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Work Experience Log

Day 1 (23/09/13)

On Monday’s, African Supplies have a morning meeting for an hour (at 9am) however, I was told to come in at 10am. Jackie showed me around and let me know about the fire exits etc.

Once the meeting was over, Simon came in to tell me what I would be working on – formatting a catalogue for “Decra Roofing Systems”, one that Peter (3rd year student last year) was working on. Simon showed me a copy of the catalogue that he’d marked with amendments and explained to me.

I had to tweak a few images (remove white backgrounds) and layouts on InDesign and I also learnt how to generate QR codes and change the colour of it too so it’s not just black and white. I then realised that the fonts weren’t all the same on each page so I had to go through and change it all to the same text (Century Gothic). I also had to re-size the registered trademark symbols throughout the text.

All the people at the company were very welcoming and kept checking on me, to make sure I was all right.

At the end of the day, Simon and – came in to talk to me about payroll and how the day went. They also asked me about my other job and what I do. They seemed happy with me and what I’d done that day, so I was very pleased.

Day 2 (30/09/13)

I attended the Monday meeting, that lasted for an hour. Zeeshan introduced a new “workflow process” to organise projects more easily and assign project managers. He also showed the months Google Analytics. I then got to work on the catalogue and started making the other versions for other countries. This involved changing logos, and a few paragraphs here and there. I had to leave early because of an Induction at the University in Luton, so I left at 3pm. 

Day 3 (3/10/13)

I was still working on the catalogues – we came across some issues with QR codes, and certain website being allocated to certain catalogues. I also had to change each brochure for the different distributors.

There was also a big delivery of diaries so we all had to help each other and bring them in to the office. The catalogues should be done by the end of Monday!

Day 4 (7/10/13) 

Finally finished the catalogues (excluding changing the language!) by the afternoon. There were 4 different websites for 5 catalogues and two of them had two domain names! It was very complicated and made the QR codes difficult to get correct, especially as the written link would only work with “.html” at the end, so changing it, creating outlines, then saving each PDF was a long and monotonous task. After I’d finished them, they’d been sent off to the Distributors to be proof read and tweaked. Simon then gave me a new task – an A3 leaflet, basically explaining the pros of Decra products against the cons of other similar products like Clay and thatched roofs. I had to copy the front cover, and he’s letting me decide what I want to do with the double page spread. The back is yet to be designed.

Day 5 (14/10/13)

We had the Monday morning meeting and spoke about what had happened last week. Simon announced that the brochures had been sent off to get feedback from the distributors and we’d already received some back. So, I spent the morning trying to make changes, however they wanted a different web address and I would need to speak to Zeeshan and Simon about whether I needed to change the QR codes… again!… but they never got round to it today.

I finished the four page roofing leaflet that day with the guidelines that Simon gave me and I’ll have to see what he thinks next Monday.

At about 4.30pm we had a meeting to do with social media. Joe (the manager of the company in Toddington) wants me to research sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube to see what “values” they’d get from having an account and what “interactions” can be used. They are thinking of creating a new campaign as well that we all have to come up with ideas for, and will be reviewed next Monday.

Day 6 (22/10/13)

I called in sick yesterday (Monday 21st October). I’ve found it very hard to keep up with two jobs and Uni, resulting in working 7 days a week. I left Uni at 1.30pm today so I could get to work for 2pm to make up some time missed yesterday. I’d made amendments to the A3 roofing leaflet, according to Simon, such as finding a couple of different images, adding white borders to the images to make them stand out more (as they were pretty dark colours) and amending the text for each roof tile. He wanted a more creative background at the end of the day, which I will have to do next week. He also gave me an A5 Jessops catalogue to look at for thoughts on the layout of the plumbing brochure that I would have creative control over. At the end of the day I spoke to Simon about being too overwhelmed with working 7 days each week (12 days without a day off seemed to be my limit!) and he was very understanding. He said it was entirely up to me, if I’d prefer to work from home I could, or if it was too much then I could stop working there – the only issue is that my current job (House of Fraser) is permanent and African Supplies is only temporary and seeing as student loans haven’t come in for our course yet, I’m not in any position to give up a permanent job. He told me to speak to Joe (the manager) next week, as he would be away in Nigeria, and have a think about what I wanted to do. 

