My Internship at Border Crossing Media

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Luke Kelly

Several weeks ago I reflected on my first week as a User Experience Intern here at Border Crossing Media. Since then, my time has been crammed full with lots of new and exciting experiences from playing Cricket in Waverley Train Station to conducting my own research, and completing focused training courses.

What I’ve Been Upto

By the end of the first week, I felt as though I was settling in quickly to my new surroundings. Having initially defined a roadmap of key deliverables and day-to-day tasks with the team, I’ve been able to arrive each morning knowing exactly what to get stuck into. Of course It’s been great having those core tasks each day but what has really made things special for me is the exposure to the variety of both internal and external projects.

The open nature of the team meant that I was able to add my thoughts to these live projects from day one which proposed different challenges to what I had experienced before. Even just watching and listening to the team discuss and overcome problems together, felt as though I was undergoing a learning curve.

The team has been incredibly accommodating, taking the time to really just be open and honest about their work and getting me involved. Everybody has been supportive and determined to make sure that what I’ve been tasked with is right for me, my goals, and that at the very least I am enjoying my experiences and learning from them.

I have published a number of blog posts reflecting my experiences and research into various UX methods and techniques. All of which helped affirm some key aspects that I learned at University but which I was able to build on further through my own research.

I have also completed a BCS certified online User Experience training course and Hootsuite Social Media and marketing training course. The UX course was super constructive which naturally blended in well with different elements of the internal and external projects which have been going on at the same time. The transition between the training course and real project work couldn’t have been better as I was able to cement my existing knowledge through the course but then practically implement it my own project afterwards. E.g. creating proto-personas, carrying out competitor analysis, or identifying best practices.

Crafting my own project was one of the main outcomes established at the beginning of the internship and so was something I had been looking to get my teeth into quickly. The process of creating a project was in itself a new challenge but was something which I was able to take a lot away from. Being able to discuss with Francois and Esther my ideas for projects opened my eyes to the importance of research design and so I learned to take my time in forming the right project and setting realistic targets. (Keep an eye out for my project!)

As a result of my role and responsibilities of operating in a driven team over the past 6 weeks I have been able to add context to everything I learned at University; I’ve understood how to properly manage expectations, and the value of setting targets which are challenging but achievable at the same time.
 

What I Can Take Away From My Internship Experience

All in all, I have developed a consciousness of operating in a real-world business environment which no doubt will prove itself to be an invaluable experience. By working within a real team, carrying out real research, and designing meaningful solutions I have managed to gain an invaluable understanding of how UX is carried out, packaged, and sold in the real world.

Together with the training courses I have completed; the projects I have collaborated on, the experience of conducting my own research (not forgetting the countless Post It notes I have Sharpied on), my Internship has again confirmed that UX is the field I want to continue to sketch out my career in.
 
Here’s to the next chapter with Border Crossing Media!

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