My Time at rTraction: Michael Dales
Show Up, Shine!
Getting hands-on business experience at rTraction and their brands Ellipsis Digital and Engine SevenFour for the last couple of weeks has been a very rewarding experience. As a Fanshawe College business student it is essential for me to see the day-to-day and diverse operations of a company.
Even one day a week with Dave Billson and the rTraction team has increased my awareness, even changed, the way in which I view business. I truly look forward to going into the office every single week and I always feel curious, optimistic and motivated to see what I will learn next.
Before I came to rTraction I was not sure what to expect. From the previous three times I had been in the London Roundhouse I believed that working here would be very intimidating. Coming into a new situation and new field of business is always difficult as rTraction is an established business and I was not familiar with what they did. I couldn’t have been more wrong because of the warm and welcoming atmosphere that rTraction has. Coming into the experience, I wanted to expand my education and see if there were any new ideas that I could bring to rTraction. Working here once a week has allowed my ideas to thrive by seeing all different parts of the business which will help me in my career in the future. It has given me an opportunity to see how my skills from previous work and school may fit in to help rTraction.
How I Have Spent My Time
Over my time I have been able to experience many things:
· Working with the CRM (Customer relationship management) software
· Learning about RFPs (Request for proposal)
· Studying the sales process
· Looking for client opportunities
· Creating wireframes
· Best practices of website design
· Good project management
· Interesting client meetings
· Designing websites and logos
· Prompt client management
· Working with major companies
· Fixing a problem in code (Extremely new to me)
· Event planning at the Roundhouse
· Experiencing all of the software that keeps everything running
All of these experiences have been highly valuable to me and I look forward to more in the future. Many of these things are new to me or if I did study these things in school it was only to get a grade (not truly learn the skill). More creativity and innovation found in companies like rTraction need to be brought into the education system to better prepare students for the workplace.
The main experience my classmates are missing out on is the opportunity to work with mentors in the industry. The staff at rTraction are able to give invaluable advice and insight into how the job is done. In school we are not given the ability to functionally learn and apply skills like in the workplace which greatly decreases the learning. Students are hampered by the lack of professional interaction, work environment, diversity of topics, software platforms and real life situations. School can help you to learn theory of how it could work but it is hardly a reality in any workplace that it works that way.
From the moment I walk in the door, it is a remarkably welcoming atmosphere. I found that the stunning architecture and warm environment of the Roundhouse alone are a key ingredient in promoting creativity amongst staff. Undeniably, it is worth coming around just to visit and explore this impressive building. One of the first things I noticed in my time here is the easygoing and relaxed atmosphere where you can truly feel like yourself.
Every Tuesday when I come in there is a team meeting at 9:15 am where all of the staff members gather and share their positive announcements. Afterwards, the group goes around in a circle and shares what they will be working on during the day. Finally, it is wrapped up by the staff talking about what projects or tasks that they will need help with during the day. Something this small is able to get people started quickly on their tasks and allows them to voice problems that will have a greater chance of being solved. I believe these brief meetings foster team commitment and confidence.
The staff have been great to let me shadow them the last few weeks; giving me an opportunity to learn about them, as well as what they do. I am able to meet people from all different areas of the company which allows me to get a better understanding of what is going on at rTraction. The shadowing time has also made it easier to become accustomed to the company culture and values (which are among the best I have experienced).
The team at Ellipsis Digital and Engine SevenFour has been incredible and make me feel at home. I am eager to keep working and learning with them into the future and find ways that I am able to contribute to the team. I have enjoyed my time here and hope that I will be able to bring my skills and knowledge to help this wonderful company.
Thank you Dave for this great opportunity!
Michael Dales is an high achieving business student at Fanshawe College pursuing a Commerce Degree. He has a considerable amount of interest in videos, agriculture and technology which led him to create a company doing videography. He is thrilled to be visiting rTraction to gain knowledge and ideas that can help him transform the universe. See what he's up to on Twitter and LinkedIn.