Day 7 (28/10/13)

As Simon was away in Nigeria, I was a bit lost with what to do. Jackie decided to ring Simon and he told me to do the background for the A3 roofing leaflet and plan out the pages for the new plumbing brochure. I decided to do the background first. He wanted curved lines on one side of the page in different colours of blue, so I experimented a little.

I then moved onto the plumbing brochure and I Googled “plumbing” in general to see what type of common images would show up. The main images that came up were things like pipes, water, tools like wrenches, nuts and bolts, taps, drains and showers etc. I thought mostly about the front and back cover, thinking that a plain colour would be too dull. Perhaps a large photograph would work well because the roofing brochure has quite a large image on the front too. I decided to play around and created my own design, using bubbles – as if a current carried them across the page – especially as they want the word “flow” in the title. I liked how it looked, but it might be a little too bright for the purpose (I’ll get feedback next week). I didn’t have much information to go on for the brochure, they don’t have a proper name for it yet, the only information I had was the titles for each page, so I worked on the design for them and the layouts for each double page spread.

During the week, my Tutor received an email from Jackie (HR) saying that I was thinking of leaving and wondered if she had any suggestions for a third year to take the position. I believe Simon got the wrong end of the stick when I spoke to him last week, or that they were trying to be prepared for me leaving. I spoke with Jackie about this today and she apologised and said that nothing would happen until I made a decision. She told me to wait until Simon was back next Monday so I could speak with both him and Joe.

Day 8 (4/11/13)

During last week I got a text from Jackie asking me to call Joe. I called him and we discussed what I was going to do after my talk with Simon about my workload. It was difficult to talk over the phone, as I had to make a quick decision. I explained that my current job is permanent whereas the job with African Supplies is temporary, however I have a few days off during the next few weekends (due to my Birthday) which meant I would be able to do a maximum of three more Mondays, and then I would be back to working seven days a week. I thought it’d be best to leave African Supplies after those three weeks, as I would prefer to keep my permanent job. Joe was fine with this, and I said I would speak with my Tutor about a possible replacement.

Simon had the day off today, and Joe was in London for the morning. Luckily Simon called up to tell me what I would be working on today. He told me where to find all the product images on the computer for the plumbing brochure and I had the previous brochure to work from, and to find the product codes and sizes. It took the best part of the day to finish as much as I could – IPS Fusion was finished, IPS Threaded was finished, however IPS Pushfit wasn’t in the previous printed brochure, so I had to use what I could from the Excel sheet (where the product images were) and I will get Simon to have a look and tell me which products need to be put into it.

I feel it’s quite hard to work whilst there isn’t a deadline and, recently, Simon hasn’t been in to give me feedback on what I’m doing. I am finding it helpful to work in a company where I’m doing the Graphic Design, however as it isn’t a company that is purely graphic design I think it is overshadowed by the “main” work. 

Day 9 (11/11/13)

Today, both Simon and Joe had gone to Ethiopia for the week. The only handover I had was two A4 pages of Simon’s sketches, depicting what he wanted the “Rainwater Guttering” DPS to look like. I found the excel spread sheet he’d printed out and made the table he wanted, however, there were around 163 products, 4 different colours, and it wouldn’t all fit on to one A4 page. I made separate tables, but even they don’t fit on one page so I will have to wait for next Monday to get my feedback.

Day 10 (18/11/13)

It was my last day today, and Simon and Joe were back from Ethiopia. We had a morning meeting and discussed the week’s agenda.

Simon sat with me for most of the day, making adjustments to the Decra and Gerard brochures – Kenya, Generic English and Nigeria. We added information to the back page, changed images and made amendments that were emailed from the distributors.

At the end of the day he made sure the Mentor’s handbook had been filled out correctly and they all wished me the best for the future.

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