Written by Gabe Dyer

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Work Experience at TKStarley

This week TKStarley played host to our first ever work experience placement, Gabe Dyer of the local Henley in Arden School. Gabe is 15, in year 10, and spent five days learning what it’s like to work for a website design agency. We really enjoyed having him, and invited him to write a blog post for us detailing his time here. So without further ado, here’s Gabe:

gabe work experience Work Experience at TKStarley

Day 1 at TKStarley
Even as nervous as anyone would be when approaching a workplace for the first time, I was extremely excited to meet the people I would be working with for the next 5 days. Outside the building, I was greeted by Ria, who’s the company’s SEO and social media specialist (as I was stuck trying to open the door for about 10 minutes!) who then got the attention of Tom (the director of TKStarley) and he came and unlocked the door.

I had already met Tom during my interview and was happy and felt comfortable with working for him. As I entered the building I met website developers Dale and Alex. Even though I was excited meeting them for the first time and knowing I was working beside them for the following 5 days, I was worried about making a good impression, but after about 10 minutes all the nerves went as I was extremely comfortable! The first thing we did was have a meeting to talk about what was going to happen for the rest of the day; once that was over we got on with some work. I was put to the test with my Photoshop skills and created a logo with my name. We then left for lunch and sat in the garden of a pub in the sun! In the afternoon, Ria introduced me to SEO (search engine optimisation), and talked me through some work she was doing for a new client. I felt really comfortable with the thought of working here for the week and I was excited to see where the next few days would take me!

Day 2
After going home from work on Monday night I was really looking forward to going back in the next day and doing it all again, so the following day, I felt a lot more confident as I got to know everyone, and knew the basics of what was going on. I walked upstairs and sat down to get on with some work for an online wine shop the team were working on. I was put in charge of editing all the products’ colour descriptions explaining whether they were white, red or rose wine.

As I knew this would take me all day we went out to have lunch and a break. Once we came back, I cracked on with the work but didn’t quite manage to finish it all. Overall the day consisted of constant work but yet I still managed to walk home happy and wanting to do it all over again.

Day 3
Wednesday was great as I felt so much more confident yet still so excited as if it was still my first day. As I got to the door I arrived at the exact time as Alex again and he greeted me with a jokey “are you following me?” I walked up the stairs once again for the third time to sit down and get on with some work for the day. Today was the day where I was going to get on with some Photoshop – I had to change the grey backgrounds of some products and turn them white in order to blend into the background of the website, but first I had to finish off the work I was doing on Tuesday! I managed to finish it all off and get all of the Photoshop work done! We went out to have our lunch, then I spent some of the afternoon with Dale and Alex, watching them create and edit code to change the way the products appeared on the website.

Day 4
Thursday, and getting near to the end of the week – this has been an amazing experience and I really didn’t want it to end! I love it here and I would love to be here for longer.

I entered the building for the fourth time and once again said hello, sat down and started on my work. This time I had to go through 300 products selecting their region and grape type so the customers of the website would be able to sort through different types of wine easily. This took me all day and I managed to finish it all and still have time to finish off some Photoshop work and write my diary for the day. I can’t wait for tomorrow, but I am really disappointed and upset that this journey is coming to an end.

Day 5
Friday, and my last day working at TKStarley! I am so disappointed it has come to an end but I am so grateful I worked here and nowhere else as I have met some great people and learnt a lot! I have been working really hard and have been told I have done a good job. Over the past week I have done many things, from making tea and coffee and doing errands for the team to practical work using the computers. I have enjoyed it so much! And I really appreciate the opportunity to come here and learn as much as I have.

My last day was also my hardest. I have been trying to get these products images looking perfect and merging in really well with the background! It is taking all day and is a lot of effort, but I am still really enjoying it! Dale and Alex were not here today as it was both their days off so I was left with just Tom and Ria, which still worked really well, and then Tom had to go out for meetings a 1! So Ria and I were left to get on with our jobs – it worked well and we managed to carry on the same.

I have really enjoyed this week and I am so grateful to have been here and nowhere else!

Highlights Of The Week
My whole week has been great so it is really hard to pick out what parts of it has been my favourite of them all, but if I has to choose I would say getting to know everyone and spending the week with them, learning how everyone’s role is different and what each person does. I also really enjoyed the work I was doing, I wanted to do it all day! The fact that the week is nearly over is really disappointing as I have had such an amazing week and I would love to stay for so much longer. I would definitely consider a career in web design as a result of my time at TKStarley, and hope I may be able to come back in the future!