12 February 2020

A Year at #iDea.

Late 2018, I was putting my Media Production degree to use as a hotel bar manager...

It paid the bills, sure, but it’s not where I wanted to begin my career. It seemed Dorset just wasn’t a place for a media enthusiast, and it was getting to me. I had applied for over 80 jobs ranging from Bournemouth to London with only 3 replies; all saying no. I started to give up.

Fast-forward to January 2019, I had just finished working Christmas Eve right the way through to January 2nd and I received an email from an agency asking about my application for “Engagement Specialist” for a tech company in Poole. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, it seemed almost too good to be true. Over 70 jobs in London said no, what were the odds that a job so close to home would take me on? Despite these negative feelings, I responded about my interest in the role and was granted an interview with Jayne Biles, who made my interview comfortable and lighthearted. To my sheer delight, I got the job! I started that January, joining the world of Siemens as part of the #iDea. Company on a three-month contract. 

When I joined the #iDea. Company, my main skills were in Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, creating animations and sequence editing, with a small eye for graphic design. While it was the skills that the job required, I wanted to expand my skill set and bring more to the digital table. I wouldn’t be here for long, but I wanted to make a good impact on everyone here, so I could get some references after the three months were up.  Nearing the end of my contract I was told that it could be renewed for another three months of course I was ecstatic! My degree was finally being used and suddenly my six years of studying media was starting to feel worth it. The longer I’ve been here, the stronger my skills grew; I’ve learned how to fully animate a character within After Effects while also creating mouths to lip sync to a voice actress singing (the song now being stuck in my head forever)! I’ve also dabbled in audio editing using more Adobe software and 3D Modelling for a MyTV Prime UK advert.

One of my proudest moments of the year was being a part of the creative team on Futureland², quite possibly the biggest innovations of the year: a game show hosted entirely online via circuit with teams and panelists from around the world, including high profile figures such as Barbara Humpton (U.S CEO) and Sunil Mathur (India CEO) to name a few. Animating and editing graphics and videos and trying to solve live stream green screening with Josh Johnson may have led to some late nights at the office, but I’d be wrong if I said I wasn’t proud of the final product. Over 300 of you joined in to watch, vote and support, which is a massive win in my eyes.

The Futureland² board of horror

Finally, another one of my proudest moments was learning Virtual Reality Development to create the “Environmental Health and Safety VR Induction” for certain Siemens sites. The idea stemmed from an offhand comment at an EHS Conference in Manchester, asking for new innovative ways that EHS could evolve. “We’d even accept something VR.” they said, then it clicked. Why not VR? It’s no stranger to Siemens but seems almost untouched and we are the #iDea. Company, who thrive on innovation. My journey began by travelling to Munich with Chris Jones to get a more in depth knowledge about Virtual Reality, learning from the current Siemens department, from here we started to get our locations sorted for the VR Shoot: East Moray Substation, Lincoln Industrial Turbomachinery and Poole (the last location being particularly handy, since I live there).

Moray in particular is a place I’ll remember most, not just because of its surrounding Scottish scenery but it was also a whole other world of Siemens that I had never thought existed, I knew the company wasn’t just I.T based but seeing the part of Siemens that delves into the nitty and gritty of late night work, heavy machinery and cold conditions. That and I got to stay in what I like to tell people is a miniature castle.

Our Scotland accomodation

So, what’s next?

With the Manchester site about to implement our EHS Virtual Reality experience as their standard induction, we’re looking to expand our virtual reality service to more projects, which is looking promising as we’re looking at different departments of Siemens.

I’ve also started taking lessons on how to present. Coming into Siemens and #iDea. Company I was not presenting type, in fact that’s why I chose a career where everything I do is behind the camera. It felt unfair letting my colleagues do all the legwork of presenting while I tried to hide away in the background, so I’ve made a target for myself to present in the Digitalize Me event in March, ten points if you can guess the topic I’ll be discussing.

Another skill I’ve wanted to expand upon is my writing. While I do provide the text that you see in the adverts and user guides for #iDea tools, it feels like it’s not enough to expand my vocabulary, so I opted to write a blog post to see how that could go, (I’ll let you be the judge of that).

I wish I could write about all my great experiences during my time here, however I don’t think there’s any webpage that’s long enough, so cherry picking a few favourites proved difficult, but I hope they’re ones that impress you.

Before I sign off, I’d just like to say to everyone I’ve worked with, whether it’s been over Circuit, email or in person, and to everyone that’s given me a chance to carry on working here, thank you.

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