’ve been properly briefed on my work I’m even more excited about it.
My first day was rather unconventional as instead of getting straight down to work my boss took me out with him as he went to look at the premises for a new branch that they will soon be opening, meet with a business associate and also visited the local branch in Pietermaritzburg as well as one in a neighbouring town. It was great driving around and seeing the area I’m living in in the bright South African sunshine. Everyone in the branches were very friendly and going there gave me a real sense of how everything works at ground level before I get stuck into all the facts, figures and data analysis.
The days after this have been office based. Manfred (the boss) gave me all the data I need to analyse and set up my work station to do my task. Analysing the loan data is very different from any work I have done before, going from theoretical models in lectures to actual data that has a tendency to be inconsistent is a challenge but I am learning fast.
The other staff in the office are lovely and friendly and are happy to chat and give advice. They also have some great suggestions about things to see in the area which I am jotting down ready for the weekend.
And its not just hard work in the office. We had a little party at lunchtime for Manfred as it will be his Birthday on the weekend. There was a buffet and I got to try a traditional food called Vetkoek (pronounced fatcook) basically a fried dumpling filled with a tasty filling.
Next week I will be visiting some of the clients at their businesses to do stock checks to update the records with as well as asking them questions to aid my research. It will be exciting to see another side to life in South Africa!