We were recently joined by Imogen Davies on a work experience placement.
Imogen is currently studying Psychology, English Language and Business A Level at a local Sixth Form college. Imogen worked with every member of the Peel Waters team and took part in a range of activities; we asked Imogen to share her thoughts on her work experience placement with us…
My work experience blog
by Imogen Davies
I’ll start off by answering the question ‘Was it what I expected?’
This was initially difficult for me to answer because although I had browsed the Peel Waters website, I wasn’t quite sure about the type of things I would be doing and whether I would enjoy working in an office. However, this made me more intrigued. After the first day, being introduced to different members of the team, I realised that the office environment at Peel Waters had a personality that made the workplace feel very welcoming and comfortable and I felt that I had more of an idea of what office jobs are like, which shifted my mindset to being more open to the idea of it.
Throughout the week, I learnt so much about various fields that I didn’t even know existed, and I believe this is because of the amount of task variation I had been given. I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with various lovely and inspiring people who each work in different sectors, such as Peel Waters’ Executive Director James Whittaker, Development Director Leigh Thomas and Kate and Emma in the Marketing and PR team. Everyone I spoke to took the time to explain their role within the business, which allowed me to gain a wider knowledge of what Peel Waters do, and some of the projects that they are working on. I was even lucky enough to get a tour of Trafford Palazzo from Operations Manager Dave Usher to see the new attractions that are coming to Manchester, and I was also able to sit in a board meeting at the Manchester Heliport.
This links into the next question, ‘What did I like about the experience?’
I can confidently say that my favourite aspect about my work experience was how interactive the work was. I really enjoyed learning about Peel Waters’ developments such as the TraffordCity Ice Arena which is set to be one of biggest arenas of its kind in the UK, and Therme – a unique wellbeing resort, also to be based in TraffordCity in the future. On the third day of my work experience, I visited the Peel Waters Liverpool office, along with a drive to the Wirral to see the 30 new energy efficient homes along Redbridge Quay. This again gave me a wider understanding of the types of properties and developments that Peel Waters oversee.
During the week I spent some time with Emma Green, Communications and Marketing Lead at Peel Waters, who asked me to complete a competitor analysis and review how Liverpool and Wirral Waters manage their social media accounts. I enjoyed this job as it allowed me to suggest some of my ideas on how Liverpool and Wirral Waters’ Instagram and LinkedIn accounts could be improved, to help strengthen Peel’s marketing strategy.
I also really enjoyed my conversation with Cara, an apprentice at Peel Waters, who told me about her roles and responsibilities within the legal side of the business. Cara took the time to get to know me and helped me to look for some apprenticeships within the area, which I found very useful. During my week in the office, not only did I get the chance to learn something from each person at Peel Waters, but I sat in multiple meetings that allowed me to see how the team communicates their ideas with other departments.
A meeting that I especially enjoyed was an update about Embassy Village, a Greater Manchester-based charity that helps people break the cycle of homelessness by providing a home, skills training and all round support for people. The meeting was to discuss further fundraising for the building of housing units in the village, which made me more aware of the importance of marketing.
On my final day in the office, I spent the morning with Peel Waters’ Receptionist Tia, who told me about the admin jobs that she does, for example delivering letters to the staff and answering calls. After speaking to Tia, I took part in a photoshoot which was taking place on site; I had my photo taken with James Whittaker, and the rest of the team had their headshots taken for the new website.
A final question that someone may ask is ‘Why do I think that doing work experience is important?’
I have really benefitted from doing work experience. I found that a lot of the information the team shared with me was typically something you would not obtain from an academic course, and was focussed towards a real world working environment. I also think that work experience allows you to discover things that you may be interested in, while also meeting lots of new people.
After the entire experience at Peel Waters, I can confidently say that I am even more interested in the aspects of business and the impact that it has on the wider community. I believe by having explored more paths within the business world, I am more knowledgeable, which in turn has helped me to gain skills that I will definitely use when it comes to choosing a potential career in the future.