We had just started talking in the office about exploring the possibilities of getting an intern in to help us when strangely we got a call out of the blue from a company called “European Placement Network”. They had a Swiss student who was looking for a 5 month placement in the UK! They sent us her CV and we then arranged a Skype call with Rita. We were impressed with her on the phone and so confirmed to the company that we would love to have her with us. Rita started with us on 20th July. We have 2 more months with her before she heads back to Switzerland to start University next year. We are thinking of confiscating her passport so she can’t leave! She has made a huge difference to us here at TBAC and we will miss her greatly!
Here is Rita's account of her internship at The Big Adventure Company.
When I was filling in my English CV and writing my application letter to find a job in the UK, I didn’t expect to receive attention from The Big Adventure Company. Mainly because I had never heard of this kind of company. When I was sent their information and website I was a bit confused. Why would a company that organizes crazy trips on motorbikes and jeeps want to hire a 19-year-old girl from Switzerland who knows nothing about motorbikes?
I had a chat with Nick and Catherine on Skype. I thought that husband and wife working together was a really cute thing and they seemed very nice and positive people. Apparently the company was new and they needed some help to grow. Sounded good to me!
But what really made want to work here was their website (maybe not exactly what you should base yourself on for accepting a job). It’s a well done website. That’s it. Plus, they seemed to be on social media (with great content too!), which meant they communicated with the world and were using the wonders of the Internet.
Once in the UK, I went to school in Bristol for two weeks. Then I had to move to Bath, which I fell in love with in no time. Catherine sent me an email with indications for how to reach the company. And that’s when I got really confused and slightly terrified.
I searched for the address on Google maps, enabled Street view, and saw no Big Adventure Company. In fact, I didn’t see much. Just a narrow road with not much to do. I wasn’t so sure whether I would have liked working in Batheaston...Catherine said that the company was supposed to be… through? Through an antiques shop? I thought it was just and English expression I didn’t know, so once arrived I looked next to the shop, around the shop, opposite the shop, but couldn’t find the place. I looked around for a while. No Big Adventure Company. So I called Nick, and seconds later he came FROM the shop! The office was literally through! Not only that, the company is also next to a kitchen where a lady named Alice bakes cakes. That’s possibly the most random place to work in!
After the initial confusion, the office gave me a very good impression. Again, maybe not based off of the most solid reasons. I liked that they had mugs with their logo on them, as well as mouse pads and a banner on the wall. They were wearing the company’s T-shirts too! Even if it was just one office, the company had a strong identity and I really liked it.
I was greeted by a welcome card and a big glass of water. Nick was super smiley and enthusiastic. He explained how the company was born and how they were trying to grow. I thought it was so interesting and my worries more or less vanished. Steve was in the office too. He mostly worked at his desk without saying much, so I thought that maybe he wasn’t too happy about having an intern in the company, but I learned I was wrong just the next day.
I’ve been working here for a couple of months now, and I still feel good about this place. I like what I do, I’m learning about useful and interesting tools to use online and because of their trip destinations I’m learning about places that I would never have thought of visiting.
I like the music we listen to in the office, and sometimes we get to eat Alice’s delicious cakes! Also, the location of the office has somewhat become even more complex as a cafe is opening at the front, leaving the antiques shop to be more of a storage place.
The Big Adventure Company is my favourite workplace yet. I really feel useful and part of the growth of the company. I’m actually excited when there’s lots to do: since I like the people here, I like helping them (and I secretly wish they were my uncles and aunt…). Nick is just as happy and as enthusiastic as he was on the first day. He also talks as much!
Steve is one of the coolest adults I’ve ever met. I think his fabulous beard has something to do with it… And Catherine is so sweet and friendly. I love her calm and kind voice, it’s the perfect mom voice.
I can already picture myself crying like a baby when I’ll have to go back to Switzerland. It feels like home here. But I still have 3 months, so I’ll just enjoy them for now.