Christine’s Thoughts on Interning at GradeCraft
Ever since second semester of my freshman year, I’ve worked some form of job all year round. I’ve worked at daycares, small offices, and tech companies — all of them filled with great people and unique experiences that have taught me a lot about who I am and the kind of work I want to do in the long run. As a student worker throughout my years as an undergrad, I always felt like I was in a ‘support role’. I’d work on smaller tasks on different projects that I felt weren’t important to the overall end-goals or vision of the projects. Even a “thank you so much for all the work and effort you put in!” felt insincere at times because I wasn’t really an essential asset to the team.
Joining the GradeCraft team was a daunting but refreshing experience because it deviated so much from the kind of work environment I had grown accustomed to. The in-house team consists of a small group of dedicated people who work on a variety of different aspects of the platform, from back-end to design to marketing.
I started off working with support videos and social media but eventually moved into working on usability testing and interface design. I had experience doing all of these different things from my undergrad program in Informatics, but I was able to really apply and hone my skills through all of the different projects I worked on. I was getting more and more feedback with every project and task I worked on, and as I continued working on different projects, I was able to take ownership of my work — and that was one of the most rewarding and valuable experiences I’ve had while working at GradeCraft. Rather than focusing on small and seemingly menial tasks, I could see my work contributing to GradeCraft’s greater vision. I could really invest in what I was doing knowing that it’d be valuable work that would get taken seriously.
It’s still scary to have something that I’ve worked on for weeks looked at and evaluated because I want my work to fit standards and expectations. I had to learn to start defending my work as well; rather than working on something and simply having it be approved or disapproved, I had to design and defend my work with rationale as to why I proceeded the way I did if I wanted my voice and work to be taken seriously. I felt like I could really make a greater impact on the team. Even if I was wrong with the direction of my work or if I was missing pieces in my thinking, I could still learn and grow from my mistakes.
The GradeCraft team is full of hardworking and driven people that really inspires me to set my standards high for all of the work that I do. Being able to ask for and receive serious, tangible feedback has helped me learn a lot about myself and my work, helping me set and meet new standards and expectations for myself. I’ve grown and learned a lot during my time with the GradeCraft team and I’m thankful and excited to carry these lessons on to my future endeavors.