Over and onwards…

Jon reflects on everything he’s learned in placement one, with Crystal.

So it’s all over for me, placement 1 has a fork stuck in it, done! The website is fully completed and operational WWW.CRYSTALHOLIDAYS.CO.UK just to shamelessly plug it! When I look back to the beginning of the project I was a little overwhelmed by the scale of the project given my complete lack of website knowledge and experience, but I feel very proud of what I have learned and achieved.

The project overcame many challenges; the Christmas deadline, which was considered highly unachievable by some, was achieved; the Press and PR section, which apparently hadn’t been in existence since 8 years ago, provided a new location for press releases; and perhaps most challenging of all, where there were greatly conflicting opinions, compromise on solutions was reached.

Many people have congratulated me on how great the site looks, and although much credit has to be given to Justin Slack, my partner in crime in South Africa who built the site, it still feels great to have such recognition from other colleagues. Even though I am still a very long way off from calling myself a web expert, and I probably never will be able to laud myself with that term, I now have the confidence to be able to approach similar tasks in the future with much more assertion.

After completing the project I spent time away for the Christmas break with my family and my wife down in Devon, which I still fondly call home. Despite thoroughly enjoying the placement, ever since our induction week in Lake Garda it has been a very busy period for me, as I’m sure it has been for all of us on the scheme, and so it was nice to be able to switch off for a while. I was also lucky enough to spend the first week of 2011 in Flaine in the French Alps, where I met with the General Manager of France, Switzerland , Andorra and Spain as well as other area and resort managers, and of course was able to indulge in one of my passions – snowboarding!

So now I’m into the final week of my placement, which has involved my end-of-placement review with DJ, my current line manager and also a meeting with Nigel, my soon-to-be line manager for my next placement starting at the end of January. This one will be a sector-wide placement rather than a divisional one, and will involve developing marketing partnership opportunities with national tourist boards and other third party partners.

In between now and then, though, we have a learning and development week that will be the first time all six of us on the grad scheme will have been together since our induction week, so I’m looking forward to meeting them all again and hearing how their placements have been!

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