School's Out for Summer!
Blog post by Jack Plant, UK Work Experience Student
In England, year 10 school children, like me, are encouraged to find themselves a two-week ‘work experience’ placement. It’s not an option, because if you don’t find anything then the school could find something for you! Luckily, my dad found a way to get me a placement at the company he works for: Five9.
I was going to spend two weeks shadowing the International VP of Partner Sales, Thomas John! Before I started, I made sure I had some smart clothes; I did a little bit of Googling around who Five9 were and what they do (contact centre software which helps improve ‘customer experience’), and to be honest, I was totally confused. That’s probably why on Day 1, I was very nervous. It was all new and I didn’t really understand what was expected.
I soon found out that I had no reason to be worried at all. Thomas is a very charismatic man, and as a dad himself, was very understanding. I captured the whole of the first day and my feelings in this LinkedIn blog.
I spent the next few days really digging into how a modern company like Five9 functions. They can’t do everything themselves, so they have a network of Business Partners, like Babble, to help. I found out how hard these partners work with Five9ers to find opportunities for their Sales and Marketing teams to work on. I discovered that it’s not just hard work though; we had an awesome lunch and then I found out more about how social media and digital marketing help them reach new customers. There is more on that here.
I had an experience with an exploding burrito in London and went to a sales meeting where Thomas presented the Business Partner strategy to the whole UK Sales force. Each day,my confidence grew a little because I had to introduce myself in meetings and on calls. There are a lot of calls.
In the second week, I spent time with Thomas John again, learned a lot about how Cloud Computing works in exactly the same way as most gaming platforms. I understand PoPs (point of presence) now. I met loads of great teams from other business partners and different countries. I was starting to really enjoy myself.
I spoke at an event hosted by Telarus on HMS Belfast. I travelled to London by train and even ended up speaking in front of the audience just to introduce myself and that was a great experience. And then, it basically was all over.
What I Know Now
It had gone by in a flash and I’d learned a ton about customer contact centres, customer service, cloud computing and how modern companies work. Also, I picked up loads of career advice and spent a load of time with the sales and marketing teams, as well as some of the more technical people.
Here are my top 5 tips for anyone who wants to do a similar placement in the future:
Work is very tiring, especially when you are going to a placement where everything is new. Get lots of sleep and early nights.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something. Everyone I met wanted to help me.
Be yourself! Everyone was curious to find out about me and really enjoyed my posts.
Check whether you can use social media. I could and it really helped me make new friends at work. I did have to get my posts checked though and it was great to see how it’s used at work.
Keep a diary. It went by very quickly and keeping a diary like I did really helps you to look back!