Behind the scenes at BESA

Working at BESA as an intern has been nothing but a pleasant experience.

There’s a harmonious balance of business and banter that goes on every day in this office. Everyone gets along and seems to genuinely like one another, which I can’t imagine can be said for every company office.

I’ve been told several times by those working alongside me – especially William, Head of Events – that this office is unlike any other and I should not take it as representative of all businesses.

There are certain connotations you have walking into an office space – the usual desks, computers, communal fridge, etc. I wasn’t exactly sure what I thought it was going to be like, but I certainly didn’t imagine an atmosphere so enjoyable.

This isn’t to say BESA is an office of slackers or time-wasters! In fact, from what I have gathered, the chit chats and jokes bouncing around are only possible due to how hardworking every person is from nine to five – or nine to whenever some people eventually leave the office.

During my time here, I have been helping the communications team with re-jigging their database. As corporate as this may sound, it has been a fun way to spend my time.

I was expecting to make a few coffees a day and do some cross-referencing here and there. However, I have been pleasantly surprised with the things I’ve been working on so far.

I’ve been able to write for BESA – as I am now – on various topics I have an interest in. Being able to write for a day’s work is a dream of mine and I am very grateful to have been allowed to do so.

There have been some afternoons spent copying and pasting for hours or shredding a dozen boxes of old paperwork, but I have also been extremely stimulated with a lot of the tasks I’ve been given since being here.

When I mention to people I work as an office intern in Canary Wharf, I get one of two responses: a look of surprise followed by a comment about being a corporate slave or ‘such a city girl’, or a hint of jealousy with a curious eyebrow raise.

Learning about the ways in which businesses and start-up companies operate by working on their database information, and getting to know how schools work from the other side of the desk, has felt rather odd since I have not been out of school very long.

I’ve found myself to be a fly on the wall of the education sector in the business world. It’s been incredibly insightful, and I have been trying to absorb as much of what’s going on around me as possible.

Although I am only in two days a week, I certainly feel a sense of satisfaction after leaving the office. In my opinion, this is an extreme privilege. To feel satisfied after a working day is something I never thought I’d say I had experienced, especially at 19.