Hello, my name’s Gurveen – a 16 year old student who has currently just finished her GCSEs and about to begin her journey into A-levels. With my exams over and summer beginning early, I had a lot of free time on my hands. Some of which I decided to invest in gaining myself some work experience, including the O2 Head Office in Slough.
This being my first experience in entering a ‘real-life’ work environment, my confident self was feeling a tad apprehensive. However, all my qualms were quickly put to rest as I was immediately met with a warm welcome. Although quite a daunting building, you could instantly sense the feeling of community within the office and how passionate everyone is about what it is they do.
My first day began with an office tour, where I got to see all of the different offices, conference rooms and my personal favourite, the canteen! I also was able to see a breakdown of the different roles in the office, including the different directors. However, the main part of the day included myself being actively involved in some interviews being held as part of the Regional Leader Assessment – and oh my did I feel as if I had walked onto the set of ‘The Apprentice’.
Before the interviews, I was introduced to the team who were holding them. They discussed the best approach for the interviews as well as the best suited questions to ask. Witnessing the preparations that takes place before an interview, helped me to understand what employers are looking for from candidates. This insight will definitely aide me with future interviews. Then followed the interviews. I was able watch how candidates answered questions differently and how they all took alternate perspectives on their presentations to the interviewer. This ultimately lead to a final team conference, to discuss the candidates and who in the end should ‘be hired’.
Day two began with the staple chai tea latte of course, followed by a few different one to one chats with people in various different roles. The first being with a member who was part of the Cielo team and who coincidentally took a lot of the same subjects at school as me. Of course this lead to great conversation about the next steps in my educational career and how he has progressed to the recruitment position he is now in. Straight after, I also got to talk to a director in the office, who came from a very different field to what he currently works in now and whose experiences were very admirable.
Just before lunch, I also sat in on a supplier meeting, where a team of tech geniuses ran through changes that need to be made on some of O2’s systems. However, the highlight of the day followed afterwards, when I met the HR director Ann Pickering, who shared with me important advice for a young person like myself. Not only did I take a quick selfie with Ann, but I also managed to sneak off for a brief chat and photo with none other than the CEO himself, Mark Evans! The day drew to a close as I attended a People Meeting, where various different topics within the company where discussed and I also got more of an insight into even more of the roles within the company.
Overall, I would like to say that my experience at the Head Office was very enjoyable, but most importantly very beneficial. Although I was only there for two days, I took a lot of valuable skills and knowledge away with me, not only about life and roles within the work place, but advice on my next steps. I would definitely urge young people to get involved in work experience, such as mine at O2, and take every opportunity to build themselves a platform for the future.
To find out about opportunities working in our store in Head Office or within o2 – please go to www.o2careers.co.uk