Working Gal – Two Months In

This year, instead of going back to classes and assignments, I am entering the world of work. This is the start of my placement year at university. Which means for the next nine months I am going to be working full-time.

So, to go along with my placement year, I thought I would have a mini blog series kind of thing. Basically, just sharing my thoughts and experiences, maybe even giving advice if I have any. I think it would be fun, and also a great way to keep the blog alive since I haven’t really been blogging lately.
Now where to start?
Well, I’ve decided not to name the place where I work, why? Mainly because I don’t think it matters? I won’t be going into too much detail about actual work anyway, I think I’ll talk more about general things. Because let’s be real, when anyone talks in specific detail about what they do, you’re not really interested unless you also work in that field. At least from my experience, that’s what I know because when I talk about code with my friends they look at me like I’m speaking another language, which I guess I am. But anyway, the point is I am not going to take you through and talk about the things I work on in detail.
I have been working now for almost two months and I would say I am now well adjusted. I know a lot of people say it’s a shock to the system, going from the university lifestyle of sleeping most of the day and going out all night, but for me, I’m really glad to have some more routine in my life. That’s not to say that I don’t struggle to get up in the morning because I do, especially now that it’s colder in the mornings, bed just seems too good. But my fear of sleeping in and being super late stops me from sleeping in too much, so I always make it to work on time.
As for working hours, I work 9-5, Monday to Friday. Which I really enjoy because like I said, there’s routine there and also I get weekends off. My other friends that are on placement have flexible hours where you can work 8-4 or 10-6 if you want to but to me, 8-4 is too early and 10-6 is too late so 9-5 works the best for me.
I should also say that I study Software Engineering at university and so, my placement is technology based. I was super nervous about going into placement because we work on real applications that real people use and I was super worried that I was going to break the programs and people would be angry. But that hasn’t happened (yet) and I’ve been kind of easing into work at a good pace too. So it’s not like they were throwing me in the deep end with a bunch of new things that I didn’t know anything about.
I’m really glad that I have been going at a steady pace of getting work to do because it has allowed me to familiarise myself with the things we use at work and programs and things I have never heard of. It’s a lot different than sitting at uni and writing code that they tell you too. But it’s good, and that feeling when you finally get your code to work is always a favourite of mine. I mean, I remember how excited I got when I could print “Hello World” on my computer screen haha. It also makes you feel like you could actually do this job and it’s not impossible.
Aside from the actual work, there are the people you work with, your team. I am still getting to know mine. When I joined the team I was given a “buddy” who is the person on the team that looks out for me and gives me work. So my buddy is the person I talk to most on the team, and he’s really great. He’s really helpful and easy to talk to, so I didn’t feel like I was bugging him with my 100 questions a day haha. That really helped with settling in, because I usually hate asking questions, especially ones that sound stupid but if I didn’t ask the questions then I probably would still be sitting at my screen feeling useless. As for the other members of my team, I still haven’t talked to them very much. So I still have to get to know them, but I’m sure I will get to know them more over time.
Along with the team, there are also the other placements. I joined with 17 other placements and so I never felt like I was alone in being the newbie. And even though I didn’t know the other 17 placements before coming into work, I am so glad that I met them. Before coming to university, being thrown into a room with people I didn’t know was my worst nightmare because I hated talking to new people. But on the first day of work, I was so glad to have been thrown into a room with these people.
Having other people in the same position as you is good because it means you have people to talk to that are your age and you also have people to sit with at lunch. It also means you get to make new friends and you can kind of compare how your placement is going compared to others. Everyone is on different teams and so you also get to learn what the other teams in the company do from talking to those people. So all in all, everyone at work is really nice, don’t have any complaints.
And then there are extra things I have been involved in. Such as organising lunch for the whole floor. Sounds kind of crazy and I guess it was but also it was fun. Never in your life would you ever wonder how many slices of bread were in a loaf of bread until you have a budget and have to cater for around 80 people. And of course I didn’t do this alone, I did it with some other placements, which made it easier.
Then there are volunteer things, social things and things outside the office which help make work feel a little bit more enjoyable. I think we are actually going on a Segway tour at some point so that should be lots of fun. I’ve never used a Segway so I don’t know if it’ll be good or bad, but I guess we see.
And so yeah, all in all, I would say that the past two months have been pretty good. I don’t really have any complaints. Obviously, at the beginning, things were going kind of slow because of training and just adjusting to a new environment but I feel like this is where I’m meant to be.
I always worried about going into working in software development because I felt like I would not know what to do at all, but now I know I can do it and it’s not that scary. And I’m also really glad I get the experience because as someone who has never had a job before, I was definitely worried about going out and getting a job. Especially one in technology, with no previous experience. So I’m glad that I’ve got this job and as for it being my first ever one? I would say I chose a pretty good one.
I think that’s all I wanted to cover in this first blog post in this mini-series. I feel like this is a good start. I don’t really know what else I will update with or how often I will do one of these but I feel like every few months should be good. Even though I will only be working for a total of 11 months, I know I will get a lot out of it and hopefully a lot to share with you? Who knows, but I’m excited to take you along on the journey. Until next time,
~ Courtney x

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