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The boxChilli doors have always been open for work-experience students. It’s a pleasure to offer school children the opportunity to get involved in the studio, and become immersed in a working environment. This year one of our experience students was Mollie, from Hampshire. Below, Mollie recounts her 2 weeks and all she learned while at the Waterlooville office…
“My work experience at boxChilli- By Mollie Smyth
My name is Mollie Smyth and I am a year 10 student currently studying at Horndean Technology College and I have been privileged enough to do my work experience at boxChilli for 10 days. I first came across boxChilli when my mum told me about the business because she works for the owner in a different aspect and as soon as she explained what it was I was interested. I then looked up their website to do more research and decided that I would ask the owner if he would take me on for work experience as it was coming up, I needed a placement and it fascinated me. Fortunately, Anders said yes and agreed to take me on for the 10 days and set me up with different activities to complete to further my knowledge and understanding of computers and the way his business works…
On my first day of coming to do my work experience, I was very nervous as I did not know anyone and I had never done anything like this before inside an office. However, when I got there that almost immediately changed because all the staff were so welcoming and kind. My first task was to work through a program called Google Garage in which I watched videos and answered questions to do with the videos – once finished I even got a certificate for it!
Throughout the day, I was fortunate enough to have the company of the adorable office dog, Marty.
On the second day, I was not as nervous because I had become increasingly more relaxed during the previous day and had already nearly got used to their environment. I spent a few hours shadowing one of the employees called Clare and she showed me what work she does. She was editing an existing website and changing the look of it so it looked like the new design, it was interesting.
After this, I started on a HTML course. I was becoming more confident by completing these courses because I was learning about the computer languages and how they function a bit more. I found all of this so far extremely useful because it was giving me more of an insight into what I may be doing when I am older if I choose to pursue this kind of career path.
For the rest of the day, I was tasked with editing a webpage myself. Originally, the webpage was about tours in different countries and where you can go and how much it will cost. I changed it so it was about animals and included a slideshow of the different types such as vertebrate, birds, mammals etc. I changed the layout of the website and made it so that you could buy or sell any of these animals or buy merchandise that was of this animal.
The previous day, I had spoken to Anders about making my own website about my favourite hobby: horse riding. This morning, he introduced me to some software called WordPress in which I was to use to make my website. I set up the template and then I went to work with customising it and making it my own. I added different pages and labelled them with things that make horses different such as colour, gender and breed. Each page had a description and different pictures that were laid out to show the variations.
Today, I added to my website with new features and pages which contained more information. I added pages about sizes and ages of horses and how they varied among the horse species and their different breeds.
After this, I moved on to developing my coding skills. I began a course called “HTML & CSS” and I just had to work my way through the exercises until I reached 100% and had it completed.
I continued with my HTML&CSS course on code academy and reached 100% within a few hours. Next, I moved onto “Python” and began to work through this course. This was a lot harder than the first and was longer so I was challenged a lot in this course.
I was back at the office at 8:45 ready for my last week. It was sad to think that this would be the last week for my work experience at boxChilli but I still had 4 more days left so I was just going to work hard and enjoy them, and Marty was back in today, as lively as ever (yayJ). I began by continuing with the “Python” course. After this, I decided to have a break from coding and begin to complete my work experience booklets. I had 2 to complete because one was for the EBP (the organisation that set up our work experience) and one for my business studies coursework.
I went back onto the computer bright and early and went back on to continuing with the website designing on code academy. I reached 100% in a short period of time and then progressed onto learning the command line which was required to make a coded website live. Next I joined one of the SEO Marketers called Tilly and we were editing the content on a customer’s website. We had to include information about one of their specific products. I really enjoyed this aspect of the business and would love to do it again if I had the chance.
This was my second to last day, and I was very sad that my work experience was nearly over. I continued working with Tilly, and began to learn and understand the principles of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
I came to boxChilli feeling a little sad today because it was my last day of work experience. I brought in rock cakes and brownies for everyone to say thank you which they all enjoyed! On my last day, I went back onto learning Developer and then helped the SEO team again, until it was time to leave.
I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience here at boxChilli and would go back any time in a heartbeat. All the staff were so kind and willing to help whenever and I will definitely miss this place a lot. And Marty of course! I will hopefully be returning here in a few years for an apprenticeship if that is still available for me. I do believe I chose one of the best work experiences and couldn’t have gotten anything more out of it.”
The round of work-experience students has finished for this year – we’re already looking forward to meeting new, fresh-faced students in 2018!