This summer, we asked students from the University of Nottingham to spend a week at Cleo. Safe to say we learnt more from them than they did from us! Here’s what they had to say.
Hi! I’m Akash, a Computer Science Student at Nottingham University. Me and my friends, Harry and Alex, have spent a few days immersing ourselves in the good vibes at Cleo. We have had a great time meeting professionals in a variety of fields, completing projects, as well as drinking an obscene amount of coffee 🥴.
We kicked off our visit getting set up on laptops and Cleo emails with Sonia which really made us feel part of the family.
We then met up with Benj who briefed us on our data science project for the week. He asked us to evaluate how accurate Cleo was at categorising user transactions and present our observations and suggestions on Wednesday. We weren’t too sure where to start as second year uni students on a Monday morning 😴 but after getting to grips with Periscope, we got stuck into writing SQL and designing graphs.
At lunch, Benj introduced us to the delights of a chicken katsu wrap from just outside the office which set us up perfectly for an afternoon of good vibes and relaxation… I mean hard work!
In the afternoon, we spoke with Yokey who explained the process of UX design at Cleo and their approach to first do the right things, and then do these things right – which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. It was great to see the diversity of roles in the teams, meeting members from all stages of development collaborating as a unit from the start.
The ‘Hype’ (marketing) team wrapped up our first day by inviting us to their meeting. They showed us the work that goes into the marketing and advertising through TikTok and Instagram. It was great to see all the creators getting stuck in with contributions to videos and blogs - team ‘Hype’ truly living up to their name! 🤟
Hey, I’m Alex! After a pretty chilled first day at Cleo, we were all itching to get stuck right back in - these good vibes aren’t gonna exude themselves 😇
We began our second day by learning about the management of Cleo’s projects with Murray, Engineering Manager, seeing how he coordinates the teams (’squads’), around different subjects (’pillars’) - it really clarified how Cleo’s work-life manages a balance of structured, organised work without losing the casualness and flexibility it’s known for.
Janina, UX Writer, then gave us a run-down of how the ‘voice of Cleo’ is brought to fruition - showing us through an ‘empathy map’ to denote how someone struggling with their finances may be feeling and how Cleo’s messages can be written to motivate and encourage them, without being too harsh or blunt. Understanding what really goes on behind that voice almost feels wrong!
There was a small online talk explaining some website development techniques - it was way above my skill level for me to understand, but how it was explained certainly made me feel like I did 🤩
We had our second round of chicken katsu, this time from Whitecross Street Market - tasty no doubt, but we won’t compare this to the first day’s katsu - you’ll have to try for yourself…
Our last activity was participating in one of the data team’s stand-up meetings, where we went across the group explaining what we had done that day. It was slightly nerve wracking when everyone went into detail on super technical stuff, and we’d been struggling away with our one simple mini-project 🙃 One day we’ll reach their level!
Hey everyone! I’m Harry and I’m gonna rant about all the crazy things that went down on Wednesday.
We all had one-to-one mock interviews with members of the recruitment team. I had mine with Lucy, which was actually a really chilled chat on the sofa going over some typical interview questions.
Immediately after that we had a zoom meeting with Leigh, where he gave us a rundown on what he does as a Product Analyst. I’ve really appreciated all the different people showing us what they’re working on because it really gives us a picture of what their jobs look like.
Ladi followed that up by talking to us about Cleo’s process of building products and what a Product Manager does.
We were joined by Benj, Callum and Elwin for lunch and we visited the White Cross market again, this time we went to the Salad Kitchen. All in all it was a 9/10 so I highly recommend it.
Back at the office we met up with Eeshita who gave us a deep dive into the commercial side of Cleo and how they can be a sustainable business. It was a lot to take in and by the end of it our brains were pretty fried. This is where the midweek slump really kicked in but there’s no rest for the wicked so, we were down to present our mini periscope project to a few of the data science crew. We presented our findings to the group, and it blossomed into a very open-ended discussion about the nature of the problem we were trying to address. Moments like these really reinforced to me how great it is working in a team especially with enthusiastic people such as those at Cleo.
Once we concluded the meeting it was time to let loose at the Howl at the Moon pub for some leaving drinks! It was a lot of fun chatting with the Cleo members and a couple of us definitely took full advantage of the company card in pints 🤑.
The last day was the climax to our 4 days at Cleo. All 6 of our team members were invited to give Cleo a presentation on our group project we did with Cleo that won us the best group in our year! 😎 We came in fully expecting a ‘roast me’ session but were pleasantly surprised by the praise we received.
The three of us would like to say a massive thank you to Rosie and all the other cool people at Cleo for putting together an action-packed week for us – so packed we had to come in early to work on our project. No complaints from us though ecause that meant more excuses to try the different settings on the coffee machine and flavours of tea. This week has provided such an insight into the lively work culture at Cleo and all of us are excited to enter the world of work – who knows, maybe even back here!
Akash Backory, Alex Platt, Harry Huang