Craft Applied became a host for the Manx Internship programme to receive additional resource to assist in growing their business. Both host, Darren Barklie and intern, Harley Garrett, spoke about their experience below.
Please provide a brief background of your business.
Craft Applied is a creative web agency founded on the Isle of Man. For the past three years we have been collaborating with local and international businesses to design and deliver websites, apps and business solutions. We enjoy building relationships with clients across a variety of industries, including eCommerce, construction, hospitality, cleantech and non-profits.
Why did you apply to take on an intern?
A core value of our team is to continuously share knowledge and encouragement where we can. The DFE internship scheme seemed like a good opportunity to collaborate with ambitious local talent and share some of our professional experience and technical skills.
How did the outcome of the internship compare to your initial expectations?
Our expectations were surpassed by far! Both Harley and William demonstrated a positive attitude and eagerness to learn throughout our six-week engagement. I was constantly pleased to find that recommended reading and suggested exercises were followed up on, and that everything I had to teach was so readily absorbed.
How did your intern help your business?
Not only were they both receptive to all technical and non-technical learning, but they were also effective in handling client relations. All the while, both Harley and William remained productive in executing creative and development deliverables and adaptable with their working hours as deadlines and priorities shifted. They showed good understanding that startups and small businesses can require a little more flexibility than more mature organisations.
Did you have any hesitations in applying to take on an intern?
There was an initial trepidation that we lacked the additional time and overhead to fully support structured learning. However those early investments quickly paid off and I could soon trust that delegated tasks would be delivered to a good standard – affording us extra time for business development and working through the backlog!
What would you say to other businesses considering the scheme but have their own hesitations?
Both interns were really well matched to my business profile and area of expertise. For the cost of a little time and effort upfront, we combined well to make effective progress thereafter. I’m really pleased to continue our collaboration in full-time engagements and look forward to carrying on our learning and growth in the future.
Why did you apply for the Summer Internship Programme?
I hadn’t worked in almost two years due to illness and was trying to get back into work again. I was also unsure of what I wanted to do, so the internship was the perfect opportunity to re-enter the workforce and work in an industry that I was interested in but ordinarily would have struggled to enter without experience or relevant qualifications.
Where did you complete your placement and what was the project about?
My internship was with Craft Applied, a creative web agency, undertaking web development and graphic design work. I got to work on a range of live projects at various stages of completion, from updating pages to site construction from scratch. It was really unique to be doing junior level work whilst gaining an insight into the full web design and development process from initial discovery to deployment.
What are the benefits of the Programme for students/young adults?
It’s been especially helpful for me as I had a big gap in my CV, lacked much work experience and didn’t do a university degree, so it’s been a great alternative way into the industry and it was great to be learning, working and earning all at once. It’s also a great way to try out a career, learn what you like about it and to use that to guide your future career path. It was great to have a six week period dedicated to working whilst learning as much as possible. I was also able to meet and work with such lovely people and had a lot of fun.
How did you settle into your placement?
I remember feeling like I didn’t know enough to do the internship at the start and thinking I was too inexperienced, but by working on a spread of live projects I learned a lot very quickly. Darren was really supportive and taught me a lot, guiding my learning and making recommendations for extra reading and online courses. I ended up settling in quite quickly and never felt too overwhelmed or that too much was expected of me. I really enjoyed it and was keen to pursue additional learning in my own time, which I then had the opportunity to contextualise and apply when I was at work.
Would you recommend the Summer Internship Programme to other students?
Absolutely. I really enjoyed my internship and it has really improved my skills and confidence. It’s such a great opportunity to lay the foundations for a career in an industry you’re interested in, especially one that you may otherwise feel apprehensive or too under-qualified and under-experienced to enter.
Hiring students and recent graduates is a great way to secure the brightest talent in the island.
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