I was lucky enough to be able to spend a week at Alf Gundersen doing work experience. Have you ever wondered what a sixteen year old gets up to? Here I will tell you all about my exciting week!
To begin the day, the whole team get together to have their “traffic” meeting where they go through everyones specific jobs for the week. A detailed timetable is shown on a big screen so as to allow everyone to give input on projects that need completing. Then, we all move out of the meeting room back to our own desks to get on with work.
I immediately notice how strong the team work is between colleagues – often they are at each others desks or communicating across the room to help one another out. At the same time, there is a strong sense of independence as everyone has their own specific roles to take on.
Lunch is very relaxed with everyone eating when they have time. Those who can, sit around a big table talking about their travels, concerts they have been to and football teams they support.
After a brief pause in the day some of us are needed for a photo project that Thomas is heading. This involves: rocks, fish, water and lots of (uncalled for) rain. In short, I have to throw a rock into the water, whilst someone simultaneously throws in the fish and these actions have to be captured on an underwater camera. We persevere through the typical Bergen weather only to be left in soaking wet clothes without the “perfect” photo.
For me, the day ends at 3 in the afternoon and seems to have gone by very quickly. After an eventful day, I feel very excited to go back to work on Tuesday!
I arrive punctual at nine o’clock to the office where many employees have already made themselves comfortable at their desks. Straight away, I get to work on writing this blog post.
Originally, I was meant to accompany Thomas to the Panorama Hotel to help with a photography project but because of the weather, this has to be rescheduled. This proves how flexible and adaptable one has to be when working in a profession that relies heavily on nature and the everyday. It also shows how one has to be able to think quickly in pressured situations and come up with alternative ideas when needed.
Although I am sitting at my desk towards the back of the room, I am very aware of the conversations going on around me regarding different projects. Tuesday morning truly does start at running pace with little time to catch up with colleagues around us.
One can really sense the productivity and urgency that fuels the employees and is needed to complete as much of the work on time as possible. There aren’t always things that work out, but at the end of the day the job has to be done to a high standard for the client.
This morning, I head to Schibsted Trykk (a newspaper printing place) with a colleague to make sure that the newspaper that Alf Gundersen has worked on is being printed correctly. We have to make small changes such as the richness of the printer colour and sharpness of the photos etc. This proves to be an invaluable experience and shortly after, I am given a tour of the machinery. Huge rolls of paper are fed into the machines were they then get inked and then hung up to dry. I assumed this was going to be a very simple process – just like a printer at home, but I was wrong. Little did I know how many small changes would have had to be made to produce the finished product.
When we arrive back at the office I set to work creating English suggestions for a hotel website that has an english page. This does not take me very long, however, I do come across some quite humorous sentences that have to be changed so they sound less forced and they flow better. Once the office has established that I am able to translate things from Norwegian to English, I am tasked with some more translations and to read over English texts that companies have written (it was often quite clear that someone who speaks Norwegian had written the phrases!).
We also have a meeting regarding paper types – glossy, matte, textured? I quickly realize how many decisions have to be made when producing a pamphlet or other piece of advertisement.
Today is the second last day of my work experience. Already I feel like I am getting into the swing of getting up early, taking the bus, then taking the tram and then getting down to work. I am starting to feel that coming to work every day wouldn’t be that bad. However, that thought quickly disappears. Again the stress and level of anticipation in the office has risen to a very high level and I feel that today it is best to sit back and get on with my own things such as finishing the blog. Deadlines have crept up very suddenly on everyone in the office and they are finding themselves with lots of projects that need completing.
This morning, I participate in a discussion with some of my colleagues regarding a presentation in response to the name change of a company. Here I learn about the process behind choosing a new name, logo and slogan for a previously established company. There is a lot of brain storming that has to happen before a new name can be established.
After lunch I am shown how to create and edit a website. Throughout the week I have been writing my blog posts so now it is time to upload them to an actual blog page. This is quite nerve wracking but also very exciting as now I am actually doing “the real thing” – putting my work on a real website, where real people can read it!
The last day has appeared, out of the blue it seems. Some of the team hold a breakfast seminar about Snapchat and how advertising can be used on social media. As I do not know much about the way Snapchat uses advertising I find it to be an eye opening experience. It was useful to look at demographics and to learn about how advertisement is specifically targeted towards certain groups of people.
I want to finish off this post by giving you my final thoughts on this whole week.
For a few years now I have been almost certain that I do not have any interest in the business or analytical side of work. Instead, I am much more drawn to creative things where my ideas can physically be seen.
One of the biggest things that I have learnt after this week is that it is so important to have your opinion be heard. After all, in such a branch of work you are producing something that potentially thousands of people will see and so it is important that it is absolutely produced to its best potential and exactly what you and your client have decided on.
Finally, the most important lesson I have learnt is that although you may have a specific job title you still need to be open to helping others and be willing to expand your work repertoire. That open minded attitude towards life in general is something that I would like to take with me for when I start working.