Lecture Hall to the Corporate brawl

The 16th May was my first day in a life which would absorb me for the next year. Walking up to the door of my new place of employment…yes, actual employment, there were a few things going through my head, perhaps clouding my vision of what an exciting opportunity this is.

  1. Corporate Jargon — Will I understand ANYTHING?
  2. How do I behave? What can I say? What can I NOT say?
  3. Has the previous 15 years of education prepared me enough for this very moment?

The answer is Yes.

I know what you’re thinking, what? But…there is no definitive answer as to what you’ll experience on your first day. However, as cliché as it sounds, what’s important is that you make the most of it and allow yourself to settle in in a way which you see yourself progressing in the future.

I was once taught a saying in lower school, which I didn’t take very much notice of as younglings do at that age, but it has become a profound and meaningful collection of words which are fundamental to the way I now live my life: “Start as you mean to go on”. Doing so, creates the foundation of your future, the building blocks which allows you to grow and develop personally, as well as professionally, but most importantly to your full potential.

The first few hours of a placement can be daunting, you may feel like an outsider, a fraud who isn’t supposed to be there or perhaps you feel your opinion invalid. This is NOT the case. In placement interviews it is important to remember it’s not just you marketing yourself to them, they are marketing themselves to YOU, and this is why you’re here. You’ve both decided that a relationship between the two of you, business and excitable, newly adult, perhaps a little scared individual, will blossom into something prosperous and mutually beneficial.

Now enough of the waffle… I’d like to share with you readers some of the main differences I experienced transitioning from lecture hall to corporate life, to perhaps lessen the surprise when you take the first step into a new but exciting life.

  1. Becoming conscious that you can’t simply switch off at work as I did, and I’m sure many of you did and do in lecture halls — Always be ready to give input and develop your ideas.
  2. Working with people of all different ages — Now this one wasn’t so difficult for me as my university is one which amalgamates young and mature students into one, but some of you readers may not have experienced this as of yet. Be very aware of who you’re talking to, they may not share the same sense of humor as you and your mates, but don’t be afraid to test the water…
  3. Don’t be afraid of your boss — They are there to help and guide you through this process, which they have done for many others before you so don’t be afraid to ask questions. No question is stupid, in fact it shows interest and enthusiasm.

I’d like to think that I have somewhat settled your nerves and I’m happy you’ve made it to the end of my FIRST EVER BLOG. This is just a preliminary, however the subsequent blogs will incorporate what I’ve been doing on my placement, what I’ve enjoyed and what I’ve found difficult, but most importantly it will allow you to follow my journey with weekly updates, hopefully making your journey a little easier.

Alejandro Fernandez Holt