Introducing our new team member

Razali Samsudin, our newly appointed Programme Coordinator in the South East shares his thoughts on his first week at Solutions for the Planet…

Walking from Waterloo station, through the hustle and bustle of London’s Monday morning crowd, I made my way to Southbank centre, my new office away from home, where I would be meeting Jen for my first day of work! We met under the bright, hot sun, and made our way up to the Southbank Centre’s 6th floor members area.

Amid the backdrop of the wonderful views of the river Thames and the London Eye, Jen began by offering me my induction pack and making sure I was well rested and asked if I had any questions. It was a very relaxed and interactive morning, and she told me that we would be going to our scheduled appointment with our business partners Tarmac and SGN, in Tarmac’s impressive office near Charing Cross station at 12pm.

Once at Tarmac’s office, we were welcomed into their meeting room, and we all introduced ourselves. I shared how I felt that having recently graduated from Imperial College with a Masters in Environmental Technology, this role seemed perfect for me in terms of joining a social enterprise with a vision and mission that I strongly believe in. It was very useful and inspiring to see how motivated and interested in the programme the partners all were, and the feedback given to us by the partners was particularly insightful, especially the thoughts of the young beneficiaries.

Following a fruitful meeting, Jen and I made our way back to the Southbank Centre, but along the way we checked into the dressing rooms of the Kinky Boots London Show at the Adelphi Theatre! Jamie, Jen’s brother, is an actor in the show, and was also holding onto two big Solutions for the Planet banners! We enjoyed a cool glass of water on a hot summers day and shared stories on life in London, and the perils of moving into a flat! After the quick pit stop, Jen and I made our way onwards to the Southbank, and went through the induction checklist covering matters such as health and safety and working conditions. All of my questions were patiently listened to and answered with compassion, and we agreed that I could go through the pack in the evening in preparation for the 2nd day of induction the next day.

That Monday evening, I read the development plan with great excitement as I learnt more about the amazing achievements that the team at Solutions have helped the businesses, schools and young people accomplish! Come Tuesday morning, I was back at the Southbank centre. I was introduced to Chloe, a consultant coordinating the project to create new website. Having looked at the audience mapping, it felt great to be involved so early on in my role, and to be able to contribute my thoughts as to how the site design looked.

Following Chloe’s meeting with us, Jen continued to go through the necessary introductory requirements to the role and made sure I fully understood my duties and responsibilities, and no question that I had was made to feel like a silly one! By the end of our agreed time together, I gratefully accepted my new role and was welcomed into the team with a hug and a selfie that was posted onto Twitter!

The rest of my week was spent working from home, where I put together my plan for the coming weeks, and busied myself with learning more about Solutions for the Planet and its media activity. On Friday, I was advised by Jen to have a look at some websites on Social Enterprise, and I wrote a short passage on ‘what social enterprise means to me?’ It was a particularly useful exercise in helping me to crystallise my understanding of where I actually work and my new sector, and what it is that makes a social enterprise different from a typical business.

Before I knew it, the first working week was drawing to a close. To have had such a warm and welcoming first week, involved with actions and activities of the team so early on is much appreciated. It definitely confirmed my thoughts that joining this close knit team as a Programme Coordinator for Solutions for the Planet would be a decision I wouldn’t regret, and I am enjoying every minute learning and working with such experienced, inspirational and motivated colleagues.