Monday, 6 November 2017

My London Office Experience

So I've spent 4 weeks in my internship at Action on Smoking and Health, a public health charity in London which deals with advocacy and campaign to eliminate the harm to health due to tobacco smoke. It has been a great experience working with colleagues from England, Scotland and USA and very cordial people at that. 
What more, I am excited to finally experience the corporate world especially since I never had a proper office job in Nigeria. All my work experience before now has been confined to hospital wards wearing ward coats and scrubs, or in consulting rooms listening, taking notes and prescribing drugs. Having to sit in front of a computer with my cup of coffee/tea from 9am to 5pm amidst other colleagues working on their computers is very interesting. Prolly says a lot about my personality. I don't like moving around too much.
The part of this type of 9 to 5 office job you'd think I will not like is the targets and deadlines. On the contrary, I actually like them. For some of us that need a little extra push to do stuff, an office job where you are accountable to a senior is ideal. Another thing I love about this office job is that once it is weekend, I can put behind me all work stuff and get a life. I couldn't get this much freedom working in a hospital. Let me now share some of the observations I've made while here. 
First thing I noticed was the speed at which my colleagues type. I used to think I was a fast typer but not until I came to ASH. They type at the speed of light and they don't look at the keyboard when they do. That's a skill I'd really love to learn. Secondly, they are very courteous. When someone gets up to make coffee/tea, he asks if anyone needs anything. I've still not been able to cultivate that habit. 
Another observation is their simple dressing. Office work in Nigeria is usually synonymous to high heels, corporate shirts, plain skirts/trousers. Or so I thought, at least from observing my banker friends. Here, dressing is the least thing to worry about. I remember I had a lecturer in Nottingham that would come to class barefooted or in her gym wear because she ran every morning. If she was running late, she'd just dash in to class like that. They can't care less. 
Also, I noticed that in my office, there is a very generous use of swear words. From the greatest to the least ranked, F-word is so commonplace.  
It has been a rewarding experience for me, putting my academic knowledge to practice in the real world, being at meetings that shape policy and seeing the world through a different lens. The other day I attended a political debate on England's tobacco control plan at the House of Commons. I am grateful to University of Nottingham for affording me this inestimable opportunity of a lifetime. This internship will be ending very soon. It's sad 'cause I'm already feeling comfortable and I'll soon be back to ward coats and scrubs. 
#lifeinlondon #londontales #officework #publichealthintern 
©Radiant ~ November 2017

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