I started my hours last semester for my internship. I was working at Recstuff.com and we had been discussing updating our site and template to move it from the Blueprint platform which was losing functionality on BigCommerce to it’s new platform Stencil. I had to sell the scope and having me do it to the CEO. I was estatic when I managed to do it, but I had to then balance doing the work for it along with my other tasks. It wasn’t easy to say the least and even though I considered my internship complete once the new site was launched there have still been massive changes since then that I work on everyday. The whole experience showed me just how much work goes into a fully functional Ecommerce site and the reason why most places have a team that undertakes such a task. I fully enjoyed the challenge, even through some of the frustrations. I accomplished a lot and learned when to reach out for help from the template developers and when to keep working on my own for a solution. I’m proud of what I did and continue to do on the site. Every time a customer compliments on the ease of use or how nice the site looks I’m once again filled with pride.
Due to the fact that I had accomplished most of my hours with Recstuff.com, I was able to choose a smaller project to do during the actual semester and have it be non-profit. Working with Frosty’s Fosters Animal Rescue was a completely different experience from Recstuff.com. First of all, as it was not on site, I was completely dependent on them to get me the information I needed. This unfortunately became a more difficult task than I anticipated. One of my two contacts only had a smartphone for which to communicate the content, images and opinions on what was going on. Much of the content I had to take from the their previous site and spruce up or summarize the information I had been originally given from them. I think a lot more can be done with this site and it can be a lot more interactive and engaging as well, however, I made a choice to make things fairly simple as they told me they did not have anyone terribly familiar with WordPress or maintaining any type of site whatsoever. Even as my internship ends I will be working on items for them and will likely continue on as a “volunteer” to keep their site up to date and help them navigate email newsletters and social media.
I know that through all the stresses, troubleshooting, and difficulties that both of my internships gave me experience and knowledge that has made me a better designer and developer. I’ve made massive strides through this program in areas I didn’t even realize I would. I’m a better content writer, I create better graphics and I feel much more capable understanding a problem and working through it. This program as a whole and these internships have made a world of difference and I can’t wait to continue expanding on my skills.