Internalizing Our Internship: Strathcom’s Interns Tell Their Tale

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Being a grizzled veteran of the Strathcom circuit, having worked here for a grueling 8 months, my sour disposition perked up slightly when I heard we were offering a few summer internships. Perfect, I thought to myself. Some poor unwitting souls I could heap abuse upon, who I could haze mercilessly, and who I could send to Starbucks for overly-complicated drink orders only to berate them when they returned with a drink that wasn’t precisely what I wanted (“I said double sweetener but half-sweet!”). But by the end of July, when our summer interns said a teary farewell, we had all learned a valuable lesson. Well, the interns learned a number of them. I’d like to think I learned to not be such a jerk—but only time will tell. Anyway, why am I telling you all of this? Let’s hear it from the interns themselves.

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Laughing arabic pharmacist with group of other international apprentices on an isolated white background for cut out

Hello! My name is Jonathan Mui or, because there were already multiple John/Jonathans in the office, J3. When I first interviewed at Strathcom with Boris and Carrie for a summer intern position, I was nervous and had no idea what to expect. My stomach felt like it was full of rocks, and I began to regret the donair I had for lunch before I came in. In the end, I walked away from the interview happy and hopeful—and not only because I found out how much Boris loved donairs as well.

Those nerves returned on my first day as I was unsure how I could interact with all the new people I would meet, not to mention a job I had never done before. Once again, my fears were unfounded. I was welcomed by tons of friendly faces offering all the direction and guidance I could handle. Whether it was Strathcom’s custom WordPress CMS, or how to approach designing something in Photoshop, whenever I felt lost, or “blocked” (as many of the creative types in the office referred to it), there was always someone I could turn to for advice. Unlike those poor little turtles hatched in the sand, forced to blindly journey to the sea with no idea of how or why, I was given an environment that nurtured me and promoted healthy growth.

During these three months, my personal and career development went through the roof. Whether it was improved soft skills thanks to bi-weekly one-on-ones (or one-on-twos in this case) with Carrie and Boris or just generally interacting with an amazing team, or the more technical skills I learned from weekly meetings discussing everything from OEM compliance to production strategies to design techniques, my time at Strathcom was all about improvement. Even my girlfriend liked me more! With that being said, my hand wasn’t being held the entire time. I was often given free reign to use my time as I saw fit, whether that meant mastering my craft, or learning a new one.

My internship at Strathcom is something I will never forget; I was able to boost my knowledge and practical skills in an environment that school just can’t replicate, and I believe I’m much more well-rounded because of it.

Team of adult students in discussion

Hiyo! My name is Josh Do, and I’m currently a design intern at Strathcom Media.

My first internship as a Jr. Web Designer here at Strathcom has been so amazing and enjoyable, and at the risk of sounding cliche, there is never a dull moment. The memories of my first day are burned deep within my psyche; here I was, shy and timid, meeting a ton of new people. That, compounded with me not feeling confident in my skill set, left me second guessing my decision. I was a total rookie when it came to Adobe Photoshop. I knew nothing about WordPress. Hell, even looking around in the lunchroom left me feeling like I didn’t even know how to pack a lunch.

But over the three months of my internship, I learned practises and theories from the pros at Strathcom, who were all happy to share advice and tips and help in any way possible. I learned different methods of how to create graphics in Photoshop (often times spurred on by Photoshop battles); I learned how to navigate WordPress, creating and changing content, and essentially creating a full website; I learned, from Boris, the nearby spots for the best donairs (“Who needs to pack a lunch?” he’d ask). I learned all of this, as well as just how to be more confident in myself, and my skills as a designer.

Strathcom Media was more than just an internship opportunity—it was a place that encouraged my growth, and expanding my career goals. Strathcom went above and beyond what I had ever expected, lending a helping hand and guidance inside the office walls (and outside as well), and I’m incredibly grateful for having had this opportunity.

Back to school concept image.

Has your weekend ever gone by so fast that it was already Sunday, and all you could think was, “Ugh, work tomorrow? Here’s hoping I die in my sleep . . .”

Have you ever been watching the clock, waiting for 5pm to roll around so you could make a mad dash out the office door—unfinished work be damned?

Well, I’ve felt that way at other jobs. But at Strathcom? Never once!

I’m Danny and . . . this is my third summer interning at Strathcom Media. While I can’t attribute all of my personal growth to Strathcom, each summer internship has been an amazing experience for me that I am thankful for.

My favourite part about Strathcom is that despite all the different departments and varying skill sets, we all communicate and work toward a common goal. Everyone is knowledgeable (although none are as knowledgeable as Boris when it comes to donairs), friendly, and kind to each other. Not to mention the sense of humor, that seems to be a shared trait among all the staff, which results in pockets of laughter being heard throughout the office all day long. Our morning huddles, or as we call them Stand Up, help me start my day off focused. Oh yeah, I can’t forget about the coffee machine, snack shelf, foosball table, or my handsome deskmate Taylor. I guess what I’m trying to say is, Strathcom has it all.

Throughout my time with Strathcom I was able to contribute to some amazing projects, the scope of which I had never imagined being a part of—I was even given an opportunity to lead my own small project team. Toward the end of my internship, I was lucky to learn more about the OEM side of things thanks to our partnerships with VW, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar Land Rover. My favourite OEM related-project was being able to design and revise a new version of our current Mercedes-Benz model landing page, as it allowed me to be creative and utilize my problem solving skills which is the whole reason I got into this industry in the first place.

After three summers interning, I feel confident that there is no work environment quite like the one that Strathcom Media offers. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work here—I’ve had the opportunity to learn new skill sets, to work with an exceptional team, to be creative and, most of all, to feel validated regarding my career choice, for which I am eternally grateful. Now I’ve just got to finish school so that they can offer me a job!

Four take-out coffee. Three cups in holder. Isolated on a white.

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It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong. With that being said, I might have possibly been somewhat partially incorrect about the role of the interns. Here I was, educated by movies to think that a summer intern was just there to grab me coffee and make my life easier. To blame my mistakes upon, and to uh, shred documents (I’ve said too much already). That teary goodbye I mentioned earlier—it was all me. But I can rest a bit easier at night, knowing that we made a difference with these kids. That they enjoyed their time, that they learned about their careers, and maybe a bit about themselves too.

If you’re interested in an internship, or working with the team at Strathcom, email us at info@strathcom.com. I’m not making any promises, but I probably won’t send you out on any coffee runs.

 

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