When I first started interning at Plank, I knew absolutely nothing about the digital world. My computer activities ranged from Google, Netflix, iTunes, social media, Microsoft Word, 8tracks, and perhaps a handful more useful sites. The acronyms CRM, CMS, UX, UI, CSS, SEO, PHP meant absolutely nothing to me, and I even avoided updating my dance team’s website as if it were the plague. So you can only imagine the chaos taking place in my brain during my first few days, and all the 'on-the-job' training I underwent. Overall, I’ve learnt A LOT, and this has definitely been one of my most rewarding and eye-opening experiences yet.
As someone with no computer-oriented or design background, the world of digital was nothing short of a leap of faith.
I knew I wanted to gain experience in the industry, to push myself to learn, and hopefully weed out some of my biggest weaknesses and fears. I jumped at the opportunity at Plank, they were exactly the type of company I wanted to work for- a small yet established agency that handled brand name clientele, but one that is tight knit and team-oriented.
I have worked for big companies in the past, and the last thing I wanted to be was just another intern, making coffee runs on-demand and spending all day organizing paper work (which thankfully I haven’t done yet). I actually wanted to have an impact, get to do things that were new to me, challenge myself and and add to my skill sets. Alas, I found Plank, a humble team of individuals who were keen on collaboration and customer-service. They were willing to train me, teach me everything they knew, and pay me for learning it- it was an absolute win-win situation.
Like I said my first few days weren’t the easiest, but I couldn’t have asked for a better team of individuals to help walk me through their tasks, and share their industry insight in the least amount of tech-speak as possible. By learning one-on-one from industry veterans and seeing the day-to-day advances of how a project proposal evolves into a digital masterpiece, there couldn’t have been a more effective way to immerse myself into something I wanted to learn.
For the past 6 weeks I’ve been busy writing blog posts (hopefully, you’ve noticed), attending client meetings, developing client leads, writing up reports, managing agency listings and preparing proposals, not to mention working directly with the head honcho’s and soaking up all the insight they have to offer. If that’s not real world training, then I don’t know what is.
From the outside looking in, Plank was just an agency with a conveniently located office, an open design concept, huge windows, and a company culture that looked ‘fun’ and engaging (we have a Pac-man table, it’s pretty awesome). But now being on the inside, it’s much more than that. It gave me a supportive environment to develop my skill set and even add a personal touch to the agency. I’ve gotten to interact with industry heads, and had the chance to understand what actually goes into running a successful company. I’ve learned to admire the perfect balance of Plank’s work ethic- hard working yet easy going, and gained insight into a whole new world of digital design and web development that I hardly even knew existed.