The value of internships and interns
Over the years, Dmac Media has regularly welcomed the enthusiasm and skills of interns into the office team. As a college town, there is a wealth of talent from the Atlantic Technological University and locals schools and colleges who seek internships as part of their learning curriculum. We have always found this to be a rewarding partnership. It is challenging for any busy company such as ourselves, to diligently supervise the interns and ensure that they have challenging and fulfilling tasks and projects while with the company. Some interns left after a few weeks, as the realization that the work we do is not their chosen career path, others complete the allowed time and take the experience with them to pastures new and some interns ultimately have become an integral part of the staff team.
Zayn Rahmani is one of our current interns from the ATU.
He shares his experience of a Dmac Media internship here.
How did you get this internship?
Landing this internship was very important for me as a third-year college student in the computing and web design department. Work placement is something I needed to do as one of my modules. I had also begun working on my LinkedIn profile and polishing up some of my previous work to start making myself look as employable as possible to be able to avail of an opportunity like this if it were to represent itself. One of my lecturers oversaw the process of getting work placement for me and the rest of my class, so I need to give a special thank you to him for getting me and my classmates an opportunity like this. After weeks of waiting and praying for an interview, I was very excited when I got an email that informed me of an interview that I received with DMAC Media along with five other peers. I was very happy and nervous at the same time because I knew they couldn’t take all five of us so there was a big chance I would not be successful.
I did my part by doing some research about DMAC Media so that I could prepare for the interview which was set to take place with Dave McEvoy online. I was very nervous the whole day of the interview but when it started, I got into the zone and started feeling comfortable. The interview went great, and I learned a lot from the chat with Dave. He was very nice and gave me a few tips on my previous work and how I could learn, improve, and elevate my skillset at DMAC.
I left the interview wanting to work there the very next day and become part of the DMAC team having learnt more about the workplace from the interview. The previous nerves turned into hope and excitement, growing day by day as I waited for a response from Dave on whether I got the job opportunity. I still had a busy semester going on and the interview going well helped knock off one of the many things I was stressing about. I kept my head down and didn’t stop working on my projects. Soon, I got a response from Dave telling me I was accepted for a three-month placement, I felt very happy and relieved and couldn’t be more grateful.
What did an average day/week look like on your internship?
My first day at DMAC was a day to remember, it was my first time going into an office full of people working on computers. I wasn’t exposed to people working in industries like web development growing up, so this was all new to me. I was very nervous and scared; you could also say I overdressed. Dave being my supervisor, called me in the morning on my drive to Sligo where I was set to start at 10:00am and told me what project I would be working on and who will be showing me around. I was met by a co-worker, Kenny, who brought me around the office and introduced me to the DMAC team, “getting the awkward part out of the way” as he said.
An average day wasn’t like the first day, I got more comfortable with the team, and they made me feel like I’ve been there for months. The whole team is very nice and always ask me if I need help with anything. I wake up at 7:00am and I leave my house in Mayo at 8:00am to start work at 9:30am. I have a work calendar that tells me what tasks I need to do and gives me information about those tasks, like where to find the content and where to find wireframes and other resources. I always have someone looking after me and asking if I need help or find something difficult. If I need help, I can simply go to someone and ask them or just message someone on Gmail.
I get a break for an hour at 1:00pm and finish at 5:30pm. There is no such thing as a regular day at DMAC, as every day is different and special in its own way with different vibes, laughs and chats with the team. The days don’t get repetitive or boring on a weekly basis, I’m a month in and I didn’t feel it pass by but still learned so much already. I’m excited to get up every morning to get into work and pick up on where I left off the previous day. I add content to web pages on DMAC’s CMS and do Adobe XD and Photoshop graphics work for real clients, an opportunity I wouldn’t have had without DMAC.
What do you wish you’d known before you started?
I feel myself growing as a person and gaining more people skills day by day. I wish I would have known a lot of the stuff I’m learning now before I started so that I could possibly make a better first impression. I wish I had more knowledge on how projects in the web development industry started and then how they were handled until they were finished before starting but I also know that one day had to be my first day. I don’t like the feeling of sitting down and not knowing how to do something, it stresses me out and makes me feel anxious. In college I got assigned a project and a deadline, I didn’t get a client’s number or email and the opportunity to talk with them and see where the money comes from and where they want that money to be spent. Projects previously felt like something I needed to do to impress my lectures and get a percentage, I was never taught how I was going to make a career and a living out of this.
I am very grateful because these three months will keep teaching me more of the business side to web development which is something I very much enjoy and take pride in doing on a consistent and professional level. I want to keep learning and pursue a career in this department, working with DMAC is helping me move towards that direction. Before working with DMAC I had no idea of how the skills I’m learning in college were going to be used for a good purpose and how I was going to use them to make money, because I didn’t realise the importance and value of the things I was learning.
I also wish I knew how to stop overthinking things and just make a decision. I feel like that’s my biggest setback and slows me down in terms of my workflow and completing tasks. I have started experimenting with different techniques to find a way to manage my time and get things done and move past those obstacles. My co-workers also try to help me with this issue and keep reminding me that only with time these things will get better. That re assurance is important to me as it keeps me going and reminds me that no one is perfect and needs time to gain experience, which is exactly what I wish I had before started this internship.
What advice would you give to anyone trying to make the most of a similar opportunity?
If I could go back to when I was looking for an opportunity like this, I would advise myself to chill out and believe in myself. I was nervous and stressed out before I started but now, I feel a lot more confident and more in tune with the things going on around me. It’s a big transition going from college into the workplace, it’s scary and intimidating at first but also good for building yourself up. Being an intern, I felt a bit awkward but the team in the office always tried their best to include me in everything that’s going on and build me up to a stage where I’m comfortable and can really bring out my true self and start my journey to unlocking my potential. That’s the feeling I’m currently getting as an intern at DMAC Media, and I didn’t expect that to happen before starting, because I was stressing out about everything that could go wrong instead. Always focus on the positive outcome in a situation and don’t be afraid, is exactly what I would tell someone that is presented with a similar opportunity.
Be prepared to make mistakes and take criticism are two other things I would advise someone that is availing of a similar opportunity. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, and we don’t mean to do it. Try your best, always, and get into a competitive mindset with yourself to try improving on everything you done the day before, that way you will only be elevating yourself and improve your learning experience. It’s okay to ask for help and get feedback from co-workers, they are never going to give you criticism unless its constructive and expect you to use it to better yourself and improve the quality of your work.
Have a plan, what do you want to leave with after your three-month placement is over, do you want to be remembered as the intern who tried their best and brought a good vibe to the office or do you just want to get your days done and move on, that’s all up to you.