The FINE Job Shadow Program Graduates from Its First Year

Posted in Personal — Oct 19, 2017

FINE has been hosting the curious, like, forever. It’s in our DNA to “Bring Friends,” and that extends to young folks exploring possible careers. Last year, we decided to kick things up a notch and create an official “FINE Job Shadow Program.” In its inaugural year, the FINE job shadow program has hosted 24 students and recent graduates from Portland-area high schools, colleges, and code schools, all eager to learn about life at FINE from developers, designers, and project directors. Aimed to help students discover practices, roles, and tasks they may not even know exist, the program provides a vision for what it’s like to do what our people do every day.

And just like our every day, there is no “typical” day. Each experience is based on the student’s interests and the work that teams are currently doing. Students spend time with each discipline during 1:1s and work on their own small projects. Because it’s not an every day without ‘em, students also attend meetings (though we always pick the most interesting ones).

While we find our own value in the program, believing industry veterans hone their craft by mentoring, students who’ve spent time here feel it, too. Really. They told us.

“I had a great time. I loved being able to talk to a variety of people who worked in different fields to get an overall sense of FINE. I really enjoyed being able to pretend to work as an art director to see what that's like.” - Ruby

“You guys did amazing on how you set up the schedule. I had a wonderful time. 10/10.” - Liliya

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As we provide students the opportunity to show off their work and demonstrate the real-world applications of all that book learning, we’ve also learned that high school students have different interests and needs than those already on a career path. This month we’re partnering with Portland Workforce Alliance to host a career day on October 24 with students from Sabin Schellenberg Professional Technical Center. They’ll learn about life at FINE, the career paths folks who work here have taken, and dive into the all-important creative brief, before learning about the art of the critique.

We’re now offering job shadows on a monthly basis primarily focused on career explorers who haven’t necessarily settled into a career track. Students curious about agency life, with a potential interest in software development, web and brand design, project management, marketing, or writing can apply in December for our next round of job shadows in January–March. If you’re keeping up with math, that means we’ll accept three students from the pool of applicants per quarter, for a total of 12 shadows a year.

We hope to show you around in the New Year.

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