Jennifer explains the highs and lows of relocating…
So, three weeks into my first placement and I am still homeless!!! Well not quite. I have been temporarily adopted by a lovely TUI colleague so I have a place to call home for a few weeks until I find somewhere more permanent. This is a huge relief as I have been spending my nights curled up on friend’s couches, wide awake with the fear of mice nibbling my toes at night! Although I am truly grateful it is not the best way to start a new job! I have definitely learned my lesson for my next placement, preparation, preparation, preparation!!!
On the job front it’s looking great so far. I am settling in to my first role working with the Business Development Team in TUI Travel House in Crawley. Although this is not quite as exotic a location as some of my fellow grads, Ben and Deborah who were lucky enough to begin their first placement in the US, I feel incredibly privileged to be here. Coming straight from Ireland I have never lived in a big city like London before and I am learning pretty quickly that life moves at a different pace here!
Transport, for one thing takes a bit of getting used to. I now realise that standing back to let someone on the train before you often means that you end up not being able to get on yourself! My former ten minute drive to work has now become a five minute walk followed by ten minute tube to a thirty five minute train and finally a ten minute bus ride! On the upside, and it is an incredible upside, I have so far been to see the Lion King in the West End, spent a day at Thorpe Park, visited the Natural History Museum, explored Hyde Park and the legendary Speakers Corner, seen Buckingham palace and got a Big Bus Tour of the city (very touristy I know!).
Aside from the practicalities of settling down in a new city, I have come to the conclusion that I am going to love my first placement. TUI Travel House is a fantastic work environment and I am lucky to be able to mingle with the top minds in the company on a daily basis. I even got to attend a dinner with the SAS Board, alongside the other grads, which was amazing! It is very inspirational and motivating to work with such people and to get to see what they do on a daily basis and how they got to this position! I have learned so much already.
My placement is closely involved with the financial aspect of business development, mergers and takeovers. Before I began this placement I didn’t think the financial side of business would be the most appealing to me. While I could clearly see that a financial understanding is absolutely essential to developing my business acumen I always saw this as more of a necessity opposed to something I would genuinely enjoy. However, after just two weeks of working here, I am beginning to see things differently. When you can understand how the financial figures relate back to a business’s particular strategy and how internal and external factors affect the profit figures everything suddenly becomes much more interesting! The more I learn to look behind the figures the more I get drawn in! The best part is that this is only the beginning!!!