July 2014

July 18th, 2014 by Abbie Carr (work experience student)

For the past 2 weeks I have been taking part in work experience at steps. Finding a work experience placement is definitely a big challenge, with the risk of being turned away and rejected. But when I came across steps I realised it was probably the most suitable and exciting placement for me (being very interested in drama and business).

The company has a wide spread of jobs and roles inside the business But I haven’t yet experienced a day that doesn’t involve people helping each other and assisting with work. This all comes from the staff’s desire to work hard and their love for the company, there is an extremely present, positive atmosphere at steps, and the office is full of people waiting to see how they can help next and thinking of ways to make each project unique and stimulating. The individual members of the steps team allow for an environment that is comfortable but hard-working, amusing but professional and independent but cooperative. All of these aspects make for a beneficial and motivating work experience.


Over my time I have seen the creative platform that the company stands on, and how this focus on drama is a vital ingredient to steps. Steps was founded by actors, but the defined balance between the creativity and business attitudes creates a completely unseen business style. The innovative and creative aspects of the company have shown me a new perspective of office environments, I now understand how it is possible to use drama and business intertwined with one and other in a career. I can also see the vast possibilities of different ways to use drama and work it into different tasks.

So far I have seen multiple conversations about the projects and the different processes that go on around each programme and I think the work ethic and commitment of the steps team is very valid in this. Each project is given a significant amount of time and dedication and this is most definitely one of the company’s biggest assets. There is always a high standard of research carried out during the designing of a programme, this research is consistently beneficial and helpful no matter how big or small the client is. Each programme is given a specified amount of time for research, rehearsal etc. and there is a lot of effort that goes into each one. I think this is why steps are the best at what they do.

During my experience I was lucky enough to observe a delivery at a leading global bank. Aside from going to the wrong building and walking past the right one (!) I really enjoyed this experience. I got to identify with the process of a programme in more depth and by seeing the final product meant that I could understand what everyone had been talking about in the office. The delivery had a four person team and all of them worked well together and bounced off of each other’s characters. To see how steps used forum theatre in this particular session was interesting because I saw how the actor facilitators had to adapt what they were doing depending on the type of group they were working with.

Every 3 months steps hold a MOO day (Ministry of Opportunity). The day allows the business to reflect on some great work and turn their achievements into further opportunities. I was able to attend a MOO Day and I found it really enjoyable. The day requires the staff to be self critical and think of ways that they can improve or think of different examples that could lead to new opportunities.  From the day I could see a real sense of togetherness, different dilemmas were brought up and all of the attendees collaborated together to reach a solution. Something that I noticed at MOO was how comfortable everyone is around each other, they feel confident to challenge each other and disagree, every person is listened to and everyone respects other opinions. I think this is really beneficial because it means that new and unique ideas can be brought up and discussed.

The diverse group of people working here all have distinct and memorable personalities but somehow all manage to slot together to create a smoothly operating machine. Each different character in the office works together and produces strong programmes ready to be presented to clients. However it’s not all about the people creating the programmes, without the people helping with finance, marketing, administration etc. the company wouldn’t be running so well. There is a huge aspect of helping others, whether it’s under your job description or not, at steps. There is no hierarchy or sense of pecking order and this means the entire business is ready to lend a hand or is ‘qualified’ to help.

My placement at steps comes to an end today and I am extremely appreciative of all I have experienced and seen. Each individual I have met is exceptionally dedicated to their work and respectful of each other. I feel as though I have been treated, not as a child but as a colleague and I am very grateful. My time here has shown me that there is no need to be worried about work because it doesn’t have to be a boring experience, I have seen how a business can have a comfortable environment but still be successful and deliver good work and this requires you to enjoy and love what you do. This is one key thing I have noticed about everyone at steps, they love their work.



Comments

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Marlo Haas I'm so pleased to hear how well your work experience turned out Abbie. Everyone said that you were very involved and enthusiastic about your time with us and it was an enjoyable and positive experience having you around. It would have been great to have been around to help support you during this time but from what I've heard and from what you've written above, you were more than up for the challenge of 2 weeks with us! We all wish you the very best.

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