3 July 2015 - 10:33 am

An Experience to remember – diving head first into the working world.

Hello all, whether you’ve accidentally clicked on my post while browsing or genuinely have an interest in what I have to say, I welcome you to my limited edition, one and only, blog post.

I have never written a blog before so the whole concept is really quite exciting for my 15 year old, teenage self. So you, you lucky things get the pleasure of reading my first and quite possibly last blog, I know, I can basically hear your excitement.

As you may already know (about the author) my work experience is based at USE and I am working alongside the marketing team. When I was told about my placement and about what it would entail my mind, negative as ever, immediately assumed the worst. I hate to say it but I was utterly dreading my first day. I haven’t had a lot of experience with marketing and the experience I have had has not been good. You may have heard of a competition called BiG Challenge, if not, allow me shine some light on the subject. BiG Challenge provides students, y9-y11, with the opportunity to set up a business, by giving them a small fund in order to help get started. Think of it as a USE for younger students, accept with more bloodshed, as the student battle for the main prize of an all-expenses paid trip abroad, I however failed before even nearing the ‘battle field’ and that was that.

So back to my 1st day, as you would expect I was nervous as hell, however after being temporarily blinded by the intense yellowiness of the USE building at least I wouldn’t have to look at anyone. I joke:) I hadn’t done much research on USE (rookie mistake) and only knew a few key details that my mum had outlined, apart from that I was clueless. This only added to my nerves. But still I walked in with a smile on my face, a swing in my step and my head held high, to at least project some level of confidence. When I walked in, I was introduced to Daniel (my employer) and immediately shown to my desk for the week. Throughout the morning, I was slowly introduced to everyone and I felt as if I was settling in nicely. The day was slow and relaxed and I mainly did research on USE and social media, I was never bored, nor thoroughly excited. By far the best part of my day was receiving my very own U card and University of Sheffield lanyard; boy did I feel professional, it had my name and picture on it and everything. Despite my infamous track record of horrendous pictures, I was quite pleased with the overall result. Then the clock struck 4, my shift was over and I went home. As I walked I realised this wasn’t going to be bad at all.

Moving swiftly onto day 2 and everything was looking better, my confidence, the weather, my outfit, even Daniel’s hair, with his swanky new trim. I had been set the task of creating illustrations for marketing collateral (posters, flyer etc.) sounds boring but to an artistic person like me, I was ready to show my array of creative skills. After being given my brief I spent the full day working away at my desk, creating piles of draft pages eventually leading up to my finished designs. It is safe to say I was in my element for sure. A successful 2nd day.

toolslight bulbcomputercogs

Day 3 and my genius mother thinks it will be a great idea to walk to work! 3 things that make this thought unbearable: 1) I hate walking 2) Our house is a good 4+ miles from work 3) The temperature was already at 25° and steadily rising. Needn’t I remind you that this was the hottest ever recorded temperature in July, I mean you guys were all there, you must understand my pain, I could barely walk up my street let alone 4.2 miles. Somehow I managed it, but that didn’t come without a lot, and I mean a lot, of complaining. All this aside, day 3 was my favourite out of the days. I was given a short brief on the task and I got straight to it. I had to create a leaflet for the re-branding of USE@thekroto, to both promote their movement to a different location and the services they offer. After looking at some previous examples I was fully inspired and eager to get started.

leaflet 2

The leaflet i designed – front and back

When I returned from lunch, I attended a meeting, along with Daniel and Ali about the marketing for the new campaign ‘join up your skills’. It was very interesting to have an insight into what happens in that type of environment and the topics of discussion, but the meeting was really to finalise decisions and all I could think about was getting back to my leaflet(how sad), plus the beautifully cool conditions of the office. All in all I was extremely pleased with the finished results. A successful 3rd day.

Day 4 was basically spent writing my blog (yes this one right here), with occasional feedback on my previous tasks and many cups of tea. I have found a new love for tea, which I have USE to thank for. A successful 4th day.

Day 5, my final day, and as far as final days go, I think it’s going to be enjoyable but nothing overly thrilling, as we’re bringing everything to a close and not necessarily starting anything new. I have a range of small tasks set, from email marketing to looking back at the existing advertisement for ‘join up your skills’. As we near the end of the day I’ll receive my overall feedback of my week. I expect it will be a successful 5th day.

To conclude, as I feel as though a conclusion would be adequate, I have enjoyed my experience so much and I am extremely grateful to everyone at USE, especially Daniel for taking me on for the week. You all made me feel so welcome and comfortable. This week has opened my eyes to different career paths and I am seriously considering a career in marketing and design. Definitely an experience to remember.

Thank you for reading until the very end, I know it’s been very long, longer than expected, but I do tend to waffle on and I do apologise. I hope you enjoyed my blog as much as I enjoyed writing it:)


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  • About the author

    Abi Mcgourlay

    Hey, my name is Abi Mcgourlay, some of you may know me, but most of you won’t. Many of you may know my mother, Professor Claire Mcgourlay, I hear she’s quite the academic around these parts. But me, I’m but a rather tiny bolt in the dynamic machine that is the University of Sheffield. I don’t work for the University officially, but for this past week I have been undergoing work experience at the practically glowing building of USE. I am the head girl at Meadowhead School, currently in y10. I shall not bore you with the long list of subjects I study, but I do enjoy school (to some extent) and I am eager to do my best.