Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘intern’

111. Go beyond!

Go beyond… your expectations. Go beyond… your imagination. No I’m not trying to inspire you. Nor am I channeling Buzz Lightyear. These are some of the phrases I spoke into a camera as part of my intern project.

What kind of project was it I hear you exclaim?

Well I worked with 7 other interns across 3 offices to put together a video for graduate recruitment about what being an intern at Towers Watson is like. We worked on it for the whole internship and started from scratch; research, scripts, story boards. I don’t know if any of you guys have seen videos like this before but they’re usually just interviews. We wanted ours to be a little different ie. more fast paced, short snippets of conversation overlayed with supporting shots.

Towers Watson actually hired a professional cameraman called Marx to do the filming and we naively thought he’d lead the directing. Instead he strolled in and was like where do you want me? Tell me what to do, this is your film… so we very much dictated how it went.

In the morning we did all the serious stuff about how wonderful Towers Watson is and how much support and guidance we’d been given. To be fair, this is all true but there is always an element of cheesiness when you’re trying to advertise something in this way. I found myself cringing on more than one occasion. For most of these shots, we had the camera on us but we had to keep our eyes on a person to the side. Let me tell you, it is bloody difficult not to look at the camera and to keep your eyes focused. Any little distraction causes your eyes to flicker and look (as Marx put it) ‘shifty’.

In the afternoon, we did all the ‘filler’ shots eg. working at a computer, walking down a corridor, being in a meeting, having something explained to us. This was all ‘pretend’ as the people in the office are annoyingly camera shy. We weren’t allowed to use any real data due to client confidentiality so we manufactured some ridiculous graphs on Excel. Thank you random number generator. Also you’d be surprised how difficult it is to be ‘natural’ when you have a lens on your face. When we were walking down a corridor, we had to pretend to be talking about something really important. Anyone lip reading the official video might be alarmed to read ‘this is in blue font’, ‘wow this sentence is shit’, ‘this is a title’, ‘what am I doing?’, all very professional of course… I probably shouldn’t be sharing this on the internet…oh well, come at me Towers Watson.

Throughout the day we had fun with the new branding tagline: Go beyond. It was very tempting to just say ‘go beyond Towers Watson’ which probably wasn’t the right message to be sending out! Other variations included ‘to infinity and beyond’ and ‘go beyond friction’ but the most hilarious was ‘go beyond….FRIENDSHIP’ *cue one of the guys putting his arms around the girls (see 0:53 in the video below)*. I am still laughing about it.

So the final video isn’t out yet but me and Shakira made a video of the videoing (…) for our final presentation. It’s basically just outtakes and it’s by no means perfect but we had so much fun filming that we wanted to share it. By the way our team name was Fast Forward (shut up I know it’s cheesy).

As you can see we had a tonne of fun. Our group was fabulous and it was a brilliant day away from the office!

Go beyond! Over and Out!

Advertisements

106. My Internship

I’ve just finished my third week at Towers Watson as an intern (working in Retirement). This means I’ve actually reached half way! The time has seriously flown by, probably because I’ve been kept so busy.

aliya

Enjoying the sunshine

Settling Down

There are 8 of us altogether in the Westminster office in Retirement. One is me, the other is Shakira and one of the dudes actually went to my secondary school (though he was in the year below me). So that’s 2 more people than most people usually know at the start of their internship. On top of that it’s 6 girls and 2 boys which is pretty unusual but all of this combined has just made it easier for me to settle down.

The Work

There’s no point me detailing the kind of stuff I do because it won’t make much sense. All I can say is that to work in this area, you need to learn so many new words and acronyms that it might as well be a Rosetta Stone course. Also because of government rule changes over the years, doing simple tasks becomes hella annoying because you have to look at each time period separately, there’s Pre 88, Post 88, Pre 97, Post 97, and the occasional Post 06.  Why you make this so hard?!

