In your travels across this green and pleasant land, have you noticed office buildings? I am sure you have, we all have. Some are rather iconic, such as Downing Street as an extreme example. Sure this may be a home but it is also the office of the Prime Minister. I, like everybody else, have noticed these landmark buildings but in my case, I have with certain locations, wondered what it would be like to work there. Within a few years I was working in that building, either as an employee or visiting them as a client of my employer.
During my placement year, over a decade ago, I would drive cross country, from High Wycombe to Bedford via Aylesbury. Driving past a listed building just outside the village of Saunderton. I did not know this at the time but it was home of pharmaceutical giant, Janssen-Cilag. I drove past the building almost twice every day and wondered who was based there and what they did. They would move from the site in 2008 but just before hand, I had the opportunity to spend some time there, as they were a client for the agency company I worked for. Mission accomplished to some degree. I just found it fascinating to see a building and then some four years later have the opportunity to see inside.
Over a decade ago, in June 1999, on the day Pav passed his driving test, we drove to Winnersh to the Showcase Cinema to watch Star Wars Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Having only had a valid licence for a few hours, we took a wrong turn and ended up on the A329 (M). A dual carriageway motorway for all intent purposes. We have missed the Winnersh turn off we drove down to Thames Valley Park got back on to the A-roads and made our way to the cinema. There would be over twelve years before I would visit TVP again but then for an interview at the Microsoft Campus.
As you drive past High Wycombe (junction four) of the M40 heading north, you will see some white office buildings just after the Asda superstore to your right hand-side. These buildings were originally owned all by Dun & Bradstreet but now there are multiple multinationals based in the complex alongside the original tenant. Just prior to my move to Newbury I was able to visit the offices of Janssen-Cilag, who for many years were part of the larger Johnson and Johnson group. They had sold off their office in Saunderton and relocated to these blush surroundings in Cressex, north of the town. I was lucky to get to have a look around the place on a client visit before moving onto a new job in September 2008.
Eight years ago driving back from Windsor to drop my friend Mel in Langley, we took an alternative route, which including driving over the M4. We drove past Computer Associates building, which I was keen to point out and I did wonder what it would be like to work there. Little did I know some eight years later I would be entering the park as an FTE.