Headstart intern Maxwell

Being a Digital Team Intern

30 August 2016

This summer, I was fortunate to be offered a position in City Hall’s Digital Team over the course of August. In this blog, I hope to give you an insight into what it’s like working in City Hall from an intern’s perspective.

What is the Digital team?

The most common question I get asked is 'What does your department do?'. The phrase 'Digital team' can mean many things as it is open to interpretation.

For my department, digital means keeping audiences connected and informed through london.gov.uk and other forms of technology such as mobile devices. It’s a way of working and thinking; coming up with unique ways to solve problems encountered with websites, content, IT and more. To work in this department, you have to be open minded, creative and agile as new challenges come up daily.

Where do I fit in?

As an intern, my major responsibilities were:

  • managing the Digital Team Inbox
  • attending stakeholder meetings
  • updating and producing new content
  • helping to train staff to use the website editor

Many people assume this is a stereotypical 9-5 job. However, I was surprised at how varied each day was. This month I was able to contribute towards some bigger projects such as Sadiq Khan's 100 Days in Office landmark page which was exciting to work on. I was also able to attend meetings on making the website more interactive by using a more visual way of storytelling.

Some other notable activities that I did were: assisting in website training with City Hall staff; shadowing a photographer at a Team London event; and seeing how Google Analytics can be used to improve websites.

How have I developed as a person?

Being in this environment has taught me how an organisation structures work and divides up tasks. There is a clear workflow which means it is easy to keep track of who is working on a particular area or project. The Digital team do this in a unique way by having a scheduling board made up of post-its and columns marked: To-do, In progress, Blocked and Done.

Digital Team Post-it Wall

They also do meetings standing up; the only department that I’m aware of to do so every morning.

Throughout my time here I have also discovered various ways to approach a problem. There is often more than one solution when it comes to websites and technology, so working at City Hall has helped me to have an open approach. Not only have I been able to learn from my colleagues but there have also been times where I have offered useful advice and suggested ideas which is something I thought I would not be able to do.

Other interesting parts of the internship

I happened to be working during the Olympics which was great because outside City Hall there was a public screen. Every lunch time, families and workers would come together and watch different sports, showing that #LondonIsOpen (another campaign which I got to learn about in my time here).

Fridays are the best days to get cake. That's when the canteen sells cake at half price, which makes them fabulous.

The office has a "food for all" policy. If you leave snacks on your desk, then everyone on your floor is entitled to eat it and share which is great...unless you're feeling selfish.

Cake

And the future?

Currently, I volunteer for a charity called Riana Development Network for their website team and completing the internship has helped me to consider a career in web design and IT. I also plan to finish my A Levels and go to university.

Doing an internship at City Hall is a really good way to gain experience in the world of work. It helps you to have more responsibility and learn to get on with new people. I would definitely encourage those that have the chance to do the internship to take the opportunity as you’re also able to make a positive difference in the organisation. So if there’s anything to take away from this blog it is that the Digital Team is:

Definitely

Inspiring,

Greatly

Interactive

Tremendously

Active and is

Learning everyday