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Junior Talent: Win-Win For Business and our Community

Nicole Lind, Chief of Staff
#Phase2 | Posted

Deeply rooted in the open source ethos of contributing to a larger community, Phase2’s investment in our BuilDesign program, our multi-disciplinary internship program, is our way to contribute to the rising tide that lifts us all. Training junior talent lifts our culture, our industry, and our community, all while being a great business decision.

photo of Phase2 BuilDesign class gathered around a computer

At first glance, you may think that the most successful companies are the ones with the most senior talent. But if you pause to think about it, you will realize that that isn’t really the case. In order for an organization to be healthy and grow, there must be an investment in junior talent, a culture of learning and mentorship, and constant infusions of new energy and ideas.

We believe that the world’s digital transformation will be led by the next generation of tech talent, and BuilDesign is our powerful tool to inspire and enable them to do so. While technical skill is undoubtedly critical for next generation careers in tech, in our agency world the skillsets required to thrive are vastly more extensive – and incredibly hard to learn in school. That is where BuilDesign offers something really powerful, and helps us shape employees who are truly ready to solve our client’s most challenging problems.

We believe that the world's digital transformation will be led by the next generation of tech talent, and BuilDesign is our powerful tool to inspire and enable them to do so. 

We recently introduced our interns and our mentors to the criteria on which we will judge their performance. Of equal weight, our interns must demonstrate (and we must teach them):

  • Teamwork and Collaboration – Knowing when to work alone and when to work with the team, asking for help when they need it, supporting their teammates, participating in groups to solve problems.
  • Technical Understanding – Understanding our development pipeline, Drupal and non-drupal  knowledge, DevOps knowledge, role specific technical knowledge.
  • Learning Orientation – Learning from their mistakes and bouncing back to try again, adapting information to solve new problems, spending independent time growing their skills without instruction, seeking out feedback to improve, teaching others.
  • Demonstrating Phase2 Authenticity Value – Forming valuable relationships across many levels of the staff, appreciating and elevating all team members including finding value in their quirks, making us better and adding to our culture with their attitude.
  • Agency Skills – Showing the ability to learn and adapt to agency skills  to best meet the needs of our clients, including communication skills,  professional maturity, exceptional meeting etiquette.

You may have noticed that only one of these five criteria is actual technical ability.  The reason for this is because we want to make sure that the criteria we are assessing them on reflects the skills our people need to be consultants and developers, dreamers and architects, business strategists and designers.

A Win-Win for Employer and Intern

The promised land of a junior talent program is creating the ultimate symbiotic relationship between intern and employer. In our BuilDesign program, we are working to achieve just that. Our interns gain a wealth of knowledge, valuable real-world experience, a network of colleagues, and on-the-job training of the agency skillset.

As an employer, BuilDesign helps us to gain:

  • Unique insight into the next generation of tech talent and how to find the best of them early.
  • Early identification of the hard to find aptitudes of agency roles.
  • An infusion of new ideas, fresh energy, passion, mentorship, and teaching that is immeasurably valuable to our culture – as a company and as an open source community.
  • A balanced workforce that allows the wisdom and experience of our senior talent to permeate the next generation.
  • A training ground for new and experienced managers.
  • A culture of teaching and mentorship that we extend to our client relationships.
  • A tangible way to maintain a mentality of learning and adaptability.
  • A way to live our open-source values and contribute to people – and to watch them develop.

As a company, our goal is to inspire and enable digital transformation for our clients and the community as a whole.  And we know that this digital transformation is not only changing user experience, it is significantly impacting job opportunities. The need for the skills to dream up and build that technology is absolutely guaranteed and we see this program, and the investment in it, as way to impact job creation here in the United States. Tech is a place where the next generation in America can thrive with sustainable, ever-growing careers.

For Phase2, our BuilDesign program is a way for us to live our values and to inspire and enable digital transformation through investment in our future – as a company and as good corporate citizens of our nation.

Nicole Lind

Chief of Staff