I have been given an amazing opportunity to work as part of the team at Hive under the role of Junior Project Manager, during my third year studying Information Technology Management for Business at Northumbria University in Newcastle. Read this blog to find out how I got on during my first week!
What has my first week been like?
Before I even started working at Hive, my first major hurdle was the transition from university life to the world of work. Early mornings, public buses and making lunch before breakfast, all things students hate. Surprisingly, all these activities I was dreading were a lot easier to handle than expected!
My first day at Hive consisted of many introductions, learning new names, job roles and asking plenty of questions. This experience was particularly easy as the team were extremely friendly from the moment I stepped inside the building, which helped calm my nerves. I spent the first two days or so feeling completely out of my depth as there was so much to learn — the same feeling I had when starting university. However, this feeling soon disappeared when I was given clarification on important information such as Hive’s current clients and what their projects involved. I was also given training on the software Hive uses to help keep their business functioning efficiently.
As the week progressed, so did my understanding of the company, their clients, the software used and the team. I was thrown in the deep end, already communicating with clients, one being my old secondary school. I helped carry out some testing on updates which had been made to the school’s website and assisted with an error the client was experiencing with google maps. These activities may seem small, but I gained a sense of achievement having completed the tasks, as I felt that I was already contributing positively to the business.
Positives to working at Hive?
Hive have made it very clear that they care for the wellbeing and personal development of every individual within the team. On my first day I sat down with Liz (my line manager) who went through my aims of the year and what I personally want to get out of working at Hive. We also completed a quarterly review, setting goals of what seems achievable in three months which will not only benefit myself, but also Hive.
On my second day I found myself voting for which activities out of bowling, laser quest and crazy golf, I wanted to take part in during Hive’s away day which focuses on having down time and team building opportunities. The company recognises how important it is to have the occasional day focusing on spending time completing unrelated work activities to help with the team’s overall wellbeing.
One positive to working at Hive is the amount of possible opportunities I have available. Already after my first week, I feel confident enough to go up to team members and ask what they are working on and if they could show me so I can develop a deeper understanding in other areas of the business. At a larger organisation, it is highly unlikely this would be allowed, as you are usually kept within your own department.
Are there any negatives to working at Hive?
Apart from missing my 2 minute walk into university from my house in Newcastle (instead of commuting 1 hour each way from Sheffield), I haven’t yet come across any negatives to working at Hive! However, it has only been a week and I have the whole year to help contribute to improving and growing the Project Management capability. One of my personal development objectives for the year at Hive is to understand how what I have learnt at university aligns with working in the real world. Liz has made it clear that if I’ve learnt things at uni that I think can contribute to improvements in processes or the organisation in general, then I shouldn’t be afraid to suggest them.
Tips for your first week at a new job:
I thought I would end with some tips on how to survive your first week at a new job. There are many ways you can help yourself transition into a new workplace. The tips below offer suggestions on how you yourself can help ease your way into a new environment, helping you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
Ask lots of questions
- This a great tip to use. There is no such thing as a bad or silly question. Ask as many questions as possible as at the end of the day, it’s only going to help benefit you in terms of your learning and understanding of the company. The team at Hive have been incredibly open and approachable when I have asked questions — even if it’s as stupid as asking how the fancy kettle machine works!
Be a sponge
- On your first week or so, there is so much knowledge to take on board. Again, this is a great time to ask questions to clarify anything that’s already been said. Make notes, so that you are able to refer back to them at anytime to help with your learning. I strongly advise getting stuck in with the social side of the company, which helps start to build up new relationships with team members and get to know people on a much more personal level. On Friday of my first week, myself and the team went out for lunch, this was a lovely time to get to know people more as well as getting to eat a cheese burger instead of a boring ham sandwich!
Ask for advice or help
- I was pretty much thrown into as many tasks and activities as possible during my first week, which was a little scary at first but I have soon started picking up on how things work at Hive. I was assigned many tasks by my line manager Liz, some I’d never done before such as adding tickets to a system called Jira. It’s important not to be afraid to ask for help or advice, as usually people are more than happy to provide support and assistance.
Offer to help
- During your first few days (or weeks) there will probably be times where you feel like a spare part as the team is still adjusting to having you there. My advice would be to not stay sitting around waiting to be told what to do, but ask if there is anything you can assist with. This will allow you to show initiative and help build rapport with the team. Luckily in my case, my line manager had been extremely organised and spent time allocating me lots of activities to keep me busy with!