By Sabine Chen
I was stumped when I first arrived at Alpha7. Stumped and terrified. I had a six-week holiday looming ahead and decided to look for a holiday job, only to land an internship at a tech company. Besides being absolutely clueless about technology and digital transformation, this was my first internship – ever.
What I Learnt
Startups are great. The apprehension I faced at being in a new environment was quickly offset by the accommodating atmosphere of the office. Everyone knows everyone else, and it is easy to ask for help when you need it. In this environment – comparably more casual than a larger corporate office – I picked up several handy skills.
Using new tools. Daunting? Yes. Useful? Tremendously. I found out how convenient it is to use tools like Hootsuite in conjunction with Tweetdeck, for scheduling information such as blog posts and advisory articles to be posted on social media throughout the week. I also learnt that Amara is a quick and easy way to subtitle corporate videos, and that you can find free stock images on Pexels and Pixabay. These tools are definitely accompanying me back to school.
You never think something is interesting till you learn more about it. Having no prior knowledge of anything tech, I was rendered speechless when handed the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey 2016, a report containing thousands of words littered with tech jargon. However, reading that report (and many others) led me to realise how complex and vibrant digital transformation is, how SMEs need to embrace cloud technology to survive, and how Alpha7’s business offerings come into play in easing 1) digital processes and 2) the transition to Cloud.
I was happiest when I was creating content. I learnt to use MailChimp to create EDMs for campaigns, noting the stark difference between the simple emails we create in school and the polished ones we sent to clients. I researched and wrote articles on how SMEs can stay cool in the heat of an economic crisis, as well as soft news such as using the MBTI to improve workplace communication.
It was heaps of fun. The easy, warm camaraderie of office life allowed me pick up new skills while shedding my inhibition of making mistakes, which made me feel right at home. I am intensely grateful for this internship and its memory – of learning, having lunches with lovely people, and working steadily at those white desks that snake through the office.