Work Placement: The Final Frontier

27 08 2007

Last Thursday was my official last day at the small company within a big company (SCBC). It felt good, because everything has been tied off into a neat little report made for the benefit and guidance of the SCBC, which I’m not sure they’ll look at but that is none of my concern any more.

However, it is not over. As part of my contract (although it is stated that I am not an employee of either Shell Step or the SCBC) I have to write a report detailing my experience, provide a ‘skills tracker log’ which I have been filling in for the last nine weeks, and give a presentation in a weeks time about my experiences. It is all a big competition, which I have no chance of winning. I have no outcomes, (if anything I have cost the company a considerable amount of money) and the only things I have gained are insular, personal things that are of no use to anyone else. This is a slightly pessimistic way of looking at things, and I am grateful for the money, but I do not agree with a CEO whose work ethic is “Everyone wastes time, so I’m going to cut down on your workload to compensate for this” when I do not waste time (I am a workaholic) because I have so little of it.

I’m still reeling with disappointment, but one thing has come out of this: when I run a business, it will not be like this.


The Last Day of the Last Week of Work Placement…..

23 08 2007

Well, I am sitting at my desk in the small company within a big company thinking about the past eight weeks, and how they have gone so quickly. It has been good, with ups and downs, and although the downs were very severe the ups have been alright.

But I hated it at points, and constantly asked other people “Is it right to hate your job this much?” to which, reassuringly, the answer was mainly ‘no’. So there is hope yet.

But I am sitting here at my desk in the small company within a big company, and once again I am doing nothing.

45 minutes left.

Guilty Pleasure: Lolcatz

22 08 2007

It’s Wednesday, and I have no work. None at all. So I have discovered a new guilty pleasure:
lol he fartid

This one reminds me of Dan:

Lolcatz is amazing. But still a guilty pleasure 😉

WoW as an epidemic model

21 08 2007

This looks very interesting; it is about using virtual online games as a model for studying behaviour during epidemics.

Obviously to release a contagious disease into the real world population is unethical and out of the question, but to study it within a virtual environment must be fascinating. You can observe people acting ‘normally’ from any angle because the whole environment is generated. Some people will argue that it is not a ‘real life’ environment, it is a fantasy one, but I still argue that people who have been playing the game long enough (and some of those people have been playing a long time!) have developed their own personas in that environment, become comfortable and therefore will act just as naturally as they would in the ‘real’ world.

This of course raises big questions about what else you can observe about human nature in a virtual environment, but then an ethical point is raised: If this virtual environment is just as valid as a ‘real world’ environment, surely we are intruding on their privacy by observing them? People would object if in the ‘real world’ certain individuals were observed (without their knowledge) for scientific study, so why does the fact that the individuals operate in a ‘virtual environment’ make it any different? It again raises the Big Brother Nanny state debate, but in a slightly different context.

I can see that this debate is going to get interesting.

First Day of Last Week of Work Placement…..

20 08 2007

Currently, I am sitting in an office in Bracknell on a work placement with… a little company inside a big one. I don’t want to say who because I’m too afraid, but let’s just say life is like a television comedy, and if I told you what was happening here you would think I was making it up. One day I might be brave enough (or drunk enough) to write a bit about my experiences, but my Dad reckons I should keep the material for a biography (haha).

The placement is 8 weeks long, with Shell Step as my placement agency, and I am very aware I shouldn’t be doing this at work but what the hell, it’s my last week. They never notice what I’m doing anyway.
There are approximately 23 people on the same placement scheme with various small companies in the area, and we all have to write a report and several ‘skill assessments’ by Tues next week. Even my summer holidays are filled with homework.

The Aim

20 08 2007

Good afternoon. My name is Lauren, and I am a student studying Design Management and Innovation at DeMontfort University in Leicester.

The aim of this blog is to chronicle my third and final year of university, as much for myself as anyone else. It’s going to be nice to look back on project reviews and work related stress when I am desperately job hunting and wishing for a return to student days. It will also be a playground for my experiments into CSS, as I am a designer not a programmer I need all the practice I can get!

I am also looking to start up my own business, and while I won’t say too much about my ideas and intellectual property, I will keep updating with how I’m progressing, and how I’m finding the transition from university to work. I would have started up my own business already, but I have The Fear. I have an idea but I am too nervous to start it properly, due to lack of confidence, but I’m working on this.

So, I hope this blog is at least interesting for those who come across it, and as with everything I do, constructive comments, questions and feedback is always welcome. This especially applies to my CSS attempts.

Fingers crossed for the future.