Alice Sweeney, Summer Work Placement Blog
Alice Sweeney joined the gbp team for the month of July on a short summer work placement to learn about the business and gain insight from across all areas of it’s work. Alice is currently undertaking Environmental Science at Newcastle University and has just completed her first year.
Here's a short blog from Alice about her experiences during her time with gbp:
L to R: Colin Pape and Alice Sweeney.
In week one I spent most of my time on team meetings, meeting different people who are employed by the company and learning a little about their role within the company.
On Monday I met with Tisha who gave me all the details I needed to begin my placement for the month, she gave me my schedule and I began my day. Firstly, I met with Hugh Robinson who gave a me whistlestop tour of the business development side of the company. He explained the different LIFTCOs the company was involved in and gave me a few examples to investigate in my spare time that have a lot to do with sustainability.
Pictured below is Foleshill health centre in Coventry, the UKs greenest health centre. This is one of the projects that gbp provided project management services for.
Later I met with Rose Taylor who gave me the task of updating the company organogram, this helped me improve my PowerPoint skills and as I began to work through the task, I realised a few new features I had learned on PowerPoint that I didn’t know existed prior.
At the end of the day, I had a meeting with Ian Frazier who talked me through the different pension schemes the company offers and rewards that come with signing up to the different schemes. He also spoke clearly through his role in the company, working on insurance policies that the company uses for the buildings they lease. At the end of the session, he gave me a task to search for different insurance policies, having learnt nothing prior on anything to do with insurance this was quite interesting.
On Tuesday I met with Jane Batchelor, who is Head of Marketing, she explained her role and how the company uses LinkedIn as their main social media channel and the benefits to this. Finding out I had an interest in writing, Jane set the task of writing an article on the new ‘Queen of Greens’ project that was about to launch across Liverpool, I found this task very engaging. At college I had never done work like this, so, it was something new to try. Upon reflection of the task Jane gave me some great feedback to improve if I ever need to write up an article again.
On Wednesday I began the day in a real-life meeting with Steve, Colin and Jane, this was about a new mental health hospital being built in Mossley Hill and the plans that were going ahead. It was my first time being in a proper meeting, so that was fun and to see how long of process it is to get different hospitals built and the work it requires.
Later I went to the staff social which I was graciously invited to. This was loads of fun! We began the day axe throwing (see photo below), I had never done it before, I ended up only hitting the target once, but it was really nice to meet different people who worked within the company. Later that day I we went out of a meal in Liverpool, everyone was really kind and made me feel very welcome.
Thursday and Friday
On Thursday and Friday, I spent my day in meetings with Becky Jones, I joined the sustainability board meeting and the northwest green plan event. These meetings were very informative as I have a special interest in sustainability, so I found sitting in the meetings very beneficial. As this lines in with my degree I enjoyed Thursday a lot and learnt a lot of new information of how sustainability is upheld in the NHS.
I spent most of the week sitting in different meetings within the company and viewing the normal meetings that may happen each week or month.
Tuesday and Wednesday
On Tuesday and Wednesday I spent more time with Jane on marketing and was set the task of researching twitter to see if it would be a good social media channel for the company to use. I had never used twitter before or knew how to work it, but once I had been shown how to use it, I was able to complete the task pretty quickly. I was also set the task of writing this blog, due to my interest in writing.
On Friday I made my way to Birmingham to meet with Jenny Sadler. We began the day with Jenny talking through her role at gbpartnerships, after learning a bit about what she does, I was set a task. At the start of the day, I was told about how gbpartnerships wants to be a part of Bcorp, an organisation that gives recognition to companies that withhold high social and environment values. In order to be recognised the company needs 80 points in an evaluation, and I was set the task to find where the company can achieve points. After I checked the website, I was able to find an extra 8 points for the company that can be achieved through easy tasks.
Later in the afternoon I was set a task of creating an inventory of each piece of equipment in the office and seeing if there was any missing; keyboard, monitors, mouse and docking stations. After searching the office and counting I wrote up a report of what was missing in the office and what was needed, I also wrote about my findings on the Bcorp website as well.
In Week 3 I spent most of the week visiting different sites that the company has built and / or working to renovate.
On Monday I spent the day with Colin Pape looking round sites that the company had renovated. We started the day at Hartley hospital in Southport, the facility manager in the building took us round the centre and showed us every part of the hospital apart from the wards. It was interesting to see how the building had been renovated and the way it was built.
Later we travelled to the Ainsdale medical centre, where a doctor took us round and showed us the staff areas in the hospital and was very positive about his workspace and practice.
After dinner we travelled back to Liverpool and visited the Kensington and Garston health centres, we looked round the waiting rooms. I was shown how the buildings were designed to be individual and have an interesting look about them.
The Garston health centre has a full chrome wall outside of it (below right). On a day when its 38 degree heat underneath gets very hot! The Kensington health centre (below left) has a sign outside saying Love Life. The pigeons love the sign to use as a nest, so I tried not to stand directly underneath!
On Thursday I met with Colin Pape again and this time looked round buildings that the company is working with NHS clients to renovate (pictured below). We began at Chorley medical centre, this centre was clearly in need of some improvements and Colin talked through what the plan was to renovate and what would change.
Later we went to Hornspit medical centre, this centre was very small so my stop there was short and brief. Looking in the waiting room and outside the centre it was again obvious why this centre needed improving and what would be done.
Seeing both the health centres on Monday and Thursday really gave me an insight into what the company does and how they work to improve these buildings quite dramatically. The difference between the buildings was very drastic.
In the last week I finished off the rest of my blog, Jane also taught me how to use LinkedIn which I used to finish off my task of finding the companies contacts on Twitter and LinkedIn.
I also met with Abdul Hamid, who gave me a very thorough explanation on what the role of the company is, how the company is promoting sustainability and the measures that are starting to be put in place to make the hospitals and health centres already built more sustainable. This talk really fitted in to what I’m interested in at university, so I found this chat really helpful and informative.
Overall, my time with gbpartnerships has been very beneficial, working with every aspect of the company really gave me some insight as to what I would like to do in my career. I was very lucky to have such a valuable opportunity and people to work with who took time out of their day to accommodate me and my learning, so I’m very grateful.