Working and living in Belfast as an Erasmus trainee is an interesting experience. Whilst my work-base is on the sixth floor of Belfast Central Library, the work for my placement company takes me all over Belfast and beyond. Popping up at Mallusk Enterprise Hub to work in a huddle room was a new experience.
The ‘huddle’ experience uncovered:My mentor Christine, my colleague Romana and I started at Belfast Central Library in the Cathedral Quarter of north Belfast at 09.00am and drove to Mallusk Enterprise Park. We arrived at Mallusk within 10 minutes and met one of our mentees: Tania Ventura Menendez – she´s a chocolatier and the founder of LekkersNI. During her catch up meeting with Christine, I took some nice pictures and videos of them for them to use in their online marketing. Tania met Christine to deliver large chocolate letters that we had ordered for an upcoming WorldHost training course that was being run from the training room at Mallusk Enterprise Park. After chatting with Tania she kindly gifted us with some flavoured Mallows and the idea of organising a ‘Mallow tasting party’ with our housemates – our fellow Erasmus trainees from Austria at the Ormeau Park in south Belfast, Northern Ireland. Christine has tasked Tania, during this meeting at the hub, to take proactive steps to drive up her online reviews and as a new customer of Lekkers (- I am taking the large milk chocolate ‘H’ from WorldHost letters home to Austria with me for my partner and I to taste), if I enjoy the product I plan to contribute a positive google review to her female-led business. After the meeting with Tania, I met some of the Mallusk Enterprise Park business advice team members and helped them by taking photos and videos to celebrate their key achievements in 2022. At midday the local press were welcomed on site for an introduction to the business park and a tour of a few of the tenant premises like Belfast Artisan Distillery and AudioLevel DJ Store. Mallusk Enterprise Park had just issued a news article on the growth of AudioLevel. In the afternoon I took some photos and micro videos of the main conference and training room which was used for a hybrid zoom meeting using an impressive Donview computer screen. I am familiar with this equipment through my work in Austria – it is more common to see technology being used to facilitate meetings. Meetings with people from all over the world are easier with systems like Donview. My personal experience with Donview is that I appreciate being able to see the professional authentic space rather than a green screen.
ABOUT MALLUSK ENTERPRISE PARK:Established in 1992, Mallusk Enterprise Park is a local enterprise agency located in Newtownabbey. Operating as a social enterprise, Mallusk Enterprise Park is committed to supporting individuals and businesses in the Newtownabbey, throughout each and every stage of their entrepreneurial journey. Through various programmes, events, initiatives and available spaces, the experienced business advisory team at Mallusk Enterprise Park provides advice, guidance and resources to help entrepreneurs realise their business goals. Mallusk Enterprise Park operates from a purpose-built business park offering 50,000 square feet of workspace, office accommodation, meeting and conference spaces including private huddle rooms, co-working desks and a professional mailing address service to more than 60 local businesses and their 250+ employees.
But what is a social enterprise?A social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being. This may include maximising social impact. Profits generated can be reinvested into social good.
ABOUT THE HUDDLE ROOMS AT MALLUSK ENTERPRISE PARK:The huddle rooms at Mallusk Enterprise Park can accommodate two people (even up to three people) for one-to-one meetings or for single use. These fully furnished offices come complete with reception services and access to the communal facilities of the Mallusk Enterprise Park. Each office is accessed using a fob, ensuring ease of use and providing a secure space for your possessions. My colleague, Romana, and I had the opportunity to work in a huddle room and we really enjoyed our time there.
ABOUT THE CO-WORKING SPACE AT MALLUSK ENTERPRISE HUB:They give you the opportunity to connect with the Enterprise Hub community whilst enjoying complimentary water, tea, coffee and even Lotus Biscoff biscuits! It’s perfect for those who need flexible access to a co-working space, but not necessarily a private office or even the same desk every day.
BENEFITS OF WORKING AT THE MALLUSK ENTERPRISE PARK:What are the benefits of working at the Mallusk Enterprise Park? First of all, there’s the most loveliest receptionist I know called Monika. I found that Monika will make sure you are well looked after and no matter what your needs are, she will do her best to help you. Secondly – which is one of the most important for such a big coffee lover as I am – there’s good quality complimentary coffee with Lotus biscuits, tea and a watercooler which provides both hot and cold water. Thirdly, you get a free WiFi access, so you can work on your computer and do some research if needed. And last but not least, if you are from Belfast, it only takes you around 10 minutes to get there and you are able to park for free!
10 REASONS WHY I ENJOYED MY TIME CO-WORKING WITH MY WORK BUDDY ROMANA IN MALLUSK ENTERPRISE HUB AT MALLUSK ENTERPRISE PARK:
- We got more sense of community, this is much better than a sense of loneliness I sometimes experience when I am solo working.
- We could support each other and share our ideas.
- Our work was powered by the complimentary coffee, tea and water – the free coffee was good quality and I didn’t need to make it up or queue for it!
- Working from this space improved both of our productivity levels compared to when we worked in a different shared workspace that was noisy and humid. We appreciated being able to change the temperature to suit exactly our comfort level!
- We had free and strong WiFi access available for our researching tasks.
- I got to learn some new things from Romana – she showed me a little more about Canva – a graphic design tool that I never used before my Erasmus traineeship
- We took some pictures and videos of each other whilst we were working and they looked really professional.
- The business advice team and everyone we met at the Mallusk Enterprise Hub were all very friendly.
- We enjoyed the very calm environment. I appreciated the blank canvas within the huddle room.
- The friendly front-of-house staff were really helpful, we were checked on and nothing was too much trouble for our host.