My week of work (experience) at Octopus Group

  • August 10, 2022
  • Reading time: 5 min

A couple of months ago, I would have firmly told you that I knew nothing about marketing, especially B2B marketing. But while my friends were out partying in Portugal during the summer holidays, I spent a week working at Octopus Group. I can now confidently say that I know quite a bit about working life, have gained useful work skills, independence and maturity, understand the tube map, and most importantly: I know a lot more about myself.

My first day started off with me waking up at 6:45 sharp, with my first thought being: “this is too early, I don’t want to do this, why am I doing this? What even is marketing?”

After a long stare in the mirror, I put on my one and only pair of chinos which I’d ordered the day before, one of my school shirts that needed ironing and I then slumped eating breakfast before catching the 7:22 train to Paddington. After successfully figuring out the tube, I got off at Chancery Lane station, where it was only a hop, skip and ten-minute walk to the office – which turned out to be 15 minutes because I started walking the wrong way first.

I gingerly walked into the stunning office building and was greeted by a lovely lady at reception. I told her the person I was waiting for – who turned out to be the wrong person and wasn’t even in this office yet. I lingered about in the reception area, poised in my chair like a bond villain, but a version of a bond villain that was extremely nervous, daydreaming about what they might do when they got home. I was then greeted by Lydia Neil who gave me a warm welcome and a tour of the office, which was decorated with pictures of Octopedes (Octopus Group staff), and artwork of the company’s many mottos, my favourite one being: “Don’t  🐝 a 🍆. As childish as that may sound, trust me, it’s a good motto. And it was noticed in my colleagues, who would go on to show me remarkable compassion throughout the week.

After my MTV cribs-style office tour, I did my IT induction and met the man who would be overseeing me: the Content Director Jamie Fewery. Now before I met Jamie, I’ll admit I did my research, and when I say research what I really mean is I just looked at his Twitter page one night when I was bored. From that intense amount of intel gathering, I uncovered that he had a book and two kids. After my introduction to him I said hello, not mentioning his book or kids, and he gave me an overview of the creative team, what type of work they do and what their roles entail at Octopus Group.

Our fantastic Interns for the week, Rajan & Eddie

I was then given my first task! A real opportunity to show everyone my amazing skills. Jamie had taken some pictures of a whiteboard on which he had lots of notes scribbled down from a client brainstorming session. After deciphering these notes and spending an abnormal amount of time figuring out if Jamie wrote ‘hybrid working’ or ‘hybrid twerking’ (he wrote hybrid working even though it really did look like twerking), I sorted them into a PowerPoint. I added my own notes from research on telecom consulting companies like McKinsey, adding facts and figures. When I was about a quarter way though this task and after I had asked to use to toilet – yes, I was that nervous I asked to use the toilet – I was invited to lunch, and without hesitation I said yes.

It was around a ten-minute walk to a place called Leather Lane. I had never been before and it didn’t sound extremely interesting to me, but after noticing that we were walking past Pret, M&S and Costa, I realised that this place was probably a force to be reckoned with. I can remember it so vividly: we turned a corner when the smell hit me straight away. My eyes practically leapt out of their sockets, my tastebuds already demanding they be fed as I glared down a lane of food trucks. The place was filled by the sound of grills sizzling with different foods, from katsu curry to Yorkshire burritos (more on that later). Indecisiveness crept in, and I felt like I was on a Sisyphean task to choose what I wanted. After performing many mental gymnastics, I settled on a woodfired pizza. After this I managed to get more progress done with my task and I wrapped up my day at around 4:30pm to head home.

The next day, after being able to navigate the tube a lot better and walking the right way to the office, I noticed that there were a lot more Octopedes compared to the day before. Lydia Introduced to me to more members of the copywriting team and my best friends for the week, Louise and Alastair. I sat down on the same table as them. I loved their vitality and how well we got on, chatting to them and making jokes. They made my experience just that much better and easier. The day was straightforward after this, finishing my task for Jamie, giving myself a well-deserved break by playing pool with some people in the office and then setting out on a new research task assigned by Louise. But the one standout of this day again was lunch, and I tried the legendary Yorkshire burrito. What is a Yorkshire burrito I hear you ask?  Well, imagine this: a giant yorkshire pudding filled with sage stuffing and beautifully tender, mouth-watering soft braised Herefordshire beef. All with glorious roast potatoes tucked inside, nice and snug.

Some key moments throughout the week entailed overviews of all the other teams in Octopus Group, such as an overview of PR, marketing automation, paid media and creative. These overviews were extremely useful to me as I managed to understand peoples’ stories of what they do, how they got into their roles, and hear tips about work and adult life in general. All of this was vital for me to hear, as it showed that I could get into jobs through different ways of life, such as degrees from universities or apprenticeships.  

I think the best bit about my week at Octopus was the reaction I got when I told people that I was born in 2005. The shock on their faces may have been one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

I really enjoyed my time at Octopus Group, I learned a lot about myself and gained big strides in who I am as a person. On Monday I may have asked to go to the toilet, but by the end of the week I would just go without asking – and sometimes I’d even go to the café downstairs for a snack. I certainly picked up some important skills that will help me later in life. To conclude, the Octopedes are an amazing bunch of people who showed me nothing but good vibes since day one.

Share this

Step away from
business as usual.

Get in touch to discuss how we
can work together.

Contact us

Extraordinary thinking.

The latest (and most useful) B2B insight, delivered to your inbox.

Publicis Pro needs the contact information you provide to send you the latest B2B insights. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.