The following is an interview between Jordyn and Janet from the Animikii Digital Communications team, and Lydia Prince - one of Animikii's first interns. Lydia's internship extended from the end of April 2017 until the end of July. Since this internship, Lydia has joined the Animikii part-time and continues to be an integral contributor to our shared success - as well as a hilarous bright-spot in our team chats.
How did you first learn about Animikii?
I was asked to be the First Nations Technology Council’s (FNTC) Poster Child for the day in September 2016 (You can see me on the FNTC homepage #famous). We had a photoshoot for FNTC’s new website and that’s where I first met part of the Animikii team. I briefly got to chat with Jordyn, Dakota and Jeff. After the photoshoot, I started stalking Animikii on social media ‘cause I thought they were cool.
The Photoshoot with FNTC and Animikii
Why did you want to work for Animikii?
As one of the first participants in the FNTC’s Bridging to Technology (B2T) Program, I entered into the web development stream. While in the program, I was gearing up for a career change and started looking into employers. Animikii didn’t come to mind until they came out of nowhere with a student bursary for me as a B2T student. I was ecstatic that they even remembered me (from the photoshoot), let alone considered me for a bursary as a part of their Giving Back Program. Since I was looking for an employer, I decided to do a little bit of research into Animikii (aka I looked at their website). Their principles and goals aligned with mine and they ended up in my crosshairs for employment.
You put a lot of effort into finding a position at Animikii, why did you do that?
I previously worked in administration; I’m a creative person and administration wasn’t the right fit for me. It made me realize that it’s important for me to have a job that I love doing. It also made me realize the importance of putting in a lot of thought and research when considering where I want to work. When I looked into Animikii, I really loved what they stood for and was interested in the work they do.
I think tenacity is a part of my personality. I inherited it from my mom and dad (Hi, Mom & Dad!). When I want something, I’ll do everything in my power to get it and I wanted to work for Animikii. I really didn’t want to take any other route to becoming a real web developer.
Around the end of my Bootcamp B2T course, I saw that Animikii was hiring for a Senior Developer position - waaaay out of my skill range - BUT, I contacted Jeff anyway (the worst thing he could say was “no”). I may have sent him a few too many emails…with my resume, conveniently attached. Unfortunately, that method didn’t work (he said no... but, I have bad hearing) so, I went about finding another way to get onto the team. I heard about a wage grant program through Lighthouse Labs’ Career Services that would allow Animikii to bring me on through an internship (thanks, Carmen & Steph). I was the gift and the internship grant was the big bow I needed to seal the deal (:D).
BTW, I work here now.
What did you get out of the internship?
I definitely learned a lot and gained a lot of experience as a web developer. I know what to expect when it comes to working as a web developer. Meeting some awesome people and watching how they work was amazing.
Who might benefit from joining the Animikii team as an intern?
Those that want to gain experience in a collaborative and supportive environment. Yeah, the Animikii team is preeeetty awesome. I was shy about asking questions at first, but quickly realized everyone on the team is really helpful and wanted me to succeed #dreamteam <3 .
What was your favourite project of the internship?
Definitely, our latest project: St. Paul Foundation’s Take Home Naloxone App [not yet launched]. I took part in each step of the process, from meeting the client to developing the project. I saw a static mock-up slowly come to life as a functional website, it was really amazing. Working closely with the team is definitely the best part of the work - the different personalities, random jokes, fixing bugs and reaching goals.
What were some challenges you faced during your journey?
Imposter Syndrome. I’ve definitely had to deal with Imposter Syndrome and battle with that critical voice inside my head. In the sixth week of the web development bootcamp, I seriously considered quitting because I felt I wasn’t getting anything. It took a lot to get over that self-doubt. Luckily, I have an amazing support system, which I am very grateful for. My classmate, Gabe, really helped me get through the course, too (thanks, Gabe). I still deal with that critical voice from time to time but, I’ve come a long way and it’s a reminder that I’m very much capable of what I set my mind to.
How did this work experience differ from previous work experiences?
It’s the first time I’ve worked with such a collaborative team. I genuinely feel my team wants me to succeed (best team EVAR).
The Staff Retreat!
What is one shining accomplishment you’ve achieved so far?
Well, making it onto the team is definitely one thing I’m proud of. But, it had to be the publishing of my first project the Indigenous History Timeline. It wasn’t a big project but, I did it all by myself and it’s my first project - EVER - to be published online.
How has your perception of this job changed through its different phases? Student, intern, contractor?
Not very much, it’s still awesome (:D). I’m still learning everyday. I’m able to contribute more to projects as I gain experience. It continues to be amaaaazing.
What is something you’re looking forward to doing at Animikii as a contractor now that your internship has ended?
These days when I say, “I’m a web developer,” I sort of whisper it because I feel like I still have a lot to learn and I haven’t earned the title, yet. I’m looking forward to the day I can say it confidently because I’ll have the skills and experience to back it up.
Article published August 15, 2017.
One day, you’ll see me running down the street yelling, “I’M A WEB DEVELOPER!!!” Don’t be alarmed.
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