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Posts tagged ‘Towers Watson’

160. First Day of Work!

I’m at one of those funny stages in life where I KNOW that my life is going to completely change. No more can I be a scruffy student attending lectures and agonizing over maths problems… Nope now I’ve got to be a classy sociable consultant (such a fancy term for basically chatting to people). And there’s nothing quite like your first day at work for that to hit home. A part of me is very sad to leave the security and tight knit friendships formed at Imperial but another part of me is equal parts excited and scared out of my mind about what’s to come.

Considering I’d done an internship last Summer with the company I’m joining I should have been more relaxed, but there was so much I’d forgotten and so many new people to meet. We literally had information overload today and we have so many administrative to complete and pre-reading before our training next week. Day one and busy already! On a positive note however lots of people remembered me so that was nice!

The emails feel overwhelming. I remember feeling like this at the start of the internship. Every time I thought I had my inbox in control, I’d receive another bucket load of messages. However I got used to it. I’m hoping I’ll get used to it again…sooner rather than later. It’s weird having to balance so much stuff simultaneously when I’ve spent the last year completely focused on two or three modules. It looks like Outlook’s calender and task panel is going to be my new best friend.

But hey I survived my first day! Let’s see what tomorrow brings! It can only get better right?

What do you guys think of my new glasses?

What do you guys think of my new glasses?

Me and Shakira at reception!

Me and Shakira at reception!

On a semi related note, with work starting I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to dedicate to this blog. However I have every intention of keeping it going even if it means writing posts on the tube like I am right now!

Over and Out!

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115. 20 things I wish I knew before I started my internship

1. Keep a pen and notepad with you at all times. You never know when someone will give you something to do.

2. If you’re stuck on something, give it a decent attempt. If you’re still struggling, note down your questions precisely as well as what you’ve already tried so you don’t have to keep pestering people.

3. Note down the names of people you’ve met eg Harry Potter and a memorable trait eg. lightning bolt scar. You don’t want to go through the awkward ‘erm what’s your name again’ conversation.

4. Respond to emails quickly. Often people are waiting for your response before they can move forward. Don’t keep them waiting too long.

5. Put your email sign off eg. Kind regards in your email signature. You will get tired of typing it.

6. Constantly inform people what you are doing. They like reassurance that you haven’t forgotten about their work. In fact you shouldn’t be alarmed if you spend more time informing people of this than actually working.

7. Always make a note of where you found any facts and figures. You will cry if they ask you to find it later and you’ve forgotten.

8. Implement checks in your work wherever possible. This will prevent follow through mistakes which are annoying to fix.

9. Say ‘yes’ to any work given to as long as you have enough time to do it… and even if you don’t. You’ll be surprised how much you can reshuffle to make time.

10. Make a comprehensive list of your tasks and how long you think they’ll take. But also keep a Post-It of immediate tasks in your direct eye line so you are constantly aware of what needs to be done.

11. People care a lot about the appearance of documents so make it look pretty. I got commended in my final review for adjusting the line spacing so that everything fit neatly onto one page.  Such a minor detail and it got noticed. Thank you OCD.

12. Ask people questions. It makes them feel knowledgeable so do so even if you know the answer. If you’re feeling brave, subtly mention the answer and they’ll think you’re clever.

13. Facebook stalk other people in the office and find out what they’re interested in. You’ll find it easier to talk to them.

14. If you can think of a better way of doing something, discuss it with the person who gave you the job. DON’T just jump into it. Some people are surprisingly touchy if you drift even a little from their instructions.

15. Wherever possible, get feedback on any work you’ve done. It’s a good way to learn and get more work as well building a rapport through the correspondence.

16. If you have the option to speak to someone rather than email them about something important, speak to them. Things are far less ambiguous when you talk directly.

17. Take regular breaks and stretch your legs. It’s good for your concentration. This doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time. Do the coffee round or plan your lunch and meetings in such a way that you’re not at your desk for hours and hours.

18. Food is the best way to butter up your colleagues. Cake always goes down a treat, especially if it’s homemade.

19. Do not let people get away with giving vague instructions. Pester them if you have to. It will save you a lot of time in the long run.

20. It’s always better to ask for help than to struggle in vain.

Over and Out!

