The Reading Social Side
by James Naldrett
Where are our Offices?
Hi again, I’m an intern working in the Public Sector Licensing Sales team (read more about it here). I’m fortunate enough to be based in the UK Headquarters in Reading. The Reading offices are based in Thames Valley Park, a large, busy business park housing businesses such as Oracle, Fujitsu and BG Group. 15 minutes from the town centre, Thames Valley Park offers a free shuttle bus service to and from town and back with several stops in residential areas on the way.
How many interns work there?
I wanted to talk you about life as intern in Reading. I know I speak for the majority of Reading interns when I say that the thriving, 65 strong intern community is one the best things about our internship.
Socialising at work.
Within work, lunch is the main daily social event for interns, with the majority of us getting a big table and meeting for lunch, followed by a bit of pool, table football or Xbox. After work, as lot of us head down to the gym and spend more time chatting than working out!
Although a small amount of interns commute to work, the majority of interns in Reading live within a mile or two’s radius of the cemetery junction area. The area has a parade of shops and takeaways and is a prime student location on the shuttle bus route about 5 minutes from the offices. In houses of between 4 and 6, the close proximity of all the interns really brings a sense of student life, which is nice when you’re in a professional environment all day.
What about outside of work?
I can’t speak for all of the interns in Reading, but most of my evenings are spent chilling out with a group of interns watching football, playing video games (obviously Xbox) or watching TV. If it’s someone’s birthday, most interns will chip in for a present and we’ll go for a meal. On that note, Reading town centre is great for food and shopping. There’s something to please everything, from Nando’s to Miller and Carter Steakhouse and every high street retailer you could imagine.
What about the weekends?
When it comes to the weekends, we tend to let our hair down a bit. Weekends are the main time that we all get together, with most interns having a few drinks and then going on a night out on a Friday or Saturday in Reading. It’s important to note that at least one intern will make a complete embarrassment of themselves and have a bit of an awkward Monday morning in the office! Day times will usually be spent feeling a bit worse for wear eating a takeaway or two. Again, I’m only speaking for myself here.. I know that plenty of interns actually get up and make something of their weekend!
What I’m trying to get at, is that because there’s so many different interns in different areas of the business, you’re guaranteed to make friends in the intern community, which only makes your year more fun!
Don’t just take it from me, this is what a few other Reading Interns have to say:
Laura- HR, University Staffing Team: “There’s a great community feel between the interns outside of work; we all live very close to each other which means we are constantly organising things to do together during the weekend; from cinema and London trips to nights out! :)”
Ben- Resource Manager: “Living with 5 other interns and everyone lives within a close proximity of each other, great for socialising”
Megan- Field Enablement Coordinator: “Outside of my role the girls and I often go for dinner and cocktails. Reading has a great selection of bars and restaurants by the riverside. We also went to the Isle of Man for a weekend for an intern’s birthday. Last week a few of us took a spontaneous evening trip to Zero Gravity- a massive venue with trampolines all over the floor and walls!
Lee- Financial Analyst: “The intern community is great- I came back from my birthday weekend at home to a surprise from the interns with gifts, cards and a night out!”
Quam- Technical Account Manager: “The intern community here at Microsoft are not just colleagues but great friends. I’ve had some amazing moments, none more so than when they surprised me with NBA tickets for my birthday!”