Thursday, 23 June 2011

Do it, Be it, MEC:it

MEC:it 2011

360 people +
36 charities/community projects +
Over 2500 hours worth of work +
Gala dinner, awards ceremony and one massive rave @ The Roundhouse
= 1 amazing MEC company awayday aka MEC:it 2011

After months of preparation and planning, the MEC away day (16th June) out-weighed all my expectations. Being on the planning team along with 19 others meant I knew all the ins and outs and organised a lot of what we were going to be doing on the day.
MEC:it Dream Team
The whole UK company including the London and Manchester office were split in to 36 teams of 10 and were allocated a charity or community project from decorating to digging. At the start of the day teams were sent to their project location dressed in a bespoke MEC:it tshirt and armed with gardening gloves and a packed lunch bag. Part of being on the MEC:it planning team meant we had to come up with an engaging and entertaining element for the course of the day. So in order to continue our expertise in digital acceleration as a company we decided to incorporate a social mobile challenge including the use of Facebook, Twitter and a fantastic mobile gaming app called SCVNGR. Each team had to complete a series of mini tasks throughout the day such as uploading tweets to twitter, capturing and uploading photos and flash-mob videos to Facebook and using SCVNGR to complete location-based challenges. The idea was to encourage competitiveness through the open platform of social media, allowing teams to see what their competitors were uploading and how well they had done in completing the social and mobile tasks. Everyone became actively engaged and made a great deal of effort to complete the challenges. The sheer volume and standard of content created made all the hard work and planning worthwhile. From creating our very own Loveshack remake to holding a yoga session in the London underground, the flash-mob videos were by far the most comical with teams using whatever they had at their disposal to make them funny and entertaining. Click on the below to watch the oscar nominated performances:

Despite the typical British downpour everyone's spirits were high and everyone thoroughly enjoyed their projects- although I'm sure it was the thought of an alcohol-fueled evening event which helped keep them going!

After everyone had 'MEC'd it' at their charity/community project the men got suited and booted (or kilted in some instances) and the women got all glammed up for the evening gala event. Although at MEC our preferred choice of transport is an Addisson Lee-mosine, coaches chauffeured us to the Roundhouse in Camden where we strutted our stuff on the red carpet and posed for what felt like the paparazzi. Technically we did have a pap snapping shots for OK! magazine so look out in next week's issue and you may see the photo below stealing a half page in the back!
The champagne reception, the three course gala dinner, the awards ceremony and the party made the whole event a smash hit. The drinks were flowing (or being flown over my dress), the music was pumping and there were some rather creative shapes being cut on the dancefloor. Everyone was pretty merry to say the least and the ghostly faces the next morning summarised just how much we all took advantage of the free bar! Thank god we were given a late 11am start! However despite the raging hangover, I always enjoy the morning after work events because that's when all the stories begin to blossom and the gossip spreads like wildfire around the office. Although I don't intend on turning this into a gossip column I will say this: MEC:it's gossip certainly didn't disappoint. A week later and I'm still hearing people nattering about the evening's scandalous rumours!
I have no experienced my first MEC Awayday and if I had to sum it up in one word it would be EPIC!
Bring on the next one...

Best quotes the next day:
  • "finally feeling human- think this was officially a two day hangover... Mec Awaydaywas well worth it though!"
  • "what a fantastic Mec Awayday , definitely know it was a hardcore one after having 16 hours sleep to recover and still feeling tired! Right lets start planning the next one..."
  • "Me and Dan turner walking around London bridge at 4am with a stolen rubber arm was quite funny!...Oh and i missed the train back to Manchester this morning which wasn't funny at all! I blame Danny"

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com

    Sunday, 19 June 2011

    The longest jagerbomb line up in grad history...

    As you will see I haven't written a post in a couple of weeks. I also haven't slept, eaten or exercised in a couple of weeks either! Why I hear you ask, well I have had my life taken over by what is known  as the MEC Grad Pitch. A final project to mark the end of the graduate rotation programme at MEC. After being given a brief for teen road safety two weeks ago, I have experienced a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions from over excitement to over-tiredness, rushes of adrenaline and mental exhaustion.

    All the rotational grads were split up and led a pitch team of 5 other new starters or graduate level colleagues. Reflecting a real pitch situation we had two weeks to brainstorm and plan a communications campaign detailing our insight and idea for tackling teen road safety in London. Because of the tricky target audience and stigma attached to government advertising, this made the pitch one of the most stressful tasks I have done in my career so far. However it was by far one of the most beneficial and rewarding. The early starts, late nights and working over the weekend was all worth it, and I know that everyone involved felt a great sense of achievement and satisfaction. The highlight and I guess most daunting apsect of the pitch was presenting infront of senior management including Steve Hatch the CEO of MEC. Although it was daunting it was also an amazing opportunity. Arguably however another amazing opportunity was witnessing all the MEC grads let loose in our local bar, setting up the longest Jagerbomb line in bar history and racking up over £1000 worth of bar tab in our celebratory drinks session after the pitch! Animals!

    It only seems like yesterday since I started at MEC fresh out of Newcastle University but I have now officially finished the MEC graduate rotation programme. It feels like I have graduated for the second time and that the last 9 months have been an extension of Uni. All I can say is I have had the best experience. After reading back over all my blog posts since starting at MEC I can't quite believe all the great things I have done as a result of the grad scheme. I really couldn't have asked for a better start in my career and it's all thanks to the fantastic culture and great people who work at MEC. On behalf of the other rotational grads Rosie Duncan, Rachel Deed, Jono Rayner and Lizzie Harris, a special mention must go to our grad rotation dads Ben Gordon, Simon Keep and Carl Nawagamuwa.

    One final point, although it is the end of my grad rotation, fear not, my blog posts will live on! After having my blog mentioned a few times by candidates interviewing for the next grad scheme intake I feel proud of it's success and recognition. Long live the blog!

    This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com