Life at Vortex: Drew’s First Week

Here at Vortex, we’re thrilled to continue to expand our workforce on a consistent basis, and a part of this includes offering out opportunities to people with all types of experiences and working backgrounds. We’re pleased to welcome our newest member of the team, Drew, who will be a Junior Project Co-Ordinator. Drew will be a very valuable asset to the team by helping to organise various projects and aiding in communicating with clients. Drew’s first week involved getting to grips with how our agency works and what life is like at Vortex – in order to do this, he spent time with as many members of the team as possible with the aim of viewing what each team member’s workflow is like. Read on to see what Drew’s first week was like in a fast-moving and dynamic eCommerce agency…

Monday
Arriving early at the office, I was greeted by both James and Bruce who were carrying pumpkins upstairs in the spirit of Halloween. The office is split across two floors, with the entirety of the top floor dedicated to a recreational space filled with kitchen, TV, sofa, bean bags, pinball machine and foosball table. Although I had first-day nerves, upon entering the main office I was soon reassured by the friendly atmosphere as I was given a tour of the office and introduced to my new colleagues. The morning started with a ‘stand-up’ meeting which involved going through plans for the week and answering any questions. This allowed members of the team to communicate with each other and have group discussions about certain projects. I was given my plan for the week and saw that I had a morning shadowing Beth. Shortly into seeing the amount of tasks Beth does, I started to gain a basic understanding of the workflow and how much there is to learn. After an hour’s break for lunch, I spent the beginning of the afternoon with Vortex’s Designer, Kate, who showed me her process of building designs in correlation to the clients’ briefs. Seeing the designs made me question how they were made into an interactive and functional website. Swiftly I moved onto observing the JIRA ‘guru’ Catherine, who showed me more about the workflow and ticketing system which is involved. After a lot of notetaking, I had a better understanding what my role will be. I also had the opportunity to listen in to a call with a client and observed how Catherine offered solutions to best fit the client’s needs.

Tuesday
Tuesday started early after getting the bus to familiarise myself with the times. Upon arrival, I managed to gather some time to catch up on the notes from the previous day. This was followed up with a morning with Catherine who taught me a further understanding of JIRA. I learnt different aspects such as priority levels, the process of assigning developers, and dealing with certain tickets. After my break (which involved discovering the vast amount of local food vendors nearby – the office is based on The Headrow in Leeds), I was excited to be involved a creative kickoff for a new client. We had a call in the boardroom which involved presenting design ideas to the client, finding out their likes and dislikes, what they thought could be improved, and essentially gaining more knowledge of what the site required. I spent the remainder of my afternoon with James, Vortex’s Senior Project Manager who went through the process of what is done after speaking to a client, going through setting up projects and an introduction to other used software.

Wednesday
Wednesday allowed me to go over my notes and began to start taking on a few simple tasks myself. I focused on Magento features and learning about the platform. I managed to have some first-hand experience on basic tasks on the admin panel. I found the day to be very productive as it reinforced what I had been taught earlier in the week and gave me time to understand some features and processes into further detail.

Thursday
Thursday was a shorter day as I was only working a half-day. The afternoon started with observing and listening to James on the phone to a client. The call quickly turned into an hour-long discussion as the client had some questions and James offered the best solution and advice. The call taught me how to deal with different scenarios, how to talk with clients and what was to be expected when clients do call. I then had the chance to make a mock client contact report and experience creating one for myself. The rest of the afternoon was spent with one of Vortex’s Testers, Damien, who took me through his workflow and how the process of testing websites works. He specifically went through how it will relate to my role and went through some currently raised tickets with me.

Friday
On, entering the office, I was soon made aware of the tradition of a monthly breakfast which are held on the last Friday of every month. This allows Vortex and their sister agencies Eralis and Corefinity the chance to come together for the day and discuss all the achievements from the last month, and go through all the exciting things coming up across the next month. A lavish spread was  laid out comprising of pastries, fruit, juice and of course – coffee. After breakfast was consumed, I went through a lot of Magento features for the rest of the morning. Catherine walked me through some admin panel features and ensured I had a grasp on the ones which will be most commonly used. The afternoon comprised of a meeting going through Kate’s designs for the Oxford website, discussing where difficulties may occur, and noting some minor changes. James advised me