My Summer at Media Genesis
Hi, my name is Alec and I spent this past summer working as a Project Management Intern at Media Genesis (MG). This was nothing short of an awesome experience, and definitely one that will serve me professionally and that I’ll remember fondly.
I was born and raised in Michigan, and for the time being, plan to stay here. This fall I’ll be headed into my third year at the University of Michigan studying electrical engineering. In my free time, I’m a hobbyist woodworker, car enthusiast, programmer, and above all else, a sponsored freestyle skier.
Now that you know a little about who I am, let’s talk about my time at MG.
Finding Media Genesis was something of an accident for me, and what a happy accident it was. An MG manager (and family friend) and I were talking about my search for a summer internship, and he told me to look into the company and apply.
MG is not an electrical engineering firm, but as I looked into the company, I came to see it as a phenomenal opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. The culture seemed so exciting and welcoming, and the projects MG was involved in were of such varied scope, scale, and industry that I had to apply.
When I interviewed and was able to see MG firsthand, I could tell that I could learn a lot and have a lot of fun there over the summer. I was fortunate enough to be offered a position as a project management intern and jumped at it. I’m so glad that I did!
What I Did
Going into my internship search, I was looking to be more than a coffee-getter. Thankfully, while at MG, I was never short of opportunities to learn and contribute. I didn’t feel so much like an intern, but rather a member of a team with near-full autonomy. I was encouraged to bring my individual perspective and ideas to my work. Instead of being handed the standard menial intern tasks, my opinions and original thoughts were valued. Instead of being the lowest member of a hierarchical ladder, I was spurred to take the initiative and produce.
In only my first week with the company, I was given an open-ended prompt to wireframe added functionality to an engineering company’s administrative portal. I was told what functionality needed to be added, but it was left up to me to decide how it would look and how users would interact with it.
I took on another similar project with a different engineering and manufacturing firm where I helped to wireframe (from scratch) a customer portal for quoting projects. As these designs were implemented, I was then responsible for testing the webpages to ensure the user experience was just as we had envisioned it.
In addition to wireframing and designing the flow of these pages, I learned a lot by using analytics tools to gather data on various websites within various industries, from engineering and law to non-profits and publicly traded companies. I then processed and organized this data into reports for clients, offering insight on where their online presence is lacking and what MG can do to make improvements.
What I’ll Take with Me
By far, the most valuable skills I learned and refined while at Media Genesis were communication and management.
Communication is, to put it lightly, a frequently underdeveloped skill in the engineering community. At MG, I was expected to explain my thoughts logically, clearly, and in a palatable way. It cannot always be assumed that everyone has the technical experience and background to fluently discuss the nitty-gritty of web development or other technical projects. Being able to discuss these topics in an easy-to-digest way was definitely a skill I honed at MG.
Not to be understated, management was also an invaluable skill I was able to learn at MG; when it comes to both time and people. As a project manager, the work I did would always, at some point, need to pass across the desk of a developer or designer. The time developers/designers need to do their work must be considered when planning out a project.
In wireframing a website, I had to think about if what I was envisioning could be designed beautifully and programmed efficiently. Furthermore, when it came time to hand the work off to others, I had to communicate with developers and designers to ensure everyone shared the same vision for what was being created.
Overall, my experience at MG was nothing short of great. One final thing I learned was, put bluntly: don’t settle for a workplace that sucks. The people, the work, and the experience as a whole were incredible, and I’m very thankful I was able to be a part of it all. From learning about 3D printing with the company president and playing ping-pong at lunch to the professional skills I’ve developed and the awesome friends I’ve made while working here, I’ll miss this place.
My experience at Media Genesis will serve me for the rest of my life. This was an amazing place to start my professional career and I can’t wait to see where I go from here. I’m excited for the Fall in Ann Arbor and beyond.