Recently, Mogul had the pleasure of welcoming an intern aka Greg to the office. A BCS student at the Eastern Institute of Technology, Greg was required, as part of his studies, to complete an internship. Knowing how to spot a great opportunity from a mile away, Mogul took Greg on as an intern and assigned him the task of taking one of Mogul’s services (SLAs) to the next level.
Priority numero uno was setting the goals of the internship and more specifically the goals of the SLA Project. What did we want to accomplish? What did Greg want to get out of being an intern at Mogul? Both needed to be thought about and a solid project foundation needed to be built from the answers.
What was also important was getting Greg on board with the project from the start. Since he was to be completing the bulk of the work he needed to understand each component in as much detail as possible. This would mean that if project decisions needed to be made he could provide his own thoughts on those decisions and be able to back them up with solid evidence.
Service Level Agreements
SLAs or Service Level Agreements are essentially regularly occurring bouts of website maintenance. As our websites here at Mogul are WordPress based this means the SLAs generally consist of updating a websites plugins and checking the websites core functionality continues to work as it should, post these updates.
As such, Greg and I began the SLA project with 2 main goals in mind.
- Firstly to dramatically speed up the time spent completing an SLA. This was of particular importance to myself as by reducing the SLA time required, it meant more of my workday could be spent on other, more challenging work.
- The second main goal was to improve the quality of the SLA. By doing so we both felt that an SLA client would gain a better return on investment from the SLA, evidence by better website checks and statistic gathering.
The Learning Experience
Aside from improving Mogul’s SLA offering there was much gained from the internship.
As an Intern
The Real World
One of the most important aspects of being an intern is getting exposure to a real-world business. Seeing how the day to day goes in an office environment can be the type of experience that as an intern you get the most out of. It puts you at ease when starting a real job and gives a sense of office familiarity that cannot be learnt from a class or textbook.
Another often overlooked aspect of working in a professional workplace is just that, professionalism. This is the soft skills that your colleagues display in every interaction they have with each other and with clients. Its things like how they present themselves, or how they communicate with each other. You may not notice these skills if they are there but you will certainly notice them if they are not.
As a Mentor
For myself as the project lead, I have gained more experience in managing not only projects but people. This was especially challenging at times when forced to work virtually. Nevertheless, it was a challenge Greg and I accepted and worked around admirably. Special mention to both Zoom and Slack!
One of the hardest things a project lead can do is relinquish control or duties to another individual. Being an internship this assigning of tasks to someone else is of course expected, but it still requires a certain level of trust to fully be able to lean into it. A few simple tasks early on in the project let me know that Greg was very much capable of getting to work and could be trusted with bigger tasks.
It has been a pleasure being able to pass on the experience I have gained so far in my own career, to someone who I can relate to quite closely, having been in Greg’s exact position a few years ago when I was completing my own internship. Whilst the SLA Project part of the internship produced a fantastic improvement in that service.
A win-win in anyone’s books.
Check out EIT’s own video of Gregs Internship below!