Freya: My first ‘Back to School’ day experience

Published on October 23, 2023 by Alex Eade

As a newer member of the Footprint Digital team, I had never been to a ‘Back to School’ day nor heard of one – so I wasn’t sure what to expect! The idea of having 30 people in a room discussing the company’s development didn’t seem traditional. So, I went into the two days with an open mind. 

A lot of business presentations were delivered on the first morning. They focused on the last six months of data and the overall activities of the company, which gave a good insight in what the Footprint Digital team is doing well and what we needed to discuss in the following two days and work on in the next quarter. The Relationship Managers also presented case studies of their favourite client projects, which as a new RM gave me an exciting outlook on what’s to come. 

The second half of the day was dedicated to group activities. This gave me a chance to talk to people that I don’t normally get to communicate with on an average working day. The group work was interesting because we got to see different department perspectives on certain issues and people’s different ways of dealing with them.

My overall feelings after the first day were positive and exciting to be working within a company that aims to only get better and discusses how to do this so openly with the whole team. 

Mark Wright, winner of The Apprentice UK in 2014, came in to give the team a talk on the second day. I personally found this talk really motivational. Mark discussed his background, The Apprentice and how he ran his business, Climb Online. My key takeaways were the habits he suggested we try in our personal lives, for example, keeping track of my progress, writing down daily, monthly and year goals, and  maximising my work calendar with meetings that will only bring value to the participants and myself. 

Again, as being a new team member still learning about the Relationship Manager role, it was extremely useful when Mark touched on interacting with clients. I came away with a list of his advice which included: respond timely, avoid one side fits all, celebrate successes and milestones, go the extra mile and small gestures sometimes mean the most. However, the one phrase that stuck with me the most was “nothing has happened until you update your client”. His point here was that whilst Relationship Managers and our delivery team might be doing huge amounts of work for each client behind the scenes, we need to ensure that all of this is fully communicated to the client. When Mark left, I felt inspired to work harder and smarter, and continue to learn more about my clients, their industries and ensure I support them to exceed their goals. 

In the afternoon of the second day, I could feel that everyone had taken away something positive from the morning talk that they were excited to bring into their own working habits. The presentations that finished the two days talked about the future, what is to come for the company and what the company hopes to achieve. All the Head of Department had a say and shared their plans, projections, feelings, worries and excitements with each other.