In my last two posts I have been talking about how great interning at ITProTV is and how proud of them I am from all I have learned since working there. I am sure though, whoever has read the previous posts have been wondering what is ITProTV and what do they do? To start, ITProTV is based in Gainesville, Florida and was officially founded in 2013 by Tim Broom and Don Pezet with a team of highly skilled IT folks. When the two friends recognized there was a need for the creation of engaging content that could effectively provide the knowledge transfer that certification seekers in the information technology world need to be successful they got to work. Together they wrote up a mission statement for their company in its early stages which states that they want to “disrupt the technology learning marketplace with engaging effective content resulting in attracting 25,000 active members by the end of 2018”. I have seen this mission in action as I have been working with them. Every morning the entire team circles up to discuss what they have accomplished, and what they are excited about for the day. As I have participated in this morning ritual and listened to everyone’s daily goals and accomplishments, I have heard how well the company is doing. By the time 2018 comes around I believe they will be well over 25,000 satisfied and active members. For instance, the largest IT educating company in the US has recently asked to have ITProTV to join them on their own mission. What an honor to be recognized by the top people in the industry. This number one IT educating company even admitted that they wanted ITProTV on board with them because ITProTV releases educating and entertaining content everyday unlike them. I am not sure what the founders of ITProTV will decide with that offer but they sure were flattered. Along with the mission statement, Tim and Don wrote out a purpose and core values for the company to have. The purpose being similar to the mission states that they will “empower [their] members through engaging learning of technology”. As a switcher, I have control over all audio, video, and lighting when recording live shows and as I watch these gentlemen that host these shows everyday I find myself learning a lot. I never would have thought an IT show could be capable of being any kind of interesting I have been proven wrong and of course, they are quite serious about what they are teaching but if you ever watch them work you will most likely find yourself laughing during a show titled Cisco CCENT: CCNA Switching & Routing. ITProTV truly does empower people through engaging learning videos on technology. The core values of ITProTV include them existing for their members, working with honor, exuding passion with personality, creating effective content daily, producing excellence through innovation & imagination and finally, willingly facing challenges with optimism. When faced with the drawback of a recording having failed, the co-founder and host, Don, just smiled and said “you know here at ITPro one of our values is to face challenges with optimism and I’m going to do just that. And hey, how often do we get to rehearse a show, now we can make this video even better!” It is a great pleasure to work with those who have such positive values and stick to them through and through. All around the office you can find this Mission, Purpose, and Values poster (attached above) posted on the walls. It is a great reminder to be a better worker everyday and some of the values they cherish are great reminders for life outside of work as well. I hope now that you understand what ITProTV is and that it is as interesting to you as as it is to me!
If ever interested in seeing a video for yourself, watching live, or reading the about page for ITProTV, their website is https://itpro.tv/
I can tell that we will be very busy this week at ImageWorks. This morning we had a meeting regarding all of the projects we have to take care of before Friday. One of my co workers will be out this week so the workload and overall pace of the shop will be chaotic. My boss always encourages that she would rather us be late with excellent quality products than to be on time with poor quality products. This does not mean that its acceptable for a customer to come in and wait for us to finish something. She continues to pressure us into working hard and making sure we have all jobs completed in a timely manner. I know that this work environment will help me become a overall better artist because I sometimes have difficulties with procrastinating and finishing projects on time. I can now experience working at a efficient pace and also completing things ahead of time to give me the opportunity to go back and critique my own work. Today I was able to install something really cool for a local businessman. He owns a BBQ business and we usually buy food from him every Friday at noon. He informed my boss that he would be hosting a cooking competition and he needed cool designs for his BBQ pit. He needed the designs right away so he could attract customers and build his cliental while at the competition. After printing out the design Marissa created, I installed the vinyl really carefully. It was kind of difficult because it was two different layers that needed to be installed exactly on top of each other in order to make the design come to life. Despite the harsh temperatures, we were able to install the vinyl on the BBQ pit before dehydrating in the Florida sun.
This week on my internship i learned more about the production side of a business. I worked on cutting and weeding which means taking excess vinyl out of words. That was sort of hard since the letters were small and hard to cut. This taught me to be careful and be more watching of how I do my job. I had to learn to patience with small objects and learning how to work with vinyl and cutting it. This was definitely different from what I was used to so it got me out of my comfort zone which was good. I got to learn more about the assembly of an object like how to make stickers and such. This is critical because in the business world you know people have stickers, banners magnets and etc. This showed me that there is a reward for being patient. As I improve my cutting skills I take time to notice details and make careful cuts so the product looks clean when i am finishing. Not working on the computer shows that I can do more other than designing and creating a piece of art. As I try to learn new things this is also expanding my mind making me able to be open to new ideas which makes me more available for others who might see potential in me.
At the end of Week 6 I’m realizing that my responsibility and role in the shop has become very important. My ability to design and create products for our most consistent customers has increased our overall income. My co worker Marissa has been at Image Works for seven years. She usually handles all of the new clients and I assist her with difficult projects that require more than one person to install.
I am really getting comfortable with working independently as well. When Marissa is really busy with other clients, my boss gives me a list of all the products we need to create for the week. Our most consistent client is a company named First Quality Plumbing. We always design yard signs and install vinyl on their business trucks. This week I was instructed to create yard signs in Corel to inform people that they’re hiring plumbers for their business.
After receiving the company’s logo and phone number, I began to create a proof on Corel. I chose to use red letters to make sure the sign was bright enough to get people’s attention. I knew that the letters had to be really large and proportionate so that when we print on the vinyl it would look clear and not distorted. I sent the company a proof and they were really impressed. The only thing correction I needed to make was to center the whole design to make it look more professional. I also had to create a layout for a promotional banner using only their logo and phone number.
I really felt accomplished after completing these tasks. I was glad to get a critique from the company so that I could make my design look better. I impressed my boss and made her realize that she can trust me to handle designing and producing products for clients on my own.
As my first week came to a close on Friday, July 1st I really felt at home at ITProTV. My supervisor, Peter, and my mentors, Meagan and Titus have helped me greatly in my first week answering my questions, showing me around, and making sure I understood everything I needed to know in detail. I mentioned in my first post that we have a short meeting every morning all together to discuss what we have accomplished and what we plan to accomplish that day. So far this has been a wonderful start to my days, I have learned so much about ITProTV and what they have accomplished since they have started; with everything they have done I will be proud to tell people in the future I interned with them because I know they will continue to do great things in the IT world. Also in my last post I mentioned that no one went over logistics about clocking-in and clocking-out, etc. On my second day, Denise from Payroll came up to me right after our morning meeting and gave me all the necessary paperwork I needed to fill out and by that afternoon I was in the system. I found out during my first week that I would not get to do any editing in Adobe Premiere for their video content. However, my supervisor said he did realize that this internship is meant to be a real life learning situation and told me that every so often I could follow along with the official editors of the company and go through all the processes they go through. I was a bit disappointed that I would not get to edit on my own but it is nice of them to allow me to follow the process. What I will be doing on my own is working as a director/switcher during live shows which is great all by itself. Exciting news would be that by the third day of my internship they entrusted me with directing and switching alone with no one hovering behind me. My first time at the wheel alone was full of edits but they were thankfully not because of me! Of course I did make a couple mistakes but the real challenge was that we had a guest in the studios all during my first week. Being a guest he was unfamiliar with his surroundings and needed to cut often for various reasons. My mentors praised me for getting through my first week under such circumstances, it was nice to hear that I did a good job. When I did make mistakes, the hosts (those of whom are being recorded live) of the show would be very understanding and patient with me which I was highly grateful for. By the end of the first week I made no switching mistakes and I felt in control of my domain. On the Friday before the 4th of July, things began to wind down in the office since it was a holiday weekend, we were still making content but we could laugh whole-heartedly at simple mistakes and then get right back to work. I am quite glad to be working at ITProTV, it’s a wonderful environment and I love how we can have an enjoyable work day together and still get what we need done.
My first month at carnival headquarters has featured so many experiences that its impossible to summarize them into one post. So I will break them down into two posts to explain them better.
For starters, I started working in June 1st as an E-Commerce Intern at Carnival Cruise Line. My duties range from doing customer engagement reports, tagging the website using javascrypt snippets, designing banners with Photoshop, doing front-end development, retargeting customers using Audience Stream, and analyzing user data. Even though this may sound like a lot, my main job is to help my supervisor optimize user conversion rate. This means making carnival.com visitors book a cruise.
When I first came in into team, my supervisor had just launched the first retargeting campaign of the website. The project consisted of retargeting returning visitors with their their last search results. The idea was to track what a user was interested in (destination, ships, cruise duration, port, etc), store a cookie in their computer, and use that data to display a banner in the homepage that showed his past search results and his interests. This saves time for the user so they don’t have to search again. While she was launching this campaign, I did the quality assurance report to see if it worked and if it was ready for launch. Also during this time, my supervisor took advantage to explain all of the logic behind this process and how to create a retargeting campaign. I learned that they use a program called AudienceStream to create audiences of users based on their cruise preferences, I also learned that they use a CMS called Sitecore that integrates with AudienceStream to display certain content based on the audience that a user is categorized.
These were my main duties and what I learned at my first week in carnival. I will keep posting this week about the next projects that I was in charge afterwards.
This was the last week of my internship and it was definitely also the busiest week of my internship. The week was split between finishing both websites and getting prepared to leave. I had the chance to see the websites come to life this week by filling the templates I created with finished content. There were also a lot of things I needed to do because this was my last week. I had a few meetings to discuss how we will update and maintenance the websites in the future. I also had a few meetings where we discussed my growth, my work and my internship as a whole. I spent a lot of the week cleaning up my projects to make updating and maintenance easier. I also completed documentation for both websites for further help. There was a lot of work that needed to be finished by the end of my last day. There were times when I didn’t think it would be possible. I ended up completing everything with only minutes to spear and it made me feel really accomplished. I am glad that I was able to work with such great people at the Osaka University’s Education Center in Asia. My Co-Workers ended up getting my a cake to celebrate my last day. I am also happy to know that I was able to make such a big impact this summer. The Osaka Photonics Initiative and Core 2 Core Program will provide teachers the resources to teach Photonics and students the resources to learn about science.
This week I had the opportunity to help a new business with creating a storefront design. The client informed me that her business would be very similar to a nail salon but she also specializes in cosmetology. After receiving all of her contact information and hours of operation I began creating a horizontal layout that would best fit her business. I decided to find a clean and elegant looking font in order to attract her target audience and make her service look professional. I am much more comfortable with Illustrator but for this project I used Corel Draw to show my boss that I could learn and adapt to the applications we use at ImageWorks in order to make the printing process easier. I know that showing effort to adapt in any workplace is essential and it will pay off for future employment opportunities. After sending a proof of my design, the client really admired the fonts I chose. She told me she wanted something simple but she didn’t realize that the font itself could truly bring the image of her business to life. After the proof was approved, I drove to get the true measurements of her entrance and the store front window so that my design wouldn’t be too big or too small. I returned to the shop and imported the files into Flexi Sign to prep for the install. I planned on using white vinyl because the windows were kind of tinted and I knew it would make the design stand out. The next day I returned and centered the design by checking the measurements of both sides. I tapped down both sides and installed the vinyl as carefully as possible to avoid heat bubbles. It turned out really great!