Starting with Stand

Hi, I’m Callum and I’m the communications and engagement intern at Stand. I’m straight out of university and this is my first experience of a professional work environment. My lovely colleagues have asked me to write about my first impressions and the kind of things that I’ve been involved in since joining the company. I can’t say that, when I started at Stand in June, I expected that I would end up on BBC News. Mustn’t get ahead of myself though, more of that later.

Starting at Stand was a massive eye opener for me as to what work can, and should, look like. My experience of work had been in retail, where work was rigidly structured, with a firm line between managers and staff that was rarely crossed. At Stand it’s different. It’s a team approach, everyone is supportive and works together and there is no discernible hierarchy. The environment isn’t entirely stress free, at the end of the day the job needs to be done and done well, but great support and the resources needed to get the job done means there is no undue pressure.

The work I’ve been involved in since starting has varied massively. One day I’ll be helping to shepherd the media around a newly opened vaccination centre, another I’ll be helping to conduct interviews with patients concerning their views on local NHS services, and the next I’ll be taking notes in calls with senior NHS leaders. No two days are the same, and I can’t see that changing in the future.

The stand out moment of my time at Stand so far has to be when I was interviewed by the BBC at the opening of the pop-up vaccination centre at the Centre for Life in Newcastle. I had never been on the TV before, never mind the national news, and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity had it not been for working here. There have been lots of other good experiences too. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to sit in on meetings with NHS leaders in the area and to see how decisions are made at the highest levels of healthcare. And I’ve had opportunities to work directly with these leaders and to learn from their experiences, which has been invaluable for my professional development.

As I mentioned, this is my first experience of a professional work environment, so I don’t really have anything else to judge my time here off of, but if everywhere I work in the future provides half as much support to newcomers as Stand has, then I’ll be set for life.