Virtual Reality & Cacti
It was my first Saturday in London and I was just starting to feel as if I was getting some kind of grip on the city. We were sat in the Uber I had so expertly ordered, as if to give the illusion that I had had the app downloaded, or, rather, had lived in the city, for more than a couple of hours. I felt like I was ready for anything; to walk briskly and complain loudly about the Central line, or whatever it is that ‘Londoners’ do. Well, I was, until my friend turned to me and said, “you start your placement tomorrow”.
By tomorrow he meant Monday, of course, but the technical realisation hit hard. I had spent so long trying to get the job, find a place to live and generally pass my degree that actually doing the job itself had suddenly snuck up on me. I had no doubt in my mind that NBCUniversal International was the perfect company for me; I had been so keen to work there that I had actually applied for three different positions. Fast forward three cover letters, two video interviews and a couple of assessment days and ‘The Call’ finally came in the middle of one of my development lectures. It’s safe to say I didn’t pay any attention after that!
NBCUniversal International has, as I would come to be reminded by a cheerful induction video, a rich history largely comprised of the National Broadcasting Company and Universal Pictures. It’s a subsidiary of Comcast, and is, by many measures, the largest media company in the world. Although my degree is in Politics with Economics, I knew from the onset that I wanted my placement to be in media and applied for very little else.
Thankfully, my efforts paid off and I found myself stepping into the International halls as an employee. The company shares a bright, busy building off Tottenham Court Road with other companies (including Google); a building with fast revolving doors and lifts with no buttons inside. I had been inside the previous summer for a meeting but, naturally, it felt different entering knowing that I would be spending the next year as an intern.
I successfully secured the role of New Media Research Intern, the title that would come to adorn my placement documents and email signatures. After a week of inductions, a catalogue of new faces and a less than perfect ID photo, I was beginning to learn what I would be doing for the next year. Primarily, I would work with digital content sales and tracking social media, but I also get to work with the fantastic catalogue; from Jurassic World to The Office. Many of the partners are both familiar yet innovative, with names such as Apple, Amazon and Play Station coming up often. Furthermore, I have been selected to assist the hayu team (subscription reality video on demand) which is a befitting reward for my many years of watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians!
It has now been a month since I joined NBCUniversal, although it has flown by. As Excel functions and digital terminology becomes second nature, I am amazed at how much I have learned in such a short period of time. I don’t know if it’s the amount of film and TV posters throughout the office or simply the people, but the company has continued to be a friendly and collaborative place since my first day.
There have also been some incredible highlights. NBCUniversal International hosted ‘Digifest’ for the first time; a digital festival showcasing the latest in media technology. After a panel of social media giants (including Facebook and Snapchat), I was able to walk around and try the newest prototypes; including a virtual reality headset that made me look like I was Iron Man. This was followed by drinks, where Made In Chelsea’s Stephanie Pratt was a guest, on the newly acquired tenth floor that overlooks the whole city. There were photos taken (that now line my desk) which made the whole event feel terribly glamourous. Less glamorous was the time I accidentally ordered ten cacti to the office; which now line both my and most of the research department’s desks.
Whilst this is just a brief overview of my first month, I hope to share more over the upcoming year. I’m sure it will be an incredible journey!
~ Tasha, Research, UK