After being at home for five months during lockdown, buying a worryingly large number of wrong sized shirts and a loud 6am alarm, the new chapter of my life as a Catalyst Business Support Executive had finally begun. My nerves were also mixed with feelings of excitement as I got myself ready for the day ahead. I put on my new work clothes, had a light breakfast, and set off on the bus for campus. As I was the first one to move into my accommodation, our house had no Wi-Fi so the bus journey gave me a brief opportunity to facetime my parents before the big day ahead.
As it was my first day I made sure to arrive in good time, getting to campus for 8:30. An environment I was usually so familiar with after two years of lectures and seminars started to become more and more unknown with each step towards the Sussex Innovation Centre. However, after stepping into the building and seeing the buzz about the place again (after my two interviews which were a lot more nervy than exciting!) the excitement grew and I couldn’t wait to get started. Hannah also started on the same day as me, so it was reassuring having someone else with me who was new as well. We eventually met Eva and got started on our boarding. We signed our contracts, learnt about the different software’s used in the office and were given our first brief; a project on the living wage which I was very excited about. The Zoom team huddle and break out room in the morning was a very pleasant surprise, it was great to see that there were things put in place to check up on others and it was nice to start the day with that positive boost.
Lunch at 1pm arrived much quicker than expected and I was finally able to meet all my Catalyst colleagues. The small feeling of imposter syndrome with being a History student in a huge business environment quickly disappeared after getting to know my peers. Listening to the huge range of different backgrounds and subjects undertaken by Team 7 during their time at university reaffirmed that this placement was the perfect opportunity for me. It wasn’t just the diversity of the Catalyst team or the achievements of Sussex Innovation which stood out, it was the friendliness of all the people at Sussex Innovation. Those much higher up in the organisation than myself took time out of their day to say hi and Eva provided me with a space to fulfil my daily prayers which didn’t have to take up my lunchtime which was hugely appreciated.
The rest of the day quickly flew by and I felt like I was slowly getting to grips with the 9-5 office life. A day which started off with some nerves ended with great enthusiasm and I can’t wait for the year ahead as a Catalyst Business Support Executive.