My Work Experience with Paddl Co. - By Harriet Waymark
As a current Year 10 student, I am required to complete a week of Work Experience, and it was an absolute pleasure to spend this week with the Paddl Marketing Team, learning countless new skills under the supervision of Caitlin and Aaron and getting my first real taste of the workplace environment! Although nervous and unsure about what to expect in the beginning - and not wanting to feel like a burden to the team, I quickly learnt that I already had some relevant information and ideas to contribute, as well as getting some key experience under my belt.
My First Visit to the Office
2 weeks or so before my Placement, I organised a visit to the office to familiarise myself with the office space and the general area around me. It was very relieving to see how welcoming and friendly the team was, and how nice the environment I was to work in in. Caitlin, (The head of Growth Partnerships - and my ‘boss’ for the week) and I went to a coffee shop (now my favourite) to discuss my interests and my thoughts about marketing to Gen Z individuals – which as a teenager who experiences Gen Z culture every day, is something I know all too much about. After a quick chat with the lovely Dominique, the co-founder and CEO, I departed, excited and ready for a great week.
On Monday I was greeted with a detailed introduction letter, outlining Paddl’s Vision, Mission and Values, some information about my role for the week, and a list of tasks to complete over the course of the week. Though it seemed daunting at first, I quickly went about distributing tasks to certain days, making the workload seem far more manageable.
After 3 hours it was finally lunch time, and I was able to duck upstairs to heat up my lunch, before being surprised with the opportunity to attend a meeting with at GrowthOps concerning Brand positioning with John (Co-founder), Dominique and Caitlin. At the meeting - I was able to observe and participate in a collaborative and informative discussion, which was extremely interesting to someone who had never experienced such a level of high intensity and fast paced discussion. After a very engaging 3 ½ hours of collaboration and trying to restrain myself from eating all the delicious treats on the table (Brain power is Important!) I headed home, exhausted but content, and with considerably more respect for people who work from 9 to 5 every day.
Hard at work :)
As part of my Market Research, I conducted a series of investigations, asking my friends questions about their social media habits and plans for the future to create an informative report, something I had done countless times at school with no real purpose except for attaining a mark. With this type of work, I was able to take all the skills I had developed in this area at school and build onto them, but this time with more of a purpose and an aim,and knowing that my research would be used as a reference point in the future, I was fuelled with more incentive to find quality and relevant information.
Over the past week, I have called and interviewed friends, analysed the social media profiles of various companies, compared marketing strategies, drawn tables and done a lot of writing – and though it may seem surprising, have had a lot of fun along the way. Though the phrase may seem childish, it has left me feeling more ‘grown up’ than ever, or at least feeling more capable and confident in my abilities after so much ‘hands on’ learning.
Aside from all my research, I’ve had such a great time exploring the area (particularly all the cool lunch spots & Café’s) and have discovered that not only is Paddl located in a prime coffee region, but the office is surrounded by a wide range of assorted multicultural restaurants – to one of which Caitlin and I ventured on Tuesday, where I had the pleasure of eating a Poke Bowl (for the first time!) which was amazing!
We also had an awesome visit from an adorable dog on Thursday, who had been ‘rescued’ from the street and came and hung out in the office for a while before he was picked up (he had been checked for a microchip, and his owners were contacted), and the presence of a furry little friend was a welcoming surprise.
I know I’ll be sad to leave and go back to school – but I had so much fun spending this week at Paddl learning about Workplace Culture and building on current skills to contribute my own knowledge and research to the team. I have had such a positive experience and learnt so much – So here’s a huge thank you to everyone at Paddl! Thank you for facilitating my learning, being so open and welcoming, and providing me with first had and experience that will no doubt hugely benefit me in the future.