113. Alton Towers v. Thorpe Park

I went to Alton Towers for the first time recently and I couldn’t help but compare it to Thorpe Park. The reason I’d never been before was because it’s 5 hours away by public transport but some of my Towers Watson colleagues were going and I thought it would be a good way to get to know them better. I went with such random people, most of whom I’d only known for a day and some of them I’d never seen before. I’m surprised I went at all. Moreover I’m surprised my parents let me.

The Crew

The Crew

That aside, I ended up having a great time!

aliyasmile

Huge grin

Onto the comparisons!

Size of the Park

Alton Towers is mahoosive. It’s spaced out; there are ponds and castles and greenery everywhere so it’s a beautiful location. However that also means the rides are far apart so you feel like a lot of time is being wasted just walking to the next ride let alone waiting in the queues. I should add that they do have ‘Sky Rides’ which transport you from one section of the park to another which is helpful. If you don’t take the Sky Ride however, there’s a good chance you’ll get lost in the meandering paths through the trees.

Look at all that green! (Picture was taken from Sky Ride)

Look at all that green! (Picture was taken from Sky Ride)

Meanwhile Thorpe Park isn’t small but the rides are much closer together- you can run to them even if you’re fitness challenged like I am. The natural consequence is that there is less scenery.

Family Friendly

Alton Towers definitely caters better for families; they’ve got more rides for the the little ones and stalls where you can win fluffy teddy bears and whatnot. As a university student I’m not fully appreciative of this but it’s a huge plus for children.

Food

This is not really a big issue for me. I’m there to have fun- as long as there’s something to keep the hunger at bay I’m good. Both Alton Towers and Thorpe Park fulfil this basic requirement.

THE RIDES

This is the big one really. Alton Park definitely used to have edge what with its rollercoasters but Thorpe Park has responded strongly in recent years with the arrival of The Swarm, Saw: The Ride and Stealth. Even with the arrival of Smiler (the world’s first 14 loop rollercoaster) at Alton Towers, I think Thorpe Park still has the edge.

These are some of the best rides at Alton Towers (in my opinion):

  • Air– This was a great ride. It felt smooth and I really did feel like I was flying. This is quite similar to The Swarm at Thorpe Park and though you’re not in ‘flying’ position (you lie on your stomach with your legs up during ‘Air’), I thought it was just as good.
  • Nemesis– Thorpe Park has the Nemesis Inferno rollercoaster which is very similar but the Alton Towers’ version was longer and you go upside down more so I liked it better.
  • Rita– You get catapulted from 0 to 100 kmph in 2.5 seconds! Sound good? Yeah not as good as going 0 to 128 kmph in under 2 seconds as you do on Stealth. There’s no competition. In fact if you’ve survived Stealth and go on Rita, you might be a little disappointed.
  • Oblivion– Not gonna lie I was crapping myself at the top when they hang you and all you can see is the ground way down below you. However I really enjoyed it- definitely one of the best rides at Alton Towers. Valid comparisons can be made to Saw: The Ride at Thorpe which is similarly awesome.
  • Smiler– I haven’t been on this (BECAUSE IT WAS CLOSED DAMMIT) which is a huge shame. I really hope it lives up to the hype but if it doesn’t there’s still Colossus at Thorpe Park which is a mere 4 loops less.

Basically this whole long convoluted blog post is saying I like Thorpe Park better. All of the best rides at Alton Towers can be matched by something at Thorpe Park and that’s not even considering rides like Rush, Samurai and Tidal Wave. Smiler is a huge plus point for Alton Towers but not enough to sway me.

[Aside: I felt most sick when I was being driven from Alton Towers to the station by some cray cray taxi driver. That guy’s driving license needs to be revoked. He was doing 80mph on a 40mph road. Da eff?!]

Over and Out!

102. Crazy Week!

I only have a a few moments to write this post. This entire week has been unbelievably busy! I have started my internship with Towers Watson and I’m working in the retirement department . I’ve just finished my first week and it’s been quite interesting. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in training sessions, using Excel, calculating transfer values, learning lots of new lingo and sending A LOT of emails. It’s so different from university but everyone has been so supportive and helpful. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing half the time but I am getting there… slowly.

Tomorrow morning, I am catching the Eurostar to Paris for my cousin’s wedding. Half of my (very large) extended family is already there and the rest of them are travelling with us. There’s going to be two days of crazy parties and then I’m returning on Monday morning. I’m super excited about this. It’ll be great to see everyone in the same place and it’s an excuse to dress up and dance about like an idiot. I’m going to get my balle balle on. And it’s all happening in Paris- the city of lurveee.

