IOAI.com Wins University Of Bath Departmental & Faculty Placement Award

June 10, 2013 in Activism, Afterhours, Community Internship, Community Marketing, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Intern Training, Personal, Politics, Prizes, Slideshow, University of Bath

BathU

Insight Of An Intern has been awarded both the departmental and faculty placement award by the University of Bath. 

I’m absolutely over the moon about this; not just because it’s a lovely accolade, but because it mean that this blog may help present and future interns in their experiences.

Thank you to everyone who continues to support IOAI.com.

A Job of Many Hats – Interning for a Startup

February 13, 2013 in 10gen, Afterhours, Community Internship, Community Marketing, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Intern Training, Introduction, London Living, MongoDB, Networking, Slideshow, Social Media, Technology

take-a-risk_1x

Deciding to pursue a position within a start-up can be a nerve-wracking choice. Before you accept an offer, examine the positives and negatives of startup employment. With these issues in mind, you can make a sound decision – oh, and be ready to spend a lot of your time explaining to relatives/friends/strangers just who exactly your company is, and what you do. Repeatedly.

No Job Description

Fond of having a structured role with set tasks and responsibilities? Then working for a start up probably isn’t for you.

If, like me, you are walking into an entirely new role, then chances are you will have the opportunity to carve your own position and influence the direction of your internship – you really do receive a great deal of autonomy. Great for those who flourish in a more haphazard environment, but not so good for those who look to organisation and structure to guide their working day.

Learn By Doing

Unlike larger companies, where  you may have to endure hours of official training, in the start-up world it’s ‘sink or swim’. I absolutely love that from the moment you walk in through the doors, you’re treated like an integral member of the team and are expected to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty.

In a start-up, everyone must pull their weight for the company to succeed, and as an intern you will be no exception to this rule.

low-pay-packetLow or No Salary

Young companies are generally unable to offer the same kind of financial package that a large company can, and you’ll tend to work harder and get paid less while at a startup compared to your comparable role within a larger company. Of course, this isn’t always the case – many start ups offer a competitive internship wage, and many larger companies neglect to pay their interns at all.

Many Hats

It seems the ominous phrase “other duties as required” becomes the norm, and you may find yourself performing duties that are not even close to your expected responsibilities  – for example, I have just taken over the role of Office Manager after coming onboard as a Community & Marketing intern. It’s all hands on deck, and thus startups offer fantastic opportunities to wear multiple hats and really get to know what it’s like to run an organization.

Passionate People

There is a certain energy and determination present in the start-up environment unlike anywhere else I’ve worked. Startups are almost invariably made up of passionate, excited people who are working there because they truly want to be working there, and it’s something special to be a part of that.

Flexible Schedule

Regular office hours? What’re they? “Nine to five” is a fiction at most startups. This is really a ‘glass half full/empty’ situation, because although you may find yourself still sat in the office at 10pm, you are equally as likely to enjoy the prospect of a lie-in on days when you just need that bit extra. Holiday also works on a far less formal, more flexible basis.

Working for a start up also means you’ll probably have the opportunity to attend a plethora of events – there’s not many people to go around, so even as an intern you will be counted as a crucial part of the team.

Out Of Business Riskclosed-out-of-business

Time for a reality check; an overwhelming number of start-ups will not survive past the first year. Obviously this is a substantial risk, but one which can pay off far beyond what you might expect, but can also leave you updating your CV and trawling the internet for vacancies within a breathtakingly short time.

Wealth Of Experience but Less Specialisation

Though you may not be pulling in the big bucks yet, working at a start up is valuable in another way; your hands-on, multi-functional experience will be a real asset for your long-term professional growth.

However, one thing I’ve certainly found is that you may experience some frustration when it comes to honing specific skills – when you’re doing a billion and one different things, it’s difficult to become the marketing/sales/engineering/consulting/etc guru you expected.

Friends, not Colleagues

The nature of a startup means you will continually be meeting new people and building relationships – and you’ll grow to see many of your colleagues as friends.

Feeling Valued

It can be frustrating being a little fish in a big pond, and start up culture, generally, removes many of the hierarchical barriers experienced in larger companies. For example, when the CEO of 10gen came over from California, he ensured that he and I had an in-depth one-to-one; probably a very unlikely situation in larger companies.

I also have the chance to travel a lot more than I might otherwise – during my internship so far I have been lucky enough to take business trips to places such as Aarhus and even Miami. Being  part of a smaller team means playing a bigger role.

Little Perks 

The dedication seen at startups comes hand in hand with the need to curate an enjoyable environment, and an attempt to cultivate a healthy company culture (read more about that here). It’s the little things that make life worthwhile, and in 10gen those include jeans, popcorn, beer, and office juggling competitions.

Personal Pride

The exhilaration of being part of a successful startup produces pride and a sense of accomplishment that is extraordinary. You will never regret the long hours, hard work and smaller paycheque.

IOAI.com – Now A Featured Blog

February 12, 2013 in Afterhours, Community Marketing, Introduction, Networking, Personal, Slideshow, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Technology

Shareaholic-Channel-badge

I am happy to announce that InsightOfAnIntern.com has been selected as a Featured Publisher by Shareaholic –  the leader in making content discovery & sharing on the web. Look out for IOAI.com appearing in their Careers Channel as of tomorrow!

Insight Of An Intern: Preparing For A Job Interview

November 14, 2012 in Community Internship, Community Marketing, CV advice, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Intern Training, Interview advice, Slideshow

Having been chosen from potentially huge numbers of applicants, you’ve reached the interview stage – congratulations!

