Sunday July 28, 2013
It was a glorious and sunny Monday morning as I made my way from the little town of Buckhurst Hill up to Covent Garden to start my week-long work experience placement at Purple Cubed. My first observation was that the company takes the whole ‘purple’ thing very seriously, and I soon found myself sitting in an office with purple walls, drinking from a purple glass, using a purple highlighter and throwing my litter into a purple bin. After coming to terms with my colourful environment, I began my work experience. I worked on a range of different projects and in different areas of the company, from data analysis to client research and now even blogging; definitely gaining the experience that I came after.
Being in year 12, I would have finished school last Friday and therefore started my summer holidays had I not been on work experience at Purple Cubed. “Why, oh why, in this glorious weather would you want to go on work experience when you could be doing absolutely nothing?!” I hear you scream, yet the answer is very simple – motivation.
When in the right mind set, I would call myself a very motivated person. I draw motivation now from a very different place in the past. As a young teenager, sport was all I knew and loved. I represented my school at football, rugby and athletics, and I also frequently played badminton. Like most young teenagers, I did not enjoy school and saw it as a chore, yet my motivation to attend, to behave and to achieve in school was the fear of not being able to play for the team on a Wednesday afternoon. Sport became an even bigger motivation to me when I was chosen to become a London 2012 Sports Ambassador, a role that saw me responsible for promoting the Olympic and Paralympic values in my school and schools in the surrounding area, in the two and half years prior to London 2012. Being a Sports Ambassador gave me another reason to work hard and learn about the values of responsibility, and gave me another example of being able to gain motivation from sport.
Sadly it wasn’t long before my love affair with sport caught up with me, and at the age of 15 I underwent surgery on my left knee for cruciate ligament and cartilage damage. At the end of my 9 month recovery, I understandably was not at the same level of performance as I had been prior to my injury, and I found myself in a position where it was no longer the centre of my life, or my motivation.
I struggled in my last year of compulsory education to find a source of motivation, yet I managed to finish school with very respectable GCSEs and a place at my school’s sixth form. I made the decision that I did not want to go to university, simply because I wanted to earn money. Yes, they may say that post-graduates will earn more on average than non-graduates, and yes, there are figures to prove this, however to me it was black and white – I am motivated to go out and earn money, so if I go to university I will not be motivated. And fifty odd thousand pounds is a very expensive party if you are not motivated and do not achieve at university. I am aware that people going to university may also be motivated by money, and they are looking at the long term plan, but I feel my time is now. Carpe diem and all that.
So I had found it, a new motivation in the form of money. I’m not quite that shallow, as money and success come hand in hand, and success is now what I work hard and strive for in the hope of an exciting future. The great Voltaire once said “Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need.” I suppose many would argue that work also exposes you to more than three other evils, but that is a debate for another day.
Finally, this brings me back around to my time here at Purple Cubed, and why I chose to use a week of my summer for work experience. The answer is in the name – experience. My motivation for success has driven me to have aspirations for a career in finance, and I may not know much yet, but I do know nowadays if you don’t have a degree, experience is absolutely paramount to even getting a chance in the city. The experience and knowledge I have gained during my placement at Purple Cubed has been absolutely invaluable and I am sure that I will feel the benefit of my time here in many ways in the future. I would like to thank the team for this priceless opportunity and allowing me to come in and increase my understanding of the (slightly purple) world of work.