I landed my first real job interview for a PR Coordinator position during my freshman year of college, just a few weeks before winter break. I prepared for the interview constantly, feeling almost too ready.
What I wasn’t prepared for during the interview was my future boss saying, “So, you’ve had a look at our website. Give me your honest thoughts; what do you think can be improved?”
I had experience with building websites during my senior year of high school and my first semester of college, giving me enough experience to know that my suggestions would be, at the very least, rational. In the split second that I had to weigh my options, I decided to be open and honest. I revealed that I felt the website looked outdated in terms of design (although it met accessibility standards). If we were to expect and hope for current and prospective college students with disabilities to utilize our web resources, they should be met with high-quality standards.
My response started a snowball effect once I officially started the job; in a matter of months, we were developing plans to begin a website redesign. My boss had a lot of faith in me and allowed me to use a large chunk of my time devoted to generating a website audit, meeting with other university employees for insight, and developing suggestions that we would provide our future web design company.
I say he had a lot of faith in me due to the fact that I had never done a project like this before. He allowed a college freshman to learn on the fly with a lot of flexibility; at times I had no idea what I was doing, but I was able to teach myself how to do it through the good ol’ Google machine and advice from professors, colleagues, and classmates.
This project hasn’t been immune to bumps in the road and slower progress than I’d like (it started in 2016 and has yet to be complete). Regardless, I’m still excited about how much progress has been made and what the final product will eventually look like.