First and Last Note from the Desk of the Web Intern
Aug 01,
2014
First and Last Note from the Desk of the Web Intern

Hello, readers of this awesome blog, my name is Chelsea. I am/was this summer’s intern. I’m a rising second year at the University of Virginia. I am majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Studio Art, and have been interested in web design for about ten years now.

How Did I Get an Internship Anyway?

Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, I learned of this awesome company and that they offer internships. I decided to apply for one since I had made a decision last year that the field I wanted to go into was, in fact, web design/development. The biggest reason I took the internship was in order to gain experience in a job field. In computing, experience is sometimes even more important than a degree. I also took the internship to find out for sure that web design and development were what I really wanted my career to be.

My (not really) Mad Skills

Before I came here my skills were limited. I only knew a single web development language with any familiarity, and my skills were years out of date. Thanks to my classes at UVa, I had some basic programming language skills and a single programming language under my belt, but that language is completely useless in web development.

Building Up from Small Tasks to Larger Ones

Programming Jokes

When I began working, I started small. I was helping manage social media mostly, taking care of posting to Facebook and Twitter once a day with anything from facts to articles to notes from the intern(#WebIntern). Eventually, we added a Pinterest account. I have built all three of these accounts up with higher reach and different people knowing about us. Another of my early tasks was helping solve hardware problems. Being small has its advantages! Small hands and long fingers helped me reach small screws and manipulate delicate computer parts while attempting to fix them. The last of my early tasks was research. At this point, it was mostly for computer parts. I found good deals on the parts online so that we could order them and fix our computers.

Gradually, I began to be able to help with other tasks. At first, it was just launching updates that required only dragging and dropping files into folders, or answering phone calls. Then I was able to launch updates that required direct coding. Eventually I began helping to manage content on our iPlasmaCMS.com website. I created a user guide for the iPlasmaCMS users, and gradually began adding it to the site. A very significant portion of the summer was spent on this task.

Over the past few weeks, I have been able to try my hand at coding. Try checking out iplasmacms.com- I swapped out a set of content pages for a specific module. I also made sure that the site stayed visually appealing despite all of the changes.

Another example of a project that I worked on is on a site called envisionhamptonroads.com. If you scroll down from the top of the page, you’ll see that the logo changes and locks at the top of the screen with the menu(on the mobile view as well). That was one of my achievements this summer, and I’m extraordinarily proud of myself.

Final Thoughts on My New Skillset

However, I think one of my biggest achievements this summer was the sheer amount of knowledge and experience I’ve gained. Not just in coding, but also in skills such as oral and written communication that will serve me well for the rest of my life.

It’s been a really great summer here and I’m really sad to leave. I’ll miss everyone here and am extremely grateful for all that I’ve learned here.  Now it’s coming upon time to go back to school and apply all of my new skills.

Cheers,

Chels

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