Crossing the pond

On the week beginning 15th February 2016, Innovative Technology Americas new Office Manager, Midge Seaman arrived at our UK headquarters for a week of intensive training. Reflecting on her time in Oldham, Midge wrote the following blog post about her UK experience.

I arrived in Manchester early on Sunday morning having flown from Milwaukee via Philadelphia. I had heard from several of the staff in the Oldham office that the North-West of England was notorious for its poor weather but coming from Wisconsin where temperatures had plummeted to -9⁰c, I thought there’s no way it could be that bad… Well, the temperature wasn’t nearly that low but it did begin to rain as soon as I stepped off the plane onto the tarmac. I am reliably informed that rain is a near-permanent feature of the Greater Manchester region and it did not disappoint, showing up every day I was here. I was picked up at the airport by Vivien from the Accounting team and she treated me to my first Full English breakfast before I retired to my hotel room to catch up on some much needed sleep after my transatlantic trip.

Fully refreshed, I made my first trip to the office on Monday morning and met face-to-face all the people who I had been working with via Skype. I spent the majority of the first day on the shop floor, getting to grips with how our products are assembled. This helped me to get an understanding of the products, knowledge which will really assist me with customer queries. I enjoyed getting to know everyone throughout the day but I was surprised at how much tea everyone drinks! I thought it was a cultural stereotype that the British drank their bodyweight in tea but spending just one week over here has shown me that this is no exaggeration. After the workday had finished, I went out for a great meal at an Italian restaurant in Oldham with Karen and Charlotte from the accounts team.

The next couple of days I spent learning more about the accounting and sales support procedures. These two areas will be the major focus of my role at ITL so I was keen to gain a greater understanding of how they worked. Everyone was very helpful and explained sometimes complex processes very well. I continued my culinary tour around Oldham for the next couple of nights, eating at local Indian and Chinese restaurants. I am well acquainted with Chinese cuisine since it is one of the most popular takeout options but Indian food does not have the same reputation in the States as it does in the UK. I let others select what I ate from the menu since they seemed to know what they were doing and I really enjoyed my curry.

I spent the last day’s training with the Marketing team, learning about: email marketing campaigns, exhibition organization, our customer relationship management system and liaising with press contacts, amongst other things. Marketing is new to me but I’m really looking forward to the new challenge, working with the team to promote our US operations.

Before I flew back home to Wisconsin, I decided I should venture into Manchester city centre to grab a few souvenirs for my family and friends. I visited the House of Fraser in Manchester and picked up some things for everyone. At the end of a packed week I felt I learned a lot with my UK colleagues. I met some really interesting and friendly people who I am excited to be working with. that I am extremely grateful to be working for a world class organization such as Innovative Technology. And that I am appreciative of all who had a hand in allowing me to visit and those who provided the training.