#PlacementYear: Month Nine

placement year

I’m almost three quarters of the way through my placement. It’s all starting to get very real that I’ll be heading back to university quite soon. I received a text from Student Finance reminding me to apply again, another thing added to my never-ending to-do list. Top of that list – find somewhere to live in Liverpool.

The only thing holding me back from finding somewhere to live is not knowing what I’m doing during the month of August. I finish my placement on the last week of July and start university at the end of September, which means I’m met with basically two months of nothing. I haven’t had a gap like that in a very long time.

I have a few options – stay in London and intern (unpaid while paying my almost £1,000 per month rent) but I could add some amazing companies to my CV; head home for two months (I’d very likely get bored after five days and want to head straight back to England) where I could work, not pay any rent (imagine the savings) and have my meals cooked for me, my washing done for me – it would be like living in a hotel for two months; I could head straight back to Liverpool and get right back into working, gym-ing and basically get my normal life back; or I could go on a two month holiday. So. Many. Options.

While facing the dilemma of what on earth I’m going to do with two free months, I also have my final placement portfolio and logs to complete. Thankfully we all received a one month extension on our submission as it was due around today’s date and to say I’ve had a busy few months would be quite the understatement, so there was no way I was going to have that completed.

But now I’m looking at a clear calendar for the month of May and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I now have time to get myself back into a normal routine, get back to the gym (very much needed) and back into a normal eating routine that doesn’t involve dining out 5 nights of the week. And more importantly, get back into this blog.

Anyway, enough of the boring catch-up of my life, here’s what the month of March had in store:

Birthday month

Before we get into how March was, I just realised that I had quite a few days off, so wasn’t in work that often. But I’ll try my best to remember what I did get up to during the days I was there. All 16 of them.

It was of course my birthday month and if you want to read all about my month-long celebrations, you can check out the blog post right here.

I had three holidays during March; Dublin, Liverpool and Belfast. You can see why I wasn’t in work for that many days. But I did turn 21, not that you could forget!

21

Snowed in

I had my first working from home day in March as the Beast from the East tore through London, causing everything to come to a standstill. I only live ten minutes away from my work, and it would take something apocalyptic before the trams ever stop running but there was a lot of snow lying around. Plus the office was freezing cold. And everyone else seemed to be taking the day working from home, so I wanted nothing more than to cosy up in my bed, laptop open, coffee on my bedside table and trash daytime TV on in the background. Bliss.

My first experience working from home wasn’t the best, however. I kept getting distracted, coffee breaks were a lot more regular, as were trips to the fridge. I wasn’t very productive. I did go on a nice walk during my lunch through the park to stock up on snacks in case we really did get snowed in and took some lovely pictures of the snow while I was there.

It was fun to experience snow in London, but I hope that’s the only time I’ll be experiencing it as I can’t wait to graduate and jet off to a warmer climate.

london

The psychology behind fragrance

A few weeks ago some of the employees were given a short training session on how our mind works with smells. How we can sometimes remember certain moments or people when we smell a certain perfume or aftershave. How smells can make memories come to the forefront of our mind. How they can make us feel – happy, scared, nauseous, addicted.

Our sense of smell is also heightened to be aware of danger. When you smell smoke, gas or anything that could harm you. I know I definitely seem to have a stronger sense of smell when I think I get a whiff of smoke or burning. Or when someone opens a can of Diet Coke. It has a smell, trust me.

We also learnt a fun fact – if you hold your nose while eating something, you can’t taste much. If you let your nose go while the food is still in your mouth, you immediately get a rush of all the different flavours. This is why some people hold their nose while drinking shots or drinking fish guts on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

Another useful thing we learnt that day was centered around special occasions. Take your wedding for example. You should wear a fragrance you’ve never worn before (but will like) because whenever you get a whiff of it in years to come, you’ll instantly remember that day and it won’t be blurred with other days as it isn’t your usual scent. Even birthdays or holidays, wear something different. Use a fragrance to block out different occasions. Nice isn’t it?