Initially I was a bit annoyed about doing things I didn’t actually understand. For example I use a very clever spreadsheet called Caps and Floors which works out the right interest rate for stuff. Essentially all I do is input a few values and it spits out a number. I have no idea how it’s doing this and from the viewpoint of a mathematician, I find it wholly unsatisfying but I have grudgingly come to accept that I don’t have time to work through the Black Scholes equation. Additionally I had very little financial knowledge coming into this. I didn’t know how gilts work (I do now..sort of) or stuff about bond yields which was a hindrance.

I haven’t done much Maths besides basic arithmetic (I miss it) but the numerical judgement I’ve picked up during my degree (eg. does this figure look right?) has been invaluable. It means I’m efficient when sifting through documents trying to find the right information and also when reviewing calculations on Excel.

I have a buddy who’s supposed to make sure I always have work to do but he’s a bit slow and this week he’s gone on holiday. Basically I’ve been pestering the people around me and they’ve been happy (a little too happy on occasion) to oblige. In contrast, Shakira’s buddy Timone gives her annoying technical tasks with incomplete instructions but he’s very nice so we forgive him.

IT Skills

I thought I was decent using Microsoft Office. I’m not. I have learnt so many little tricks in my time here.  Many of them are specific to the the TW Toolbar but just small things like the ‘track changes’ features in Word and ‘record transitions’ feature in Powerpoint has been… life changing. However, the biggest shock was Microsoft Outlook. I had NO IDEA how powerful it was. I’d never given it much attention before but seriously it puts Hotmail and even Gmail to shame. Its capacity to book meetings, check out other people’s schedules and track tasks has been invaluable. I will never dismiss it again.

Socials

Towers Watson is a very friendly place. The office is open plan so you literally can walk up to anyone and just say hi. As the new interns, everyone was really eager to meet us and find out our capacity to do some work for them 😛 There is always some kind of social event on the horizon whether it’s Friday drinks, a lunch or a boat party like we had this week. The inconvenient thing about them is that they all involve drinking. It’s like they can’t do anything if there is no alcohol. Every time I tell someone that I don’t drink, they give me a confused look. I guess I didn’t realise how important a pint was in British culture. I do now. And my god, it’s not just one pint they have, it is several. Where is all this liquid going? How are they constantly not peeing?! It’s a mystery to me.

However I’ve still been going to as many of the socials as I can. A highlight was the boat party. Great fun! I’m sure it was supposed to be used as an opportunity for (more) networking but there was a roulette table and I pretty much spent the whole evening there (no real money was involved before someone starts shouting at me for gambling during Ramadan- talking of Ramadan… Ramadan Mubarak!).

roulette

I’m feeling lucky….

Intern Project

Alongside all the work we do in the office, we also have an intern project. I’m in a group of 8 across three different offices and we have to co-ordinate making new videos for graduate recruitment. Other groups are making games to help prospective applicants decide what line of business they should go for and another is setting up TW’s Facebook and Twitter page. The project has been really fun so far and I really like my group, particularly a dude called Robert who is our project leader and also happens to have beautiful chiselled cheekbones 😛 Now originally we thought that we’d be interviewing people in the office… turns out we’re starring in them. That’s right we’re going to be immortalised on the TW website, saying cringey things like ‘open the door to your career at Towers Watson!’ *fistpump*.

reigate

This is where we’re going to be filming… the Reigate office (not my usual Westminster one)

Dress Code

I’m going to be honest- half the reason I was excited about this internship was because I’d get to dress up in nice formal wear. However that gets old real quick. First of all dresses and skirts are really annoying when you’re climbing stairs. Mine don’t have huge slits so my pace length is restricted and unless I hike the hem up, I definitely can’t run for my train. Trousers for the win! Furthermore, if I’m not wearing trousers I wear opaque tights and in this weather it is DISGUSTING. I can feel my legs continuously getting sweaty and drying. Actually gross. Oh and shoes! Both my flats and my heels hurt my feet if I wear them for too long. University has spoiled me- the only shoes that don’t hurt are trainers.

Thankfully we have dress down Fridays where I can chillax and wear my jeans and converses to work. Hoorah!

Okay this is getting really long now. I’ll leave it at that- don’t want to bore all of you!

Over and Out!