Those few days before any interview can be a nerve-wracking time, so it can be difficult to channel your time into doing anything constructive. However, preparation is the key to any interview – though many people don’t actually realise this.

Preparing for an interview is vital for three main reasons:

1 – It helps you answer questions clearly and concisely. Although you can’t second guess every question you might be asked, if you are prepared you can tailor them to fit or at least draw upon them for inspiration.

2 – For your own confidence. If you’re prepared, your body language and demeanor will show it. For both interviewees and interviewers, there’s nothing more soul-sapping than an interview in which you have to drag ill-prepared and under-researched answers out.

3 – To show willing. The interview allows your potential employer a first opportunity to judge whether you’re right for the job, and showing you’re keen and organised enough to do your prep work is a big plus on any employer’s tick list.

With this in mind, the following article will provide you with some key pieces of advice for making sure you walk  into your interview room armed with as much relevant knowledge and confidence as possible.

Read the rest of this entry →

Re-Launch of IOAI.com

October 25, 2012 in Community Internship, Community Marketing, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Slideshow, Social Media Marketing, Technology

Welcome to the launch of the new InsightOfAnIntern.com site – a website devoted to reaching out to fellow and potential interns, those who work with interns, whose who’d like to hire an intern and those who simply enjoy the occasional good ol’ rant.

The new site update includes :

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What can you do to help?

I’m so glad you asked, you lovely person. There are 3 simple steps :-

  1. Subscribe to IOAI.com – this helps me to ensure that regular readers are kept up to date
  2. Follow me on Twitter – take a moment to say hello and share your thoughts about the site
  3. Spread the word – sharing is caring! Share IOAI.com on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest; wherever you can.

Please be patient as I get all sections up-to-date and work through any bugs – in fact, you can help by letting me know if you come across any errors or dead links!

5th IOAI Article On The Huffington Post

October 15, 2012 in Community Internship, Community Marketing, Huffington Post, Intern Guide, Networking, Personal, Sexism, Slideshow, Technology

A fifth article from IOAI.com has been published by The Huffington Post – this time on their US site as well as their UK one.

The article, entitled ‘The Tech Industry Is One Of Subtle Sexism’, was also featured on the front page of their tech section as well as in their ‘Women In Tech’ feature.

A Follow Up: Sexism In Tech Aftermath

October 8, 2012 in Afterhours, Community Internship, Community Marketing, Conferences, Huffington Post, Intern Advice, Networking, Personal, Sexism, Slideshow, Social Media Marketing, Technology

Last week was a bit of a crazy one for IOAI.com.

During my time at the wonderful GOTO Aarhus conference in Denmark, I published a blog post discussing the presence of subtle sexism within the tech industry. The blog post, which was originally about yours truly blowing off steam and venting frustration, proved popular in the Twittersphere, receiving over 1200 hits in one afternoon, hundreds of re-tweets and even making it onto the front page of The Huffington Post US tech page, as well as being featured on their ‘Women In Tech’ section. The post is now number eight in the UK Google search for sexism in tech.

The responses I received from across the world were numerous and varied.

Whilst making the rounds, the article seemed to inspire other women in the tech industry to come forward and share their personal experiences with me, and I would like to take a moment to thank them for this – it was truly inspirational. I received emails, comments and tweets from tech ladies; some of which made me furious, some of which made me laugh, and a handful of which made me cry. I certainly wasn’t alone in my experience, and indeed my encounter with the blight of sexism in tech appeared to be amongst one of the most mild.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, I actually came away from the experience feeling incredibly positive about the role and future of women in tech.

Read the rest of this entry →

Insight Of An Intern – Sexism in Tech

October 2, 2012 in Afterhours, Coding, Community Internship, Community Marketing, Conferences, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Introduction, Networking, Personal, Sexism, Slideshow, Technology

Believe it or not, I’m generally not one to get on my high horse. Despite being a politics student, I attempt to keep my mind open and, where appropriate, my mouth shut.

But I have my limits, so I apologise in advance for what may be quite a long entry. 

I am currently attending a GOTO conference in Aarhus, Denmark; it’s a software development conference designed for developers, team leads, architects and project managers. Overall, it has been a great experience; my first ever tech conference, my first time travelling to a new country on my own and a really great chance to immerse myself in the latest developments in the software development community.

As with most things tech, the conference is hugely male-dominated – I’d estimate that around 90% of the attendees are male, and around 80% of the exhibiting sponsors, of which my placement company 10gen is one.

Now, this isn’t generally an issue; I’ve always been somewhat of a tomboy, and in my short time in the tech industry I’ve been fortunate to meet some of the nicest people I’ve ever met; in fact, my placement company itself provides undoubtedly the most welcoming and supportive working environment that I have ever had the pleasure to experience.

Yet there are still moments where I am forced to consider whether this is really an industry culture I wish to be a part of- and whether it really wants me to be a part of it…

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Community Managing – What’s It All About?

September 3, 2012 in 10gen, Afterhours, Community Internship, Community Marketing, Intern Advice, Intern Guide, Intern Training, Introduction, Meetup.com, MongoDB, Networking, Personal, Social Media Marketing, Technology

Being a Community Manager isn’t what you might think…

You may have guessed that I’m somewhat of an internet addict, though my interest in all things www extends beyond your usual Facebook and Twitter fandom; instead I remain fascinated by the possibilities arising for individuals, organisations and businesses in seizing opportunities to network strategically, create targeted and sustainable campaigns and raise brand awareness.

One thing which I keep coming up against, however, is a confusion surrounding the concept of online community – and thus of community managing. In fact, even my own mother knows little of what this sector actually entails, which makes describing my internship to our friends and family rather a vague task.

So, Mum, hope this helps…

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