Gosh isn’t this beautiful?! ❤ Please someone take me there one day…. *sigh*

Okay I have to dash and pack but I have loads more to say about the internship and I’m sure there’ll be a few stories from the wedding. Eeeee!

Over and Out!

 

10. Assessment Centre

My dreaded assessment ordeal day is finally over. I am so relieved but more than anything I am just mentally and physically exhausted. 

Somebody give me a massage. And put a flower in my hair too.

I woke up at the ungodly hour of quarter to 6 to guarantee I got there on time. It was pretty much pitch black outside- seriously depressing! I was on my feet pretty much the whole day and when you’re in heels, that absolutely kills. My back is actually aching right now and if it was possible to have a 6 pac on your calves, I would bloody well have one. They are rock hard. It’s as if Medusa looked at them and turned them to stone.

I was really worried on the day that I wouldn’t be able to get words coherently out of my mouth. Thankfully I didn’t have any spluttering incidents or say something like wag1 y’all, wassup homie or yeh boi. Instead I word vomited. Taking this as a metaphor, I hurled ALL over them and I don’t even know what was in my sick. Yes… I bet you’re all loving that imagery.

A few people mentioned that there might be some awkwardness at the assessment centre with the other candidates. After all, how much do you have in common? Now I don’t know if I just got lucky, but I was with a great bunch. Most of them spoke quite openly and freely and it genuinely made the day so much better. There were conversations about A Game of Thrones (Daenerys is well fit said one guy), One Pound Fish song (I gave them a rendition of “Come on ladiess”) and Twilight (oh my god it is so shit but I’ve got to see it said another guy).

Afterwards we all headed to a pub nearby and sat down and chillaxed. One of the dudes was talking about his supreme ‘bullshitting’ ability and how he actually created an imaginary child (called Ryan) from an impoverished background who flourished after he tutored him. All of this was for the purpose of creating a relevant example for a competency question. Unbelievable! We’re all guilty of exaggerating our accomplishments but that’s just taking the biscuit!

Overall, I didn’t flop as hard as I anticipated and given that I’m an AC virgin, I think I did alright. I have zero expectation of actually getting the offer though. But hey, at least I looked good. Yeh boi!

5. Internships

This morning I wasn’t sure what I was going to ramble on about but thankfully it got decided for me.

I received an email from Towers Watson inviting me to an assessment centre where they will probably crush my soul. This is the last stage before an offer and I am honestly bricking it. I haven’t done anything as intense as this before. I used to consider myself lucky not having to do any interviews to get into university but now I feel as if I’ve lost out on some experience. On the agenda there is a competency based interview, group discussion, role play and possibly a presentation, written exercise or problem solving interview. This sounds more like an ordeal than an interview.

Anyhow, this is all going down next week so I don’t really have that long. I have a lot of brushing up to do. It’s also the first time I’ll be missing lectures (goody two shoes I know) but it’s better to miss the wishy washy intro lectures than one later on where something fundamental is taught.

The most important question however is… what am I going to wear? Do I go for sexy and sassy (lol) or calm and comfortable? Or simply put skirt v. trousers?

Wearing a skirt makes me feel professional and more confident- I don’t look too bad in it either (HELLO HOURGLASS).  It helps with the whole personality transplant and to uphold the facade of professionalism, courtesy, manners and intellect that in all reality I do not possess. On the downside, I’ll have to wear tights which means trying to find a pair that doesn’t have holes or ladders in it. It’ll also mean pulling my tights up every 10 minutes which doesn’t look classy no matter how you do it.  Furthermore, my legs will get cold.

Trousers. My reliable old friend. They’re super comfy and there’s no hassle of tights. I can look smart in it too and there’s a certain comfort in wearing clothes you’re familiar with. However it makes me feel like I’m back in 6th Form and still need a teacher to tell me what to do. Decisions, decisions…

On a completely unrelated note, I should be going to see Life of Pi today avec the parents. Even my mum who hates loud noises and cinema theatres is coming *shock horror*. It’s Wednesday so we’re doing the whole Orange Wednesdays thing. Yay for being cheap! And brown!

Oh my god. I totes want a pet tiger too.