Work Experience made easy

summer-work-experience

The summer is a popular time for work experience requests.  We love having new people in the office that are eager to learn, although often taking on students can end up quite time consuming and a strain on resources.

This summer we’ve had three work experience placements interested in design & front-end, so to save time and to provide the students with a tangible understanding of what we do, we’ve created a work experience plan.

The plan allows them to manage their own time and progress through a project whilst also having down-time to read our recommended reading list and prepare for bi-weekly reviews with the design team.

The content is focussed around user-experience and covers 5 keys areas, 1 per day. Beginning with a choice of live briefs the student can pick one from the list or find a brief online, which they will work on throughout the week.

The key areas are: research, personas, wireframing, design & code.

The plan is a living document that will evolve over time, making it easy to keep up to date. Since having the plan in place, we’re confident the students have received a valuable experience and involvement with practical tasks…and we’ve been able to focus our feedback time when they need it, whilst managing to get our own work done!

Each student is asked to write a blog post about their experience here; it’s an interesting insight for us to see how they’ve found working at White October.

Callum came for work experience last week and wrote the following post:

Heya, My name’s Callum, and I recently had work experience at White October, and I can tell you it was extremely helpful, inspiring and yeah.

So I’ve been asked to blog about my experience from this week’s work. Initially, I was a little unsure that the week would be right for me, as I have much more interest in graphics in concept art rather than website design. After the first day, this had changed.

The week has been extremely helpful for me in working out whether this sort of job would be what I want later on in life. The staff were all friendly and treated me as an equal, and the only tea-making I did was for myself :p

My brief was to create a website to raise awareness in young persons about the government’s plans to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050. For the first two days, I spent most of the time researching what makes a good webpage, reviewing others, looking at interesting features on them and getting to know the workspace.

So that happened.

By days 2-3, I looked into competitors on similar subjects to mine, and evaluated how successful their webpages were too. I also started some basic wireframing, learning how to use new softwares such as Axure and Sketch. The wireframing was definitely one of the most interesting parts of the course, and the software is something that I’m definitely going to try and use in my own free time after the course too.

Day 4 involved me fine-tuning the look of my website, creating some of my own graphics and icons, and writing up the text for the webpage. All very cool stuff. Day 5 was coding, which, I’m gonna be honest, wasn’t my favourite thing in the world to do- it just wasn’t up my street. It was a nice feeling when I had achieved things that I had set out to do though.

I think the thing that’s surprised me most about my time at White October is the amount of freedom that you get. I expected that they would all be extremely set in stone with working schedules and all, but it was a given that everyone was happy with what they were doing and they would just get on with  it whenever. This sort of relaxed atmosphere is amazing really, I really liked that for sure.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed doing work experience with the people here, and it’s certainly been helpful with working out what I want to do with myself after uni. Thanks guys, it’s been really helpful :)

Thanks Callum. If like Callum you would like to do some work experience at White October please email your interests and details to: info@whiteoctober.co.uk

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