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Chris Deacon is a second year student at The University of Edinburgh and is with Liberty over the summer months before going onto Norway for his third year studying Linguistics. He has written this blog about his experiences so far.
A new intern’s take on working at Liberty Business Centres
As a penny-less, bike-less and car-less student used to walking everywhere and living in the Marchmont area of Edinburgh, the whole idea of commuting across the Firth of Forth every day for my new internship at Liberty Business Centres seemed a little bit daunting to me. I was pleasantly surprised. All I had to do was hop on the 10 minutely train from Waverley to Inverkeithing and within about half an hour I would find myself sitting inside the Liberty Hubspace at Rosyth Business Centre. Part of me wanted the train to take more time so I could keep enjoying having a table and four seats to myself during rush hour. It made me question the motives of those people who choose to commute packed in like sardines into Edinburgh every day only to use more expensive office space.
Having never worked in coworking or shared office space before I was taken aback by how welcoming and settling an environment it was. As a newcomer I could ask advice and expertise from anyone in the room and not just my colleagues while at the same time being able to cut myself off from everyone around me and get into “the zone” – and that’s coming from a man with the attention span of a goldfish. I didn’t just feel comfortable working in the Hubspace, I felt pampered; I was fed coffee, sandwiches, cakes, sausage rolls and more. And if that wasn’t enough there’s a vending machine which doesn’t charge as ridiculous prices as every other vending machine found in a public place. If you are still hungry then you could always fire up the road to one of the burger vans or a Gregg’s. If coworking offices aren’t your thing – which would surprise me – then you would be impressed by the variability of offices available to rent or let from Liberty Business Centres across Fife. As well as studio offices, two person offices, large offices and workshops there is also industrial space to base your business, or even storage containers if you are that way inclined. Having been invited to pop into many of these offices and say hello it made me appreciate the structure of a business centre, such as the one I spend most of my time at in Rosyth, as you can make friends at work without all of them being your colleagues. As a result there is no hierarchal rivalry you often experience at other offices. Given that I started work at the peak of the Scottish summer I wasn’t just impressed with the insides of the business centres. During my lunch break I have had the pleasure of enjoying my food in the centre’s well maintained courtyard – an experience I imagine you would not be able to enjoy the other side of the bridge.
Working at a business centre makes you realise how much work really goes into keeping it going. As a man of many talents I appreciated the range of tasks I have been able to throw myself into. So far that has ranged right from manual labour to being at the helm of everything else at my laptop. Manual Labour has been great fun for me so far – I’ve been at work but I haven’t missed out on any of the amazing weather that we’ve been blessed with recently, so far I have painted, sanded, trimmed trees, taken part in some heavy lifting and many other tasks – that well maintained courtyard I mentioned before; that was me. When I have been shut up in inside I have been a bit of an excel whizz, working out various costs and potential profits and so on, for example I comprised a spreadsheet working out what it would require for Liberty Business Centres to be Carbon-Neutral and how to plan for it, we are getting there, but in the meantime there has been plenty of administrative work to do and I’ve enjoyed every second of it, even when all the good sandwiches in the Hub have been eaten.