Location, location, location

Joe tells us about his summer placement experience with Centrica

My name is Joe Carton and I am currently on the marketing summer placement here at Centrica. I am originally from London but I go to university in Durham where I study History.

For my summer placement I have been based at the British Gas Business office in Spinneyside, Leicester. I work as part of the Brand and Acquisition team- helping to deliver campaigns that target new customers.

Generally, those on the marketing stream are based in Staines. This is something that had been repeated to me a fair amount throughout the application process. Subsequently, when I was offered a position on the placement, I assumed that Staines was where I would be based- along with the majority of the other interns.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I was told that I would be based in Leicester! I had envisaged that I would be based in the south with the majority of Centrica’s marketing department. It would certainly be different to what I had anticipated. A combination of excitement and anxiety began to set in.

I am now four weeks into my summer placement in Leicester. Upon arrival, my initial anxieties subsided immediately. Most importantly I am really, really enjoying the experience so far.

Leicester is a city of diversity. Not only is there lots to do but there are lots of different people from a variety of interesting backgrounds. It is a fascinating example of how the identity of Britain is changing.

I am living with five other summer placement students at one of the De Montfort University student halls. As a group we get on really well. We take trips to the gym, eat out at Nandos and travel to and from work together. Living together also helps us plan our ‘charity challenge’- a core part of the Centrica summer placement scheme.

The standard of our accommodation is very high. It has good facilities- including a well-equipped gym for which our membership subscriptions have been covered by Centrica. All of our bedrooms are en-suite and we have a large kitchen/communal area. Being on the top floor of a seven storey building even means we are treated to a spectacular summer sunset each night!

Our commute to work is easy and inexpensive. The office is approximately five miles away from our accommodation so usually we share a cab which is about £2 per head. Getting a bus to work isn’t any hassle either. A number of buses go towards our office and a single ticket is just £2.50. If we can’t fill a cab then we find that a bus trip is more economical.

I am glad to be working in Leicester. I see it as a new experience that is superbly beneficial to my personal development. Ultimately, it has been great to explore a new city and I look forward to the rest of my summer placement here.