September 05, 2013

2nd September: First day

So today I started my internship at Portsmouth City Council, or "PCC" as all the cool kids call it.

Didn't really know what to expect, or where I was going, or what the work environment would be like - (or whether my clothing was appropriate, how and when I would eat lunch, and a myriad other questions) - but these were all quickly answered.

I went to the fourth floor of the civic offices (got a bus pass sorted last week to get into the city which helped with the nerves) to find an open plan office space with maps of the city and a giant stuffed-toy turkey that had been retrieved from a skip.

My clothing was fine, smart enough for an intern with the carbon reduction team (lucky really, departments varied in style from jumpers to suits, though never jeans) and lunch could be eaten at my desk, in the canteen upstairs, or outside anywhere really. There was even a fridge I could use if I wanted to.

Questions sorted, my morning and early afternoon were full of first day things. I:

  • Completed assorted bits of health and safety training
  • Got added to the IT system
  • Found out where to get my pass into the building
  • Learned the structure of my internship
  • Met a variety of people from relevant departments

…and I failed a test on information security (by being too strict about it.)

My first project snuck up on me somewhat as I shadowed a meeting about a larger project. We'd been chatting productively about different energy saving lighting options and sources of government funding for sustainable initiatives, when I realised I was now set something to do.

My first task, which I started before the day was over, should help people in public buildings do a simple audit by themselves so the council can work out where best to enact sustainable change. Given that Green Steps taught me to go out and do energy audits and the like myself, enabling other people to do so is wonderfully meta.

Oh, and I got invited to an Upcycling workshop this Thursday that's being run by the department as part of the Portsmouth Big Recycle initiative. If you're about, it looks like it's going to be fun!


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