previously posted on my blog Abroad in London
as a weekly update for family and friends
One Royal Exchange
I was nervous coming into the first day of work. I had every right to be! It was not only a new country but an entirely new sector for me. I’d never done work in Finance before. I’d taken one Finance class my sophomore year and hadn’t quite thought about it since then. My past two jobs I’ve worked for co-op had both been in a field I was comfortable in
from my private life: web development and content management. Now I was entering an entirely new field in the Financial sector of Transition Management.
I’d been given a crash course while I was in Boston about what the team does. I understood the concept which was a fine place to begin. Yet on the first day of work I had butterflies and was all jittery. I had an idea of how long the commute to work would be. I figured that it would be around 30 minutes from door to door. I left my flat that
morning early to give myself wiggle room if there was heavy commuter traffic. (As it turns out I do like a reverse commute… everyone gets off at the tube stop on which I enter!)
And I arrived at work… 40 minutes early. I sat myself down at the local cafe within the building to calm my nerves and ordered an apple juice (at £4 a glass rest assured that it won’t become a habit). I drank and read the news papers (a free edition which since has become a morning commute habit) and watched my watch tick by slowly. With 10 minutes left to go, I started hunting for the exact office I’d be working in.
Heading out the back of the building I walked along the area and looked for the address which simple was “One Royal Exchange”. Everything was the Royal Exchange! I entered one building and inquired after the address. I was sent to another. They in turn had no idea what I was looking for. So I trotted back to where I’d found my apple juice. The bottom level was all expensive stores (Tiffany’s and Bvlgari, to name a few) and looked up. I could actually see the offices but had no idea on quite how to reach them.
Stepping out the front door I paused to ask a local and they graciously directed me to “One Royal Exchange”. Wouldn’t you know that 1 Royal Exchange was the door directly to the left of the major entrance to the Royal Exchange? Yes and you can imagine that 2 Royal Exchange is simply on the other side. Inside I asked for my boss and his PA was waiting for the elevator. She took me up and here I was to work!
A whirlwind of a day later I stumbled back out of the Royal Exchange and down into the tubes to ride home. I’d spent the morning waiting on internet access but had been given literature to read and inform myself with. I had a brief introduction meeting and otherwise was left to my own devices. The next day it would be a little of the same but by lunch I’d been taken under the wing of one of my bosses to explain the set up of the team. The third day I was being instructed on how to do different kinds of reporting for my job and joined the American interns to lunch. And today? More learning.
Overall work has been going swell. I feel comfortable here and my nerves were misplaced. I have a nice little desk set up and the team is all kinds of friendly. The building is to die for and is one of the oldest in London. It took a few days but I now have gotten into the groove, gotten comfortable and it feels like I’m starting to get some work sent down the pipe line.