A quick note on the importance of a positive internship programme and a great intern working within it.
Internships are often a touchy topic for a lot of businesses within a lot of industries. Without much information or context, they are often assumed to be the first-word equivalent of free-labour or ‘the thing you do to pay your dues to the industry’. Whilst you’ll probably agree or disagree on this notion, there is no debate that some organisations create and accept internships often with a desperate, even negative agenda. It’s the drab fact of the workplace and over the years has been called out by various governments and institutions. Though change has occurred over time, when I was but a poor, eager student, the idea of working religiously for a company who wanted to pay me the financial equivalent of a dairylea lunchable, had me somewhat hesitant.
Luckily at the wonder studio / madhouse that is Tilt, things are very different, and have been different way before I joined. Long-term internships are hugely beneficial and a great deal of the team started off as one. I believe this positive conversion is a direct reflection of Tilt’s culture. A room full of highly experienced professionals and massively-talented young-guns combining to create awesome products. All the while learning the wisdom of old and discovering the knowledge of today.
A fews weeks ago, we were lucky enough to secure the services of our most recent intern, Elliot Canning, a product design student from the University of Brighton. With a keen eye for user-centric design and new technology, Elliott’s role at Tilt sits within both research and production assistance. He has been handling a mixture of tasks, sometimes rudimentary but essential (image sourcing, preparing sprite sheets), sometimes more in-depth (new tech research and heuristic analysis). Sat between the design and dev team, Elliot’s job is to assist both teams whilst researching things the rest of us ponder.
Elliot is a quick learner, who lets you know when he doesn’t understand something. This trait will work massively in his favour as he embarks on a career in digital. His ability to challenge things is something every digital agency needs and often lacks. With the entire studio often maxed out on production, it’s refreshing to have an individual focus on more conceptual, research-led aspects of the work we do.
Working on anything from client-facing sitemaps to lo-fi sketches of problematic transactional pages. There has been occasions where I have deliberately pushed him, coming up with tasks and challenges that would have the very best of us sometimes at a bit of a loss. Direct quote: ‘I don’t know if this is even possible, so ideally I’d like to see two options…’, I can only apologise to him, it’s been entirely for my benefit as a means of scouting his skills. Three weeks in and he has been showing it in abundance. Following his dedication and work-rate, he now finds himself frequently approached by more and more staff members hoping to have him join their project discussions.
Top marks Elliot.