It has been our pleasure to have Murley on the Splash Effect team two days per week as part of the TDSB Coop placement program. We have been so impressed by his work and enthusiasm that we wanted Murley to share his perspective of our little agency. So, without further ado, here’s his first Intern’s Log!
Since the start of October, I’ve had great pleasure of working as an intern at Splash Effect through the Toronto District School Board’s Cooperative Education program. When I first entered the co-op program I was prepared for the following:
- To be working under a manager
- To fetch coffee,
- To complete busy-work such as data-entry
- And finally to shadow other employees to learn what the professionals of the tech world actually do.
But, on my first day I was completely astonished at how backwards my expectations were in comparison to the reality of this placement.
To start, my manager and the co-founder of Splash Effect, Hamza Khan, is not your typical manager. One of the first things we discussed during my onboarding was working hours which, at Splash Effect, are virtually non existent. I was told to come in whenever, and work from home whenever. Hamza’s philosophy is that people produce their best work when they don’t have a manager breathing down their neck and aren’t confined by typical workplace structures. Although leadership and direction is still quite necessary, it’s not achieved in a traditional, bureaucratic manner. Instead, I get assignments (with generous deadlines) and am set free to complete them without constant help or instruction. That is not to say that questions aren’t always welcome and answered. To get a better understanding of this philosophy and methodology watch Hamza’s Ted Talk. Trust me, it’s inspiring for anyone in any kind of leadership position.
So, in the first 3 months of my internship I have not:
- Been directed by an overbearing manager
- Fetched a single coffee (except for that one time)
- Competed any busy-work
- Or shadowed other employees.
I would call that a win.
Aside from a cool, lenient, yet still highly productive boss, there are some specific attributes and traits of the way Splash Effect operates that make it such a special place. A few of them are as follows:
Community, Culture, and Collaboration
In my time here so far I’ve met the interesting, smart, and creative people doing the amazing work that comes out of this compact digital marketing agency. I’ve also come to understand and appreciate the way they work together. Communication and collaboration is essential for any team and Splash Effect understands that. All members keep each other updated on the status of their projects, their priorities (and whatever is getting in the way of them), and what they need from each other to move forward. Also, if a teammate is overloaded they can always ask someone else with less to do at that moment to take something off their plate so that good work can still happen in the timeframe.
The Splash crew always produces wonderful stuff in good time, but not because of hard deadlines and set work hours. Like I mentioned previously, it doesn’t matter how or when you get your work done as long as it gets done within the necessary time. If you know you’re running behind on something then there are other team members who are there to help. Communication is especially important in this regard and Splash Effect makes it work thanks to their strong sense of work ethic and accountability.
Working in an agency focused on education and youth has taught me so much more than I could have accomplished on my own. Not only have I been introduced and familiarized with industry standard tools, but I have also done a lot of online research compiling tools and resources that create better learning experiences. This has given me insights on what is out there for in terms of tools to help students learn for themselves, network, do their taxes, and find out about scholarships.
All in all, I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better placement. Being a part of such a fluid, flexible, and forward-thinking agency has opened my eyes to the world of digital marketing and put me years ahead of my peers. I hope to see myself back here someday creating innovative and incredible solutions for anyone and everyone that comes knocking. It’s safe to say that I’m ready to make a splash!