I really enjoyed the training session and found a lot of it to be quite interesting, learning things I already knew but had never actually thought deeply about. Working in the fragrance industry, it’s not a bad thing to dive a little deeper into the sense of smell.

Team Day

On the 21st of March we had a ‘team bonding’ day with all of the employees from the Luxury division.

On the morning of, we were treated to a large spread of a breakfast buffet, to get all the energy we could as we were to be running around central London all day. We were split into teams of eight and given 15 clues to different landmarks around London.

The aim was to solve the clues, go to those landmarks and take a selfie at each one, trying to incorporate different poses and gimmicks for extra points. As we only had a set amount of time to do this and also had to be in Hyde Park for 12.30pm, we had to be strategic about our plan of action and what route we were going to take in order to visit the most landmarks in the shortest amount of time.

It was a great day for me as I basically got to visit some of the landmarks I hadn’t seen before on a mini tourist trip around London – all paid for by the company! Most of the main attractions we visited, I had already seen before like the Tower of London, London Eye (although I haven’t been on it yet), Big Ben, Madame Tussauds etc. But I did get to see the outside of Westminster Abbey for the first time, and all of the statues in the area outside.

london

That’s Buckingham Palace in the background!

On our way to Madame Tussauds we were even on the same tube as Tom Daley and managed to get a photo with him in the hopes of earning extra points! We didn’t.

We were given money for lunch, and could spend it however we pleased. Whether that be in the pub, on food or champagne. We chose Borough Market and had the most delicious burger, which was very much needed after the 20,000 steps we had already taken around London.

The day finished off in Mahiki (at 3pm, who’d have thought) with a free bar, the best canapés I’ve ever had and of course, the results. My team finished in the top five which was a good enough effort as some teams spent most of their time in the pub.

It reminded me a lot of the Team Day I helped organise at my old job in Liverpool with MDIS, which made me miss it a lot as it was one of the best days of the job. However, in Liverpool, we definitely didn’t go home at 6.30pm like I did in London. London seems a lot more sensible and civilised compared to my favourite city. Not one of it’s good points.

That’s about it

Like I said, I wasn’t in work for very many days during March so nothing very interesting took place (except going to Niall Horan’s concert twice – Dublin and London – and yes it was worth it). However, it’s almost the end of April now so I’ll be writing my Month Ten round-up next, which means I have only THREE MONTHS LEFT. Where on earth has the time went??

I have one million and one things on my life to-do list, mainly sorting out accommodation for my final year, applying for student finance, hitting the gym as much as possible, organising all of my trips in June, trying to think of something to do in August and September, all while staying afloat at work.

It’s been a tougher past few weeks than usual with so much going on but I’m definitely looking forward to the entire month of May when I have hardly any plans so I can get my life back in order.

Before I go, keep your eyes peeled on the blog because I may have a new series starting up in the next few weeks!

4 Comments

  1. April 26, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    New series? Here’s my challenge to you. You should spend more time at home doing nothing. I have a hunch you could turn doing nothing into an interesting piece of writing. Is that your August sorted?

    • orlaghclaire
      Author
      April 27, 2018 / 6:35 pm

      I think I would go stir crazy after a few days of doing nothing, but that may be a good idea. I could write a book in that time. Or maybe a chapter. It would definitely relax me before going back to final year, that’s for sure!

  2. April 27, 2018 / 7:01 am

    The fragrance psychology was really interesting. I like the whole ‘pick a new fragrance for a special occasion’… that’s such a nice idea.

    As for what to do with your free months, I bet if you contacted companies in London and asked for a paid intern they’d jump at the chance to have someone like you in their team for a while! You never know until you try and asking for a paid internship was the best thing I ever did. ☺️ OR, depending on where I’m working next year I might be able to recommend you to my current agency if I’m not full time there? We’ll have to catch up about it. Whatever you do, i’m sure you’ll boss it… ☺️

    Jess | http://www.thoughtsofjessica.com

  3. orlaghclaire
    Author
    April 27, 2018 / 6:36 pm

    Thanks gal! I’m very dubious about them paying me just for a month, but I suppose there’s no harm in sending a few cold emails to see.. I do love to intern haha

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