Lou Forget-Dennieau

INTRODUCTION

Making the Most of an Opportunity.

Midway through studying for a degree in Management at the London School of Economics, I experienced my Mobile Five Internship. I wanted to know what a real job was like, and Mobile Five taught me. I imagined witnessing gender stereotypes and struggling to be heard whilst men dressed in tailored suits drank espressos. But all assumptions faded upon entering the office and seeing the lounge area, darts board, and ping-pong table.

Within the first week, I had the privilege to meet with each Head of Department – from the head of Project Management, Account Management, Strategy, Digital Designers, Developers, and QA Testers. Each and every one of them seemingly embodied their teams’ distinctive role. Thanks to their expertise and pedagogy I quickly gathered a very broad understanding of the agency’s functioning. I was invited to attend meetings and brainstorms to offer my opinions, insights, and suggestions. And despite being “just an Intern”, my opinions were listened to just as much as everybody elses.

Working with self-motivated professionals taught me how we only become experts when we all put our heads together. When new projects came in, I witnessed teams coming together with such dedication to doing things the right way. The result of this process would be the delivery of an excellent experience and end product to clients. I’d never been surrounded by such hard-working, happy, and motivated people. Collaborating with these talented teams made each project an enjoyable learning experience. No two projects were ever the same, and variety is the spice of life after all.

My internship took place within the Strategy team, led by Jennifer. Being a student with no professional experience, tackling projects like putting together a website’s UX audit, proposing a digital experience for the launch of a businesses’ new product, or even suggesting strategies around rebuilding a businesses’ website seemed quite intimidating at first. Fortunately for me, the Strategy team is so close-knit that there was no shortage of people eager to mentor and cheer me on.

Through the projects I worked on, I understood that digital strategy is much more than just employing new technologies to solve a singular problem. I learned that to develop supporting digital strategies, you need to understand your clients business goals, you need to keep track of digital news and developments, but you also need to keep a close eye on what competitors in the wider market are doing. I understood the strategy process as the perfect blend between data interpretation and creativity.

We would never attempt to integrate an idea just because it was "cool" or because it's the latest technology trend; to satisfy clients, and ourselves, we would only advocate ideas that were supported by a tangible business need and worked in the best interests of end users. Strategy delivers a focussed plan - a framework - driven by data and analytics which meaningfully responds to a businesses digital needs.

The Mobile Five office atmosphere was one of the most surprising aspects of my internship. Instead of competing for the boss' or client's praise, team members put their heads together to create something that competing agencies and brands might not have considered. Everyone at Mobile Five has the same end goal and everyone knows it can only be achieved with a united team effort. Effectively, each team and each team member holds a different piece of the puzzle. This motivates employees to strive to be better and to support one another in doing so.

The level of respect and responsibility given to employees is accompanied by a lot of freedom -working hours can be flexible, and after-work activities are encouraged. There's even a completely stocked kitchen to keep us happy! Mobile Five understands that you can only be at your best if you feel your best. That means working reasonable hours, taking breaks, and not being aggravated by stress.

This office transparency and culture reinforces openness. Throughout my 3 month internship, I have always felt able to talk and ask for support if I needed it. Through our mental health aiders, weekly recaps, monthly team lunches, colleague drinks, birthday cards and cakes - Mobile Five has fostered a truly effective support system.

After spending three months in the office, I've developed my research and team skills, as well as my knowledge of Google Analytics; key skills that I will take with me into future internships and jobs. But what I've gained from this experience is much more than purely work-based skills. I've learned how to behave as a professional, to work independently and proactively, to take constructive criticism and establish a strong work ethic.

Starting something new can be daunting at first as you face unfamiliar surroundings, colleagues, and an endless amount of information to process. Luckily for me, Mobile Five made this as smooth and pleasant as possible by making me feel at home since Day One. The warm welcome I received is something which resonates throughout the office, and throughout all of Mobile Five.

Many thanks to everyone at Mobile Five for making my first work experience as stimulating as it was instructive!

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