Behind the Walls of OnWired from an Interns Viewpoint; Week Four
August 22, 2008: I have spent the last 3 weeks wondering what in the world Brett and Patrick, the two developers, do. I even wonder sometimes if they are speaking English. Clearly, I am not a programmer, and it is hard for me to grasp what they do for OnWired. This week I finally had a revelation. On Monday, two clients came in for a training session on ExpressionEngine. Little did they know that I would be joining them. ExpressionEngine is a content management system used by OnWired, and in order for clients to update their site on their own, they had to know how to use it. Finally, I know what Patrick does; he creates CMS’s for each client, because each client has different needs. I think Patrick really loves ExpressionEngine, maybe more than he should; he wants to write a book on how to use it.
After the clients were comfortable with using ExpressionEngine, they switched topics. It was Brett’s turn with some questions about their shopping cart. This was also interesting to listen to, since we did not really cover shopping carts in my e-commerce class. Julie stepped in later to get their thoughts about keywords for SEO, search terms they want to be found under, their page rank goal, and their list of competitors. It was so exciting to hear all of this because I just finished learning about it in e-commerce. After taking that class and developing a business plan for DECA, I was prepared enough to at least keep up with the conversation, maybe not understand it all. After the 3 hour long meeting, everyone was happy and hungry.
Ideas are bouncing off the walls here at OnWired; people are getting excited about creating a t-shirt company. Of course I love this idea. Who doesn’t love clothes? I gave Sean a few links to t-shirt shops for him to look at in his planning process for the company. Through all the brainstorming and discussions, I am learning the process of starting a business. A list of possible company names has already been created, which by now has been decided on. The hard part was finding one that was not taken. I hear them discuss how the business is going to work. How many shirts are they going to make at once? Are they going to let one sell out before they launch another one? There are just so many questions and so many people with different visions. I know it will work out in the end though.
After hearing all about the t-shirt company, I couldn’t wait to be a small part of it by writing what I would call a mini business plan. I gathered everyone’s ideas and put them down on paper; organized thought cannot hurt anyone. I highlighted keys to success, described the products, analyzed the market, explained their competitive edge, portrayed their target market, and the list goes on. Writing a plan only made me more excited for the start of what sounds like a great business.
This week I did a lot of looking over people’s shoulders. I saw Sean create several potential business card designs, listened to a small office meeting to discuss a client’s wireframes, and witnessed a large office Wii game. Sean and Megan gave me advice on college and the making of my portfolio. Sean even offered to let me see his portfolio, which I think would be a big help.
Today is my last full day at the office because school starts Monday. I received way more attention today than I am used to. They made me pick where we were going to eat lunch, and they gave me a marble cake and a good luck card signed by everyone. It was so thoughtful and I was not expecting any of it. I am going to miss these people, and I might even have some separation anxiety, but I will be back on Friday.
Tony was the proud owner of OnWired, the web design agency he’s raised since birth in 2001. A designer-entrepreneur with a nose for trouble, he keeps his peeps on their toes and his sights focused on what’s next.
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