Meet the team: Alice
Posted by Alice Richards on 01/06/2016
Once inside Interaction's office I was a little overwhelmed at how different it was.
I believe that sometimes you have to make your own luck. Well, that’s how I feel when I think about how I came to live and work in Bath.
After returning from University I knew I didn’t want to work in London. Born in Yeovil, I have lived and studied all my life in the South West of England and I love being here.
A desire to work in Bath
Having successfully completed my degree course at the University of Southampton I decided I wanted to live in Bath. I visited this beautiful city many times when my brother and his wife lived here. This, plus being a historical student, made the option of starting my working life here too tempting. But, first I needed a job.
It was quite an experience securing a job at Interaction. The recruitment company escorted me to my interview. The office is tucked down a cobbled street in Bath, with a secretive, underground, glass entrance, that makes me think of MI5. Once inside the office I was a little overwhelmed at how different it was. I hadn’t seen anything like it. I had previously worked in museums in Southampton and Interaction’s office was nothing like this: modern, spacious and had its own bar (my favourite feature).
After, successfully chatting my way through the first interview I was called back for a second interview with the Chief Executive, Paul Haskins. Which was tougher. I nervously answered some Maths questions, and ‘entertained him’ (I think) with my optimistic ramblings about my character and work credentials. I left utterly convinced that I hadn’t got the job. Thankfully they saw something in me and offered me a job as Project Secretary. I was surprised but really pleased.
A place where people work hard but have fun
My new role involved helping with the administration side of Interaction’s office design. Making sure everything was on site that the Project manager had requested. I loved the role and I immediately loved the company. It was a place where people worked hard while having fun. I could see everyone took his or her work seriously but made time to chat and socialise.
To my surprise, a month later, I was offered the role of Office Manager. I was keen to progress with Interaction so I grabbed the opportunity. Being the Office Manager involved some Project Secretary work but also responsibility for the day-to-day running of the office. I was managing; the company’s office facilities, I.T., events and training. I loved the variety this job offered and it was very sociable.
I loved that my job heavily relied on looking after the team and was focused on the happiness of people.
Interaction Launch Party 2015
During my time as the Office Manager I realised I enjoyed seeing ideas come together. For example, Interaction’s office launch party in February 2015 was something I organised. Ringing suppliers, booking a Gordon Ramsey impersonator and sorting out the guest list was a lot of fun. To sit back at the end of the launch night and know nothing went wrong and everyone was happy was a brilliant feeling.
I did the Office Manager’s role for a year and a half but I have recently been given a new challenge. I am now working in the After Care side of the business and responsible for looking after our clients once their office refurbishment has been completed. If they have a query about the fit-out, require more furniture, or more work done to their office, they come to me to organise it. I like to think of it as holding their hand and making sure they get fully settled into their new office. After Care is an important part of what Interaction offers and from my own personal development this is going to be a fantastic way for me to learn more about the business of office design.
These last two years have been a bit of a whirlwind. I am excited by how much I have done and learnt since joining. It just goes to show how far you can go with the right company, some drive and perhaps a little bit of kookiness, you should never be afraid to be different!