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How WDL Kickstarted My Career

Written by - 22/05/2019

How WDL Kickstarted My Career

You may have guessed by the fact you are reading this blog post, that I currently work at WDL. However I didn’t apply for a job here, I didn’t ask for a job here, there was no job advertised here, so why am I here?

I am here because WDL likes to support young people entering the world of work.

My entry (or infiltration, if you will) of this company began through networking. Just over 2 years ago I started attending the Colchester Institute college, studying computer science. It was around this time that I got an offer to participate in a side programme, Career Ready. I was incredibly hesitant at first, in fact, the day before my interview I asked my teacher if she could offer the spot to someone else, but after an hour-long phone call, she convinced me otherwise.

Part of the CR programme was having an assigned mentor, who would help you with any questions relating to work, your CV, covering letters, or just general day-to-day life nonsense. My mentor was an enthusiastic project manager for a web design company, his name was (and still is) Daniel.

This was mightily convenient for me as it was around this time that I was closing in on the idea of working in the web development industry. I was enjoying development at college far more than anything else, and so this mentoring was a match made in heaven. I could pester the project manager of a web agency with a million questions about what it was like working in the industry, and he could provide help to a shy, but clearly enthusiastic student.

As I was nearing the end of our 2-year tenure of last-minute meetings at Costa, Daniel asked if I would stay in touch with him after finishing college. He had mentored other people previously, but they hadn’t kept communications up, and so he didn’t know if they had succeeded at what they wanted to do. This actually upset me somewhat, he was volunteering his time to better my life, and so I promised him I would stay in touch, and I did. Every month or two, I’d send him an update email. I was freelancing at this point and so I was keen to see what he thought of my ongoing projects.

Just shy of a year after finishing college, I wake up to an email from Daniel asking if he can run an idea by me. He tells me that WDL has been considering introducing a new role, a role that would help the team manage their support tickets, maintain hosting and security work and fix smaller issues on client websites. A few emails went back and forth, and before I knew it, I was sat in the meeting room at the office in Colchester, discussing what the role would entail, and more importantly, when I could start.

Week 3 of my employment here is coming to an end and I have learnt an almost comical amount of new things. WDL truly gave me a head start into my career, both by providing someone with such enthusiasm and knowledge so early on into my professional life and by quite literally providing me with my first chance for full-time work. I look forward to learning more, and I cannot wait to see where this goes.