August 10, 2016

Why every student should be in the real world

Find me on:

When I first saw Fifth Ring's internship opening for a Dojo Intern, I immediately opened the link. I was then prompted to read a longer yet unconventional description of the program. I thought to myself, "This is for me!”. It was then that my initial enthusiasm quickly turned to one of doubt and hesitation. Am I going to keep up with the fast pace of professionals? Will my skills be of any use for their existing projects? In spite of these uncertainties, I decided to apply and await a response.

A couple of weeks passed by. Two of the longest weeks of my life. Clearly my application had been unsuccessful.

To my surprise, an interview invitation appeared in my inbox.

I was thrilled.

I attended my interview with Steve Milne at the end of June. I was a little daunted, but after a surprisingly informal chat about my university and client project experience, my introduction to Fifth Ring was surprisingly relaxed, putting me at ease. I was also given an office tour, giving me a taste of my intern environment for the next month. The first thing that struck me was the great working vibe and friendliness of people whom I got to meet.

Having been offered the position, I came to the office a couple of weeks later. Hannah, who kindly introduced me to each and every member of the team, then welcomed me. Everyone was cracking jokes and being very open. It certainly helped me feel less stressed during my very first day at Fifth Ring.

I wanted to be useful from the very beginning. However, I acknowledged I would first probably be introduced to some handbooks and guidelines, to help me acclimatise to my new workplace.

And then came another positive surprise. I would be working on a real project from day one. Artur and Mark from the digital team introduced me briefly to the CMS engine that is being used for most of Fifth Ring’s web design and development projects. I then started working on assigned back-end tasks, exploring the engine as I became increasingly immersed in projects.

The project I was assigned to work on was Expro's new website. There was a massive volume of specific products and services information to be included on their new platform. Although initially a little daunting, I enjoyed seeing the finished content looking clean and precise in place on the site.

Obviously, being an intern, I had some questions. What did the engine’s different functions do? What could I do about certain content incompatibilities? Mark and Artur were immediately on hand with extremely helpful advice making the entire process quick and easy.

Having completed most of the content, I was then introduced to a bug-tracking tool. This way I could revise the new platform on an ongoing basis. If I found something on the back-end, I could fix it myself. If it was the front-end, I would leave a comment for the team.

Simultaneously, Artur introduced me to the basics of marketing automation. I first read some theory on the matter, which I could then test in SharpSpring. I got to customize one of the email templates and sent a test to a couple of email addresses. I also introduced myself to SharpSpring with its complex functions.

With the Expro website shaping up nicely, a meeting with the client was arranged. And I was invited. The client feedback was very positive. They were delighted with the overall result. And, even though my involvement hadn’t been revolutionary, I had contributed to the visible upgrade of the new platform.

Even more motivated, I moved on to other tasks.

I am really enjoying the variety of things I get to do at Fifth Ring. For instance, today I have been working on a new platform for the agency’s site. I sourced and photoshopped hero images for each of the pages. I also took some photos around the office to use them as hero images. Then I worked some more on the Expro website, fixing little bits and pieces that were not working properly.

And here I am now, writing this blog post.

All in all, interning at Fifth Ring has been a great experience. Their Dojo program is a great opportunity to use classroom skills in the real world, working on live jobs for clients with the mentoring of industry professionals. It’s been a short period of time, but I have learnt a lot. First and foremost however, I have been fortunate enough to see the real results of my work and hear the client’s feedback.

With that in mind, I am very excited for new challenges to come, as I will be staying on with Fifth Ring on a part-time basis.

Share: