The 'Welcome Onboard' Day

Day 1. It’s a misty morning with the sun timidly hiding behind the clouds. The car-park lot is empty. The road is empty too. Then, I enter the Sussex Innovation Centre and my journey into the unknown begins…

Indeed, my first workday haven’t begun with me mysteriously entering my placement year workplace... The day, in fact, started much earlier. I woke up at 6 am (very unusual, bearing in mind those never-ending Covid-19 days, where you never know whether it’s morning or afternoon, workday or the weekend). I managed to catch the 8:01 train and was at the campus an hour before my induction day. “Oh, well… maybe that was way too early,” I thought, stepping outside the train, gazing at the student-less University of Sussex. But it’s better to be early than late, especially on your first day of work, plus I had a plenty of time to walk round the campus.

So, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I went on to embrace this year-long journey to gain experience, meet new people, learn new skills and of course, understand myself better. I guess because I had done some early-morning meditation (and came in advance), I wasn’t as anxious and freaked-out as I anticipated. In fact, I felt surprisingly at ease when I was introduced to my teammates and colleagues and shown around the centre. Everyone was super friendly and welcoming, making me feel a part of the SINC community already. I was so very impressed by the grand windows opening onto the mesmerising view of the trembling leaves of the green trees and Devil’s ivy winding around them. So calming and soothing. Now I understand why the working environment is such an integral part of the employee motivation. Just look out the window of your cosy SINC office to see the nature – and wow, you’re all full of ideas!

Well, the day didn’t just consist of looking-out-the-window activities. Eva took me through the induction to get me accustomed with the working processes here at the Catalyst Team. The induction was very useful, it was all about essential information and practical knowledge (aka how to use Slack, Fellow, Zoom and other ‘businessy’ programs). Understanding the importance of Outlook (my new best friend) and the Timesheet (second best friend) was something I found really attention-catching. Where is my time-management skills?

Then, as the day flew by, I was writing my first Catalyst blogs, and how nice it was! I really enjoyed doing that! Obviously, time during lockdown wasn’t spent in vain; those endless hours spent reading watching TV can now be used to give me ideas for blogs and other creative writing. As the day was coming to close, I realised that I feel happy working for the Catalyst Team. I’m grateful for the fact that we can safely work from the office, particularly as placement students, most of whom had to switch to entirely working-from-home mode. We were so lucky to meet our teammates and colleagues in person. Also, I found it weirdly satisfying working in the small team, where the office isn’t crowded, and the main sound of the surrounding area is silence. I guess quarantine has taught me, alongside with many others how to embrace the silence (in the office and in life)!

Now, I’m really looking forward to this placement year: to taking part in the new projects, learning new skills, meeting my teammates and my clients and building strong relationships!

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