After a long and fun summer holidays, it was time to get my business head back on as I embarked on my first day of work experience at Chess.

Monday - Sales

Today I was taken up to spend the day in the sales department, which I had been told was the best department, but mostly by people working in sales! As I walked into the office, I was greeted by a loud cheer as one team had been declared the winners of the morning music quiz. It was really nice to see that everyone was so enthusiastic and there was a great atmosphere around the workplace as everyone settled back at their desks ready to start the week.

Then I was introduced to David (a.k.a Cordy) who was very welcoming and introduced me to the sales department team and he told me about what they do. I listened in on calls to Cordy’s clients and it was interesting to see the positive and friendly approach that the sales team take when dealing with customers, some trickier than others! There was a more personal approach taken with customers to help them as much as possible.

In the afternoon, I had a meeting with Andy, part of the commercial team, to discuss what we were going to do on Tuesday. Followed by the good news that Alistair Cook got 147 runs in his last innings for England.

Tuesday - Commercial

Following such a fantastic first day, I wasn’t quite sure how day 2 was going to match it.

However, I went down to Birmingham to attend Channel Live at the N.E.C with Andy, part of the Commercial department of Chess. Having only been there for a day, I had the pleasure of going on a day trip already, I certainly wasn’t complaining! We arrived mid-morning and it was great to see that this really was a lively event, and that most company stands had some form of a popcorn machine or sweets. We arrived at the Chess stand and it was good to see the various marketing aspects used to attract potential customers to come in for a chat. Chess’s stand had used a Cocktail theme, serving various cocktails, which definitely drew in a few people! I attended a panel discussion which a was very interesting seminar about using the cloud. In the afternoon, I attended two more seminars, including one good debate/argument about CityFibre and Openreach. I also joined Andy in two meetings with CircleLoop and TalkTalk.

Wednesday - Compliance

Coming back into the office in Alderley, I joined Simon and the Compliance team. I was very interested in what this day would hold as I was most curious about what the team did within the business. Simon showed me what they do from day to day and all the different areas which they cover and make sure run smoothly. I leant about the Quality Management System and the Environmental Management System, this was particularly interesting because it is not something this I had initially thought about when I’d think about how a business operates. The compliance team have a large impact over the whole business, covering all the other departments. Simon explained it very well as I had very little prior knowledge. I then went out for lunch to Gusto and came out with a trial shift on Saturday night! Returning to the team I was ready to get back to work. I checked the Environmental laws to see if there were any changes to Chess’s system, I added an amendment which had occurred in 2018.

Thursday - Finance

Amar - Financial Accountant

Today I joined the Finance department where I was greeted by Amar who was very friendly and then Johnathon gave me an introduction about the Finance team and what they do in Chess. In the morning I scanned through documents attaching receipts to invoices. As lunch time quickly came around, the Dominos car pulled up and I helped carry up 20 pizzas. This was supposed to be a leaving lunch for one of the team, who was starting Maternity Leave. Baby had arrived early, however - even more reason for a Pizza lunch. While we ate, the team enjoyed a quiz (with me as quiz master). Everyone had a great time and felt re-motivated. In the afternoon I was shown how the financial part of sales are dealt with and how customer debts are chased up. I then made a spreadsheet showing how the value of assets had changed due to the changing values of currency from euros to pounds.

My Week at Chess

From my week at Chess, I’ve learnt that there is a clearly set culture throughout the business, which is outstanding. There is such a positive atmosphere around each of the departments and as seen on the walls, quotes such as ‘Happiness Drives Success’, is certainly true. Everyone that I have met has been so welcoming and friendly to me and I have felt like I have really been able get involved as much as possible. Overall, I have gained a much wider understanding of how a business such as Chess operates.