In early 2016, after a number of Skype chats and e-mail threads, we were really excited to host Zuzanna Stanczewska as an intern from University College of Northern Denmark (UCN).
As her time with us draws to an end, we asked Zuzanna to give us an insight into the time she has had in Sunderland in order to learn how it feels coming into Consult and Design. We were really happy and also amused by her revealing words and thought it would be nice to share. We hope you enjoy it!
'The Office' has effectively turned me into being chronically sceptical about office work, thus my suspicious vision underwent a quite sudden shock with the very first steps I made into the Consult and Design office.
No stuffy cubicles, no kill-me-please looking workers, no frustrating silence pierced only from time to time with phone calls and sighs. Instead, smiling, zestful people, a light and spacious working area and, the centre of everyone's attention, a huge aquarium.
I felt motivated to go to work everyday knowing that I will see only friendly faces and spend time productively as I was assigned to some really interesting projects. Not only was I provided with invaluable hands-on experience but also constant support and feedback.
Thanks to the general openness, just by observing I got to grasp ways of effective team collaboration and project management, things that you mostly learn only in theory during studies. I was especially looking up to Cameron in this case who despite his young age, does an awesome job here with 'feeding the creatives.' ;)
I must say I would never have expected such a great experience from a small company in this “mysterious” city of Sunderland that I knew mostly only from the football team before. At least until the first e-mails that I exchanged with Adam and Ieva who always made sure that I felt more than welcome and that I did not have to worry about anything.
Unfortunately, I must say that these 3 months had one downside — they made me wonder if I will manage to find such an environment ever again.
An environment of people that:
- you can expect to play everything from the Star Wars theme to Justin Bieber
- go to many socials such as cinema, Laser Quest or food and drinks together to remain close and keep the morale up (with special thanks to Stefan who I was afraid of at the beginning, but he turned out to be such nice company — especially for nights out!)
- buy a whole new tank for a bullying crayfish instead of flushing it down the toilet
- are open about everything that's going on and do not hesitate to lend a hand
- can jump from a dead serious matter to discussing the capacity of the Titanic door in a few minutes (I especially enjoyed Paul's "full of gravity" statements about various topics)
- make sure you always get your daily dose of laughter (here's where Nathan and Kevin took the unquestionable lead)
- genuinely like spending 8 hours a day in each other's company and enjoy what they are doing, despite blockers
Also, David who beams with peace and could always appreciate good taste in music, Adam who I picture now as a role model boss, and Ieva who brings tons of positive energy to the office — they are all major factors that made my stay so exceptional.
This family-like team embraced me so well that after a couple of weeks I almost felt like I've been here for years. From simple, yet thoughtful moves such as adding my picture and bio to their website, through helping me with everyday issues, to taking me to London so I could participate in DrupalCamp — they managed to make me feel at home. Now, two weeks before departure, I can't help but use this gif since it says more than 1000 words…
Thank you guys for turning a mandatory assignment from University into such an amazing experience.
Thank you Zuzanna! You've been an asset to the office and we wish you all the best in the future — and who knows, maybe our paths will cross again.