It was April 24th when I arrived for the very first time at SmartBear with both my resume and portfolio on hand. I was very nervous to have the in-person interviews with the marketing team – I really wanted the position. The job description seemed to be a perfect fit for me, but I had just this feeling that scared me a little as this was my first experience at a software company. I didn’t know what to expect. I had questions like “will I feel comfortable with my team?” or “will they take my opinion into account?”
However, the minute I got here I knew that wasn’t going to be a problem at all. People were very welcoming, and I definitely fell in love with the open layout of the office.
Christmas Sweater Day - SmartBear Office, Somerville
Since the day I became a Multimedia and Content Marketing Co-Op, I have had countless positive experiences. Below I outline the 5 best perks.
1. Responsibilities are real.
I really appreciated that although I was only staying for six months, they considered me part of the team in every moment and gave me important tasks and projects to work on.
I would like to highlight one specific project I personally found both very enjoyable and challenging at the same time. This year, SmartBear changed their brand identity and therefore, every little branding detail needed to be updated. I was tasked with creating the new intro and outro slides for our YouTube Channel and website videos. This project meant a lot to me for two main reasons: first, I had to learn, in a short amount of time, how to use several tools in order to create the animation slides; and second, this project carried with it huge responsibility since all our customers and YouTube subscribers who watch our videos would be seeing my work.
Click here to watch the intro and outro animation slides:
Intro - smartbear.wistia.com/medias/5n3y45oxbc
Outro - smartbear.wistia.com/medias/tymobbsusn
I think taking big responsibilities was a great perk and I feel extremely grateful for all the opportunities I had.
2. You will learn everything you want to learn, and more.
I came here wanting to learn more about multimedia and content marketing creation (filming, video and blog creation and editing…), but it turned out that apart from learning everything I was hoping for, a wide amount of learning opportunities opened up for me during these six months.
I had the chance to create really cool templates, animations and gifs with editing programs I was not familiar with, such as Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop; I attended weekly marketing trainings where we covered a great variety of topics, and I realized that there’s so much more to marketing than I would have ever imagined!
One of the fun gifs I made
And of course, I can’t forget about all the personal growth as well as professional growth I have acquired in terms of soft skills and business etiquette.
Community Service Day - Rosie's Place
3. Questions and mistakes are allowed!
I remember I was truly confused during my first weeks. So many products, so many software related vocabulary. I didn’t even know what a UI was, and I would hear that word a thousand times a day. And not just during my first weeks, but also during the six months, I was involved in new projects all the time and each one of them required some previous understanding. However, everyone was happy to help and answer as many questions I had. At SmartBear I learned that it’s better to ask rather than to waste hours trying to figure something out.
Of course, my Co-Op experience was not all about good results. I made my mistakes and took a few wrong decisions. But there is always time to rectify, learn, and make up for your mistakes – you don’t learn how to walk if you never fall.
4. Organization and Dynamic are two SmartBear words.
At SmartBear you hear the word “sprint” a lot. Every couple of weeks we add our tasks in Jira for the following sprint (the next two weeks). This way you are always aware of the amount of work you have ahead, you know when you need reprioritize, and when you have spare time to get involved in some new projects. Organization was indeed a skill I definitely improved, and I really appreciated the sprint planning which made everything a lot easier.
Another one of my favorite parts of working here was the dynamic work environment. New projects going on every week and even every day kept my interest and motivation at work. I was never tired of a specific task because a different one was waiting for me around the corner!
5. You won’t only meet co-workers, you’ll make friends too.
Having lunch in the kitchen, or at some nice restaurants in Assembly Row, grabbing a coffee, or going for a little walk. Getting to know people at SmartBear couldn’t be easier. It was fun to have some friends to spend my breaks with, and I’m happy to know that I’ll always have those memories with me.
Summer Outing 2018 - Thompson Island
Co-Ops at SmartBear don’t just complete the tasks they’ve been assigned to. We also have a voice in the team, we are given opportunities and responsibilities, and most importantly, our work has a real impact.
I would like to thank everyone in the team for these six months, and I hope everyone has appreciated my work as much as I have appreciated the opportunity and the fabulous experience.