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Aleena Sharif’s First Week at SharpFutures

First day as an apprentice…

As I previously have worked as a Social Media Placement at SharpFutures and also an apprentice with Playground Squad at The Sharp Project, I was glad to be back! I am very familiar with the building and some of the people here. I understand that it is a creative, busy and hard working- environment. It is a cool place to work and there is always something new going on. The Sharp Project never sleeps!

On my first day as an apprentice, I had an induction in which I met my new colleagues- as well as people I have met before through working at SharpFutures. It was strange being classed as a new apprentice since I had worked with SharpFutures previously- but as a placement!

I came in as normal and was invited into Gold 66, where I used to have workshops in Social Media Marketing, to find notebooks and pens on the table as well as Jayne and a TV. This was the first I had seen of my new colleagues and we had to introduce ourselves.

We then watched a presentation, which was about the rules and code of conduct mainly, as well as some questions to ensure we were clear of what is required from us. After this, we had to do a short icebreaker task to see how we all perceive or interpret information differently.

It was interesting to find we all did this in a similar way – but differently at the same time. We all cut out the unnecessary parts of the conversation and concentrated on the informational elements. Essentially this task was to get to know the other person a little bit, as well as to see how we take information in differently.

We were then told we had to do a presentation by the end of the day, just after lunch and were sent content to read through- as well as questions to answer. After logging onto our laptops, we all read through the content together and suggested ways of making a more interesting presentation- in a short space of time.  Vanessa and I, since we were more familiar with SharpFutures, were told to lead on the presentation- but we all had to speak.

When we were researching and discussing, we were also getting to know each other more and having a good laugh whilst coming up with ideas. I decided it might be fun to make a few short videos of us roleplaying the rules of ‘misconduct’, to show that we all understand what is not acceptable behaviour, as we were supposed to be filmed – but unfortunately we did not have a camera to hand._DSC0423

It was quite funny doing daft things and it was a good way of making our presentation more fun and less boring. We also agreed that both Vanessa and I would start with the two opening questions – since we knew more about them – then make it more of a conversation style interview – asking the new apprentices to answer the same set of questions about themselves. It went well and by the end of the day I felt like I already knew a lot about the new apprentices!

Next day…

On the second day, I was assigned my own task and told I must gather information and read through more content sent to me by my new main managers. I must present this information back in my own way, gathering information and answering questions about The Sharp Project, The Space Project and also other questions relevant to the apprenticeship.

I read through the content and started doing research. I decided to manage my time efficiently, to make a Trello board with guidelines and a checklist to keep myself on track. I also started typing up rough notes and breaking down the questions into power point slide sections.

Though the presentation will be less formal, I was a bit nervous thinking about it! (I usually hate presentations). This is the reason
why I chose to do it though, so I get used to presenting and it just seems like the best method to answer the questions I have been asked. When I get used to them, I start to enjoy them more- and this is what SharpFutures are about- learning new things and coming out of your comfort zone!

Third day…

Day 3, I was then continuing to do research as well as taking more notes and re-drafting them. I did a lot of reading and typing, keeping in mind what I already know about The Sharp and Space Project brands. I found The Sharp Project easier to talk about and expand on, but The Space Project – not as easy in a way, as I have only visited it once!

The Space Project is the sister site to  The Sharp Project and is the purpose built TV production stage complex for the North of England. The research has helped me learn more about the differences and similarities- which is quite important to know when working with/on the brands.

The rest of the week…

Throughout the week I worked on this presentation, constantly adding to my notes and re-wording, breaking it down into sections so it was then easier to transfer into a speech and also work as a presentation – without duplicating my notes and repeating myself too much. There was a lot of information to take in, so my
presentation became a lot longer than expected!

I then had a conversation with Kerry, as I was told we needed to help with tweeting and promoting content we had all created for Boy meets Girl. Kerry told me about a cool online presentation site – Prezi – so I decided to use this for my presentation.

I felt a little nervous about doing the presentation but decided to make myself do it to get used to presenting in front of others! I was also struggling with finding the right presentation program to create a nice and also smooth, clear presentation – without it being too complicated to use – as when I am nervous- it’s good to be sure of how to use the software at least!

Having familiarised myself with it slightly, I was then able to start creating an interesting presentation which follows a similar theme to the brands themselves. It also made me feel more confident that I hopefully won’t be boring anyone to death! (Despite the fact there are 24 slides in total…)

On Thursday, Lauren unexpectedly mentions Dan’s graphics and has a quick chat with Kris and me about some content she wanted to be produced. I was then told she wanted graphics from me, a report of
The Sharp Project and helping with some tweets for the social media channels.

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This is life at SharpFutures, one day you’ll be working on your apprenticeship, then the next you are given 101 tasks to do, totally unexpected! This is the charm of working with SharpFutures, you never know what is going to happen and what you will be responsible for doing! It may seem like a very relaxed job, where we look like we are having too much fun at times, but there is a lot of work involved too. There are a lot of rules we must adhere to, though as long as we do- this isn’t a problem!

I was then emailed on Friday, told that I need to produce a report of The Sharp Project. I finalized my presentation today but rescheduled it for the following week as it is all a bit chaotic here! It pays to be an expert multi-tasker whilst working here, it is a great place to be. It is definitely daring and adventurous at SharpFutures and The Sharp Project…

To be continued…