I didn’t choose what my work placement was to be. I turned up at Miss Franklin’s office nervously hoping that I would get a good placement. She sat me down and looked through some documents. She pulled a wad out and told me that she had found a convenient work placement. She showed me the letters, and the title was BUPA Hospital, Marketing Department, Bushey. The first thought that sprang into my head was, how tedious. Then I took some time to think about the ups and downs of it. I do live in Bushey and it is not even five minutes drive from my house.
Also my business studies coursework is about marketing so I might gain some useful knowledge that would help me with that. Miss Franklin had gone to a great deal of trouble arranging the placement for me so I did not turn it down. I thought the format was that she had organised the placement just for me as my preference had been for experience in office work. I did not realise that I had the option to change what she had offered me. I found out later that three of my friends had been offered this placement before it was offered to me.
Miss Franklin gave me a long important-looking form to fill out and told me that I would need to take in my passport and other proof of identification. This worried me at first; then I found out it was just because BUPA is a private hospital and there are certain confidentiality rules that I had to adhere to. Such as, if I were to see someone that I knew in one of the wards, then I would not be able to tell anyone that I had seen them. I spoke to all my friends about where they are going and none of them seemed as nervous as me, which made me feel a bit better.
Most of their placements sounded like fun; for example my friend Andrew was going to Watford Football Club, and another friend to a leisure centre. I realised that mine might not be as exciting or eventful as theirs but I considered that my placement might be a more useful experience for later life. My mother is friendly with quite a lot of people who work at BUPA. She spoke to quite a close friend of hers who answers to my supervisor and was told that she is a great lady and I would have a lot of fun with her.
My mother was also told that there could be a chance of a part-time job after school and on Saturdays. This inspired me to work really hard for them in order try to impress everyone. I had not done any research into the company apart from a brief look at their web site but I felt that I knew sufficient information for a preliminary interview. I hoped to learn some very important life skills and gain some great experience, which would be of use to me in later life. I was hoping to gain work on computer skills, as I feel I am competent in this area and could impress if I were to be given the chance.
As I did not know a great deal about marketing I was keen to gain as much knowledge as possible and hospital marketing is a field of its own. On the whole I looked forward to the week it would be a good experience that should teach me some useful skills. I was to work in an office with just the Marketing Manager and the Assistant Marketing Manager. Miss Franklin had stressed the importance of returning the forms to the hospital, and that it was my responsibility. At the end of the summer holiday my mother offered to drop the things into the hospital for me and find out if I needed a preliminary visit.
I did not need a preliminary visit, which made me more confident because I was nervous enough about meeting them let alone being interviewed by them. At this stage the prospect of work experience seemed quite daunting. I was not really looking forward to work experience except for the fact that it was a week away from school. I thought that working in a proper work environment would be very hard as my parents always come home and talk about how demanding work was. But when I did my work experience I realised that work is different, challenging and fun.
I appreciate that I would have been treated well because it was my work experience, but it was still a lot better than school. My hours were from 9. 00am until 3. 00pm, meaning I had to wake up at eight thirty, I was treated like an adult and the work was less stressful because we were always chatting and I was given clear instructions on the work. Whereas at school I have to wake up at 7. 00am, I finish at 4. 00pm and get home at around 4. 50pm. The teachers can be very patronising at times; talking to me as if I am a young child.
I find the work at school more stressful too; I want to do well and feel under pressure to do my best. Before doing work experience I felt very conscious about whether my appearance would be acceptable. I wore smart casual shirts every day and black trousers and a black blazer. I did get a compliment or two about my shirts, so I think I met their expectations on dress code. Thankfully I did not have to wear BUPA uniform. The thought of work experience is fairly daunting but I am a confident person who gets on with adults rather well and am relatively good at meeting new people so I felt relaxed.
After the experience I felt I would never want to go back to school again. I liked the fact that I was treated equally and enjoyed most of the work. There were a lot of boring, tedious jobs, like photocopying and stapling. This got very monotonous after a while but I had colleagues to talk to so that made it more enjoyable. The company presented a very good impression. When I walked in the door a very well dressed lady, Tina, the Assistant Marketing Manager, came out to greet me. I spent most of my time with her.
Tina took me into the office and introduced me to everyone and then I met the Marketing Manager, Debbie. Tina was very attractive and young, and the most unlikely boss I could think of, firstly because she had a tattoo which I had not expected. Tina had a good telephone voice and was very friendly and professional. After I had met her, Tina showed me round the vast hospital, taking about ten minutes. On the whole, the hospital gave a very good impression. Everyone was well presentable and friendly except the porters, who were men in their twenties with earrings and tattoos and were rather loud.
They were all that let the BUPA image down. I was treated like royalty during the whole week; from the moment I walked into the hospital and spoke to the friendly receptionist, greeted by my supervisor, to when I was saying goodbye to all the hard working friendly people I had been working with all week. About every half an hour someone from the office would come in and offer everyone a cup of tea. After the first day when everyone had found out who the new stranger was, whenever I walked past someone in the corridor they would say, “Hello”, and start talking to me. I woke up at 7.
00am the first morning because I had forgotten to change my alarm to an hour later. I slowly dressed myself taking a long time to decide what to wear. I searched through all my dad’s shirts looking for an appropriate one remembering that the BUPA uniform is a blue shirt. I found a smart blue Yves Saint Laurent shirt in my wardrobe. I wore black school trousers and a black blazer. I went down for breakfast and had some delicious chocolate croissants and a glass of milk. I took my time eating. I went back upstairs, brushed my teeth really well and took a long time perfecting my hair.
My mum started nagging at me to hurry up because she needed to get to work as well. When I arrived there my mother came in with me just in case. I spoke to the secretary and she called Tina, my supervisor, who came out to meet me. She shook my mother’s hand and mine and introduced herself, instantly giving a good impression. After my mother had left, I put on a sticker with my name on, signed in and followed Tina into her office. The office was built so you have to walk through the subordinates’ office, into the Marketing Manager and Assistant’s office.
I was pleasantly introduced and well received by everyone. We went into the office I would mainly be working in for the rest of the week. I shook hands with the Marketing Manager, Debbie, and sat down. I was asked to read through the hospital’s policies on health and safety and the confidentiality agreement. They emphasised the importance of health and safety quite a lot, most probably because it is a hospital. There was no first aid programme I did not think there would be much problem finding help in the hospital! I was asked to open the post.
They had just mailed out two hundred and fifty invitations to GPs the Friday before I started and there were about fifty letters to open. This became a bit repetitive after about ten and I was wondering if they would have me doing mundane tasks like this the whole time. After opening all the post I was given a copy of ‘BUPA News’, a short monthly newspaper that the marketing department produce. I was told to go and sit in the staff canteen and read through it. It just got worse and worse. Reading the ‘BUPA News’ did get a bit more exciting when a very pretty young nurse came and sat next to me.