As a Year 10 student, I think there’s nothing better to do than kick back after a long stressful day at school. But…sometimes my mind decides to look at the bigger picture. In some ways, students have it easy; we don’t have to deal with angry customers or make long-distance conference calls day in and day out, however, it never crossed my mind that I would have the opportunity to see what a day in a life of a employee was like. Fortunately, the school I go to, Hinchingbrooke, invites Year 10 students to take two weeks out of their school lives to experience working in an environment of their choosing.
I consider myself to be a creative person who wants to follow a path towards a career of animation or designing. Luckily for me, I hit the jackpot! Whilst exploring the choices of work that were offered, I came across a local graphic design and printing company conveniently situated in Huntingdon. It was fairly nerve wracking to contact people I’d never met before but I was greeted with friendly emails in answer to interview dates (Yes! An interview! Remember, for two weeks, I was an “employee” at a professional company) and questions. The few weeks before my work experience zoomed pass me in a blur. And then, it was time for me to pluck up my courage and dive headfirst into a new planet.
The atmosphere and vibe of the building was inviting and almost intriguing to me. I felt a bit lost at first when I walked through the doors, until a lovely lady pointed me in the right direction to meet the person who would look after me during my two weeks. That’s when I met Ben Taylor, he set me up with a lively schedule to satisfy the two weeks and gave me a tour of the Mimeo building. As I mentioned earlier, the atmosphere was buzzing. Friendly chatter greeted my ears and plenty of smiles to boost. I had never met these people before, but already, I felt at home (or work for that matter!). What amazed me was the amount of work the employees completed on daily basis. Their spirits were high and the laughter loud. I’m not the one for social situations, yet, I was comfortable to conform to my true self in the Mimeo environment.
Anyway, enough about that! I would love to share the things I got up to during my work experience! During my first week, I was scheduled to learn the ins and outs of design software; more specifically: Adobe Indesign and Photoshop, how they deal with customers and job requests, and have a go to designing something myself. Mimeo caters to range of products, working alongside the subdivisions. Ever wondered who got your school planner together? It might well have been The School Planner Company! They also ensure memories of your school life are treasured with yearbooks and even leaver’s hoodies. Funerals are a depressing time, but we should always celebrate one’s life! Gateway most likely work alongside you to ensure that the order of service is designed beautifully and professionally. However, It’s not all about the design. I wouldn’t be inclined to work alongside a company who would swat me away like an annoying fly. Would you? Mimeo and its subdivisions do exactly the opposite!
My first day was quite a hectic one! Initially I was introduced to designing software but one of the employees unfortunately left home ill. I was asked to take over the job which really gave me an insight of how adaptable one would need to be in a professional working environment. My job as a runner was very important (multiply that very at least by ten…). The runner needed to be quick on their feet and organised as they are the ones to pass the job requests from the Gateway customer services to the studios, print production and back down to the customer services again. Needless to say, I found it quite enjoyable to get some exercise and meet new people. Everyone was open and friendly, ready to answer any questions I had! The day flew by pretty quickly. I left prepared for the week and feeling excited to what was coming in the next few days.
The rest of week, I was thrown into designing. I got stuck into designing school planner covers and even some wedding invitations! Looking through samples of planners and any other products that are supplied, I was pleasantly surprised at the variety and aesthetics. There was something for everyone! If you wanted a flashy school planner to entice students to record their homework, The SPC supplied it. If you want your grannie’s favourite flowers on the order of service, Gateway would incorporate it on the design. If you wanted your yearbook to be more like a comic book, the template would be just one mouse click away. If you want something unique, Mimeo would happily design it to your needs and interests and won’t print it until you’re 100% happy with it.
Next week, I was taken into the print and production area to check out all the cool machines that are used to bring the products to life (actually, it would be creepy if your planner started talking to you in the middle of a lesson…). I never realised how much work goes into making these things and it made me appreciate my school planner a bit more. With some friendly help and advice, I got stuck into putting school planners together and binding them with coils. I have to be honest here, as repetitive as the coiling may sound, I found it quite relaxing. Luckily, after spending two mornings down in the bindery, I was able to get the knack of the coiling machines and began to whizz away, sifting through a few jobs. If it had not been for the friendly staff, I might well have been coiling my hands together!
I have two days left of my experience. Boy, time flies when you’re having fun! I’m looking forward to my last two days, however, I will be slightly sad that my experience has come to an end. I would like to thank everyone for making my experience a fulfilling time and for being so friendly and helpful with awkward, clumsy me! I’ve learned a lot and I have to say, I enjoyed seeing all the quality products coming together!
I encourage you to check out Mimeo’s products, otherwise you’ll be hearing from me!
Year 10 student at Hinchingbrooke school