The Christmas holidays mark a big milestone in my internship with the WRU. It’s been five months give or, take and in that time I’ve learnt so much. There are two main skill sets that I’ve developed enormously in this period. Skills that are essential for my future career in Graphic Designhave created
First and foremost, I’ve learnt the basics. It sounds strange given that I have been studying the subject for the past four years in college and then university. But my first few months felt like a crash course in simply using the tools of the trade. Everything from getting more familiar with some of the more obscure file formats to honing my skills with Photoshop.
In practice, you find there is a fine balance to be made between doing a job well and doing it quickly. The allotted time to complete work is reduced to the point that a year ago I would’ve thought myself incapable of achieving it. It’s no use having a perfectly polished document ready two days after it needed to go to printing. But I have been forced to learn faster methods of achieving my tasks. Using tools that are entirely new to me and learning where corners can be cut without compromising on quality in a way that will be noticed.
I think all of this has been key to my development, but practical skill is only one element in a bigger picture. In the past, I have only worked in minimally engaging roles. Shop work for the most part. In those jobs I had no aspiration to improve or perform to my fullest as they were stop gaps until I had finished my education. In this role I have found myself going the extra mile on tasks because I want to. I want to produce good work and play my part in the company. If need be I will turn up early and stay late to ensure work is finished on time because the company is an ecosystem with each part relying on others. If I do a poor job, it has a knock on effect.
The workload is an element of the job that is in some ways unique to the WRU, or at least to an events driven organisation like it. It can be very hectic at times, especially in the run up to major events. Things can change very quickly. For example a player may be injured and so every item of media we created, which has that player emblazoned on the front of it suddenly is out of date and needs altering. Or as has happened on numerous occasions, there may be an IT failure which leaves us unable to work for half a day and so we have to scramble to make up for lost time.
Learning to manage the stress of this can be difficult, but my team is very good. We pass jobs around and take on each others work where and when it is required. Our communication is excellent. Despite the sometimes overwhelming workload, it can be exhilarating to be working at top speed and banging out job after job. There’s a lot of satisfaction at a job well done.
The flip side of the coin is that when the workload eases off, we can be left with very little to do, or at least left with all the boring jobs. My last week before Christmas was spent cutting out player for the National teams, for Rugby Union, both men and women’s teams as well as the Rugby League team. Including the hair, this can take upwards of twenty minutes per player for seven hours a day, for the whole week. It made me long for the mad rush of a pre-event work day by the end. But learning to take the good with the bad and just put up with it is a skill in itself.
Altogether I couldn’t be more satisfied with the experience I have had so far at the WRU. I’ve been made to feel welcome and supported and coached where I needed it. But I have also been given a level of creative freedom and had my ideas and input recognized and considered. I have gained and developed in a way that would not have been possible otherwise.