Gary Kendrick is an intern at Bookie Mania, a startup that builds social games using Facebook’s platform. Read on to find out what it’s like to be part of a company from an early start.
How did you come across Enternships?
Enternships was recommended to me by a friend. After scouring through the websites interface I was impressed with the sleek simple design and array of job opportunities that were listed. It was very easy from then onwards to apply to the specific areas I was interested in.
What made you decide to do an internship?
After some introspection after graduating with a psychology degree, I was wondering like many others how I could best utilise both the skills I had picked up and my now ample spare time!
Working in a chocolate shop meant that during the summer months, with no typically chocolate suitable occasions like valentines or Christmas imminent, I could think about the experiences I had and what I enjoyed most about my work. In retail, being constantly surrounded by chocolate I found myself developing a kind of intrinsic relationship with the products!
I was interested in how it was marketed and became especially disheartened when I would spot any typographical or grammatical errors weakening their message. I corresponded through head office to notify them of these mistakes, and made myself more noticeable in the company. Most of all, however, I enjoyed being in a job where I could specialise, albeit in area which I may not need future knowledge of. However, I believe it’s how you relate your knowledge to your future endeavours rather than the specific knowledge itself. I was determined to use my familiarity of the products to be a better sales person, and in turn, develop my marketing skills.
During my spare time I read several key thought-leadership books in modern marketing, and related it both to my current job in order to embody the brand, and also to prepare for a future marketing career. I was then at a stage where I felt I could be valuable to a start-up, and could fully embrace the job opportunities available out there. An internship, especially an entrepreneurial one, seemed like the natural next step. So that’s a snippet of my story, and why I came to do an internship.
What do you think is the most important part in a job application? What helped you get the internship you applied for?
I think some people prepare for an interview by thinking of how best they can enhance their portfolio or possibly embellish it! Promoting yourself in a positive light is obviously a must, however, I think sometimes its best also to highlight your developing areas.
An employer may be led to ask themselves, does he/she still have the passion to learn? Or indeed why does he/she want the internship in the first place? I put across more than anything a strong willingness to be educated, develop, and above all to become knowledgeable about the new brand in the same way I had demonstrated with my previous employer. It sounds simple, but I would make sure they knew I would work that extra bit harder to shorten the learning curve when I needed to and help the company through tough times as well as good.
Why did you choose to intern at Bookie Mania?
It was a unique opportunity. Above all, it is a really fun project to be involved with. The idea of working in an exciting and emerging industry such as the social games industry attracted my attention straight away. I’ve had previous experience working in social media marketing before, but working on a start-up, under the tutelage of someone with the experience of running major corporations has given me a more rounded learning experience than I would have had from a non start-up.
What is your role there? What kind of projects are you work on?
The game is a complex social betting game that has an array of features built into it. So I’m working on a multitude of projects, which include: UAT (User Acceptance Testing), which is playing the game, testing it’s functionality, and suggesting improvements; game data imputing e.g. uploading bets and bet results into the game, and also marketing the game through social media channels and other methods.
Has the enternship helped you get closer to your career goals? If so, how?
I never envisaged working in Facebook games, however the potential of social gaming has inspired my creative juices in this area. I’m now closer to realising my personal potential in an exciting new direction that I previously never imagined possible.
What would be your best piece of advice to give other students/graduates looking for internships?
I believe that whilst you are progressing you shouldn’t be afraid of failing; the hardest part is being willing to take the leap. With every success and failure you are learning from experience, in a sense if you have the mentality that you will improve bit by bit, you are in a sense already there. Never give up. Review your progress and above all don’t compromise by stepping down and worrying on what YOU think is achievable. Just be realistic, self-teach in your spare time when you need to, and keep heading where your passion lies.