59 apprentices, 44 grads in a big room with beers in hand… Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Well think again.
I have been an O2 apprentice for around about a year now, and one thing I love is when the apprentices get together, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out the whole of Early Careers were meeting to have a network event over Urban Golf.
As we were getting closer to the event, excitement among all of us grew immensely. Having gone to a week long off site with just my year of apprentices earlier on in the year it really made me appreciate the importance of us all getting together. The bonds you form with your colleagues during off sites are next to none.
Living in East London meant I had to travel alone. But that didn’t stop me from feeling excited. I remember arriving at Oxford Circus and seeing three others. And as we drew closer, our numbers grew. Soon we were a group of 15, frantically walking around the streets of Soho looking for Urban Golf. When we finally found it, we were quickly ushered downstairs where I imminently heard familiar voices cheering at someone playing golf.
I was temporarily left paralyzed by all of the amazing stuff going on. To my right was a giant booth with a big screen and on it was a golf course. And to my left was another giant booth filled with apprentices from Leeds and then other apprentices from Slough were sitting around and it was amazing to see everyone together in the one place.
We were left alone to catch up and socialise for about an hour and then the Early Careers team gathered us all together to play a game. The game involved us going and speaking to someone we didn’t know and learning 5 facts about them. This then led to us joining with another pair and informing them about that person. The purpose of the game was for us to get to know new people and create new bonds.
The game worked, all the preformed groups had suddenly disappeared. Finally we were all talking to each other and sharing stories. The person I was talking to had nothing in common with me, which made talking to him really interesting. Understanding why he had certain interests was so baffling to me but that somehow made it enjoyable.
As the event continued, the once low chatter became a roar of laughter and enjoyment. I feel we were all given a great opportunity to strengthen bonds and form new ones. We have been told many times that O2 cares about their people; and that event was a perfect example of it.
By Shaquille Roach Weekes