A Year in the Life of a People Intern

Lauren 1

Meet Lauren our 2016 People Intern! Have a read of the kinds of things she got up during her time as a Virgin Media Intern.

Week 1- Starting my Internship at Virgin Media:                       

So I’m writing this first entry on day 10 of working life and already I’m struggling to think back to last week when I first arrived for my internship at Virgin Media, it feels like I’ve been here for a lot longer!

Fortunately for all those lucky starters, the company organises a two day training event which is held at a beautiful hotel near the head office of Hook. Just to give you a heads up, don’t be alarmed when you arrive and find very posh white gates leading onto a long drive, you are in the right place I promise!

The training, although extremely jam packed, is great fun and you get to learn so much about the company, its history, core values and vision for the future. We also had a little evening social organised for us and were given the opportunity to go bowling (which I have learnt is not my forte), but it was a good laugh and gave all the interns the chance to get to know each other really well.

Wednesday was the first day we entered the office, and although I was a little apprehensive I was made to feel at ease even before I reached my desk (which was all set up ready and had my name card on... how cute!), people could not have been more welcoming. So please if you are feeling nervous (which inevitably you will be), relax, it will be fine! Even just being here for two weeks you can tell that anyone, and I mean ANYONE, is more than happy to have a chat with you, answer any questions you may have or help in any way they can.

Your first few days will be a little crazy; there is a lot to learn. My advice is to just get stuck in and involved with anything as soon as you can, for example I was asked to attend a meeting with the GC (Graduate Committee) who are involved with making sure the Graduates here at VM get the best experience possible. This was a fantastic opportunity for me and a great chance to network with others that I may not have met otherwise. I will be working closely and supporting them throughout my year here which I am extremely excited about!

Before I knew it, 5pm on Friday had arrived and my first week was over. Although my weekend was great (you need to make the most of these now...long university holidays seem like a distant memory already), I was looking forward to getting back to the office to see what my second week had in store for me!

Week 2-3: Hitting the ground running...

Talk about hitting the ground running…my second week has been a busy one, but I have absolutely no complaints. I officially feel like a proper grown up!

I started the week by having a good old catch up with my manager (and by that I meant we went and grabbed a coffee and sat on the comfy chairs in the canteen) and chatted about what I wanted to get out of this year with VM. She asked me about my learning style, how I thought I worked best, what I expected from her and what areas I thought I wanted to personally develop. This immediately showed me that she cares just as much about my progression and development over the next year as I do and will really support me with my goals throughout.

Even though I’ve only been here a short time I can already see how diverse my job role is going to be over the next year, which is super super exciting and one of the reasons I felt drawn to HR in the first place. Already I have been spending time supporting the GC (Graduate Committee) and working on designing some key business principles for our apprentices, as well as meeting loads of new people and learning about how they fit into the VM family.

I can’t stress enough how much support and advice I have received from so many different people, everyone is more than happy to help you out or organise some time in their diaries to get to know you, which is so lovely and also really helpful as it gives you a much better overview of the company.

Don’t get me wrong there have been times where it’s been slightly overwhelming and I’ve had a mini panic, but I know there is always support around and all I need to do is ask. No one expects you to know everything… which is good because I DEFINITELY do not! But I am learning, so ask me again in a years’ time!

Week 3–4: It’s been a month already?!

Its official, I’ve completed my first month at VM and it’s literally flown by. To be honest I’m starting to feel like part of the furniture and am even remembering how my team members take their tea which is always handy!

These last few weeks have again been a steep learning curve with lots of opportunities to develop new skills. For example I was asked by my manager to pull some data for her regarding apprenticeship engagement through a programme called Zoom (fun fact – did you know that 93% of our apprentices say that they are proud to work for Virgin Media… impressive right).  I’d never used this programme before so I watched an online tutorial through ignite (VM’s own learning and development site) and worked out how to find the data I was looking for. I believe this will be a valuable skill that I can develop over the next year and I am excited to see how useful it will be to me.

In addition, I have been working very closely with our external graduate recruitment supplier which has been brilliant. One of my objectives is to be involved in the organisational process from start to finish, allowing me a ‘behind the scenes’ insight. This something I am very excited about as I feel as though I am able to give valid feedback and pitch new ideas to them, having experienced the recruitment process first hand.

I’m definitely starting to feel like I have developed from a nervous intern to a far more knowledgeable team member, thanks to the support of my lovely teamies, which after only one month is more than I could have wished for.

Anyway I’m off to V-festival for the weekend after winning a pair of tickets (I really do love my job) and to top it off I have Monday off to have a lie in, result!

Week 4-6: Learning from the frontline.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before Virgin Media prides itself in investing in the development of their staff. In order to give their ‘emerging talent’ (yes that’s me) a well-rounded overview of the company it is suggested we visit one of their customer contact offices. So off I went up to Manchester and even though in the time it took me to get there I probably could have jetted off somewhere hot, it was one of the most interesting and informative days of my internship so far.

I arrived at the Wythenshawe office and was greeted by the lovely Donna who proceeded to take me on a tour around the office. From the get go it was clear to see that the culture of Virgin Media really is transferred throughout the business, people were smiling, laughing and genuinely looked to be enjoying themselves.

My first hour was spent in the mobile division where I was lucky enough to listen in to some live calls, and observe how the internal systems allow the team to access the customer’s details and fix any problems they are currently facing. It was absolutely extraordinary to see the amount of knowledge every team member had and the care and advice they were able to offer Virgin Media Customers.

I then moved on to spend some time with the Social Media & Communities team (which was super exciting), and I bet you didn’t know VM have sent around 2million tweets in the last 18 months (and one of those was officially written by me)! The social media team are constantly working to make sure they reply to their customer’s problems, issues or questions on both Facebook and Twitter as soon as possible, it’s a very impressive operation.

Finally (after a nice lunch in the snazzy canteen, which had its own inside secret garden) I spent my afternoon with the complaints department and learnt all about the procedures and policies they have implemented in order to ensure customers are receiving the best service they can.

Not only did I get to meet some more great people during my day in Manchester, I also was able to experience a totally different side to the business which is stuck out on the front line. This has allowed me to have a much better understanding of Virgin Media which I’m sure will come in handy a lot this year!