Lauren joined Phoenix in March as a Project Analyst. Here she tells us about her first week with us. Take a look!

Although I was due to officially start at Phoenix as a Project Analyst later in the week, I had the opportunity at the start of the week to meet Deepti, my new manager, for a short introduction to the business.

Upon arrival, Dee met me with a warm smile and we headed to the breakout area, where she treated me to a coffee. It was beneficial having a catch up with Dee before my start date, as it calmed my nerves and I was able to get to know my manager. Discovering that I had a very supportive line manager to guide me through my first few weeks at Phoenix was really reassuring.

I could not wait to start!

On Wednesday, I arrived at the Phoenix office, feeling slightly nervous (which I believe is natural!), but also excited for my first day. Initially I was welcomed by the friendly front of house staff that wished me luck on my first day and then Vicky Campbell, from the HR resourcing team, who had been my point of contact so far. She was really helpful and reassured me that if I had any questions or needed any help, she was there.

Dee introduced me to everyone in the Change team. As you can imagine there were a lot of new faces and names to remember but everybody was extremely warm and friendly and offered their assistance if I had any questions.

When it came to lunch ... WOW! Like most, food is very important to me and when I heard that Phoenix had their own lunch hall providing free food to all staff I was very impressed. However, nothing could have prepared me for the pure variety of food and most importantly the quality that’s available. I demolished a large sweet potato with beans, cheese and salad and, of course, a chocolate brownie for dessert.

The lunch hall is a great place to meet new people and familiarise yourself with names. Everybody tends to go to lunch together; it’s the Phoenix culture, which means you get to know your colleagues on a more personal level as well as professional.

The next morning, I had my very first meeting. I was pleased that I thoroughly understood the discussion points in the meeting, with obvious exceptions of abbreviations that I need to learn. I grasped the outcomes with ease and had the opportunity to ask Dee some questions afterwards.

I went to lunch that day with a few of the Project Analysts and Project Managers. It was great to socialise with my colleagues over food at lunch and I loved getting to know them on a more personal level, whilst also being able to watch the football match happening out on the pitch (Phoenix overlooks a large open field where football matches and other sports activities take place – not to mention the tennis courts too).

I was very much looking forward to the Project Management Forum, which is run by the Head of Change, Philip Reilly. The meeting was held in the Popular Suite, where the gym is also located. There was a guest speaker from Audit, so it was a very insightful session.

On Friday, I had a chat with Maureen and Ellen, two other Project Analysts, and they shared some of their process guides and useful hints and tips. Everyone’s so happy to help and support you.

I started to collate all the information that had been given to me so far and make my own ‘Folder of Knowledge’. I like to be organised, so I raided the stationary cupboard to ensure I had plenty of poly pockets and dividers for my various project topics. This was a great task to do as I was able to re-read some of the documents and familiarise myself with some of the project templates.

Like most, I don’t particularly like Monday mornings, however this one was different. For the first time in ages was I excited on a Monday to get to work and to start my first full week at Phoenix!

I had my very first PSA (Project/Programme Support Manager) /PSA (Project Support Analyst) meeting during the week, chaired by Sian Powell. We all did speed dating…. Not what you’re thinking! We split into two groups and had a list of questions to ask each other, for example “If you were a car what would you be?” “What is your best chat up line?” Which you can imagine was quite funny!

It was a great exercise and gave me an opportunity to really get to know my new colleagues. I thoroughly enjoyed it and had a laugh at the same time.

At the end of week, I started to write up all my notes in preparation for the onboarding sessions I had the following week. The processes at Phoenix are very logical and there is a great system called Smartcore in which all the project documentation and information is stored.

My first week went so fast, I couldn’t believe it! I learnt so much valuable information in such a small period of time and I’m really look forward to completing my 4-week induction pack. I already feel at ease and have made some great friends. The Project Portfolio is truly impressive and I can’t wait to support Phoenix along the exciting change journey that it is making.

Lauren Jordan, Project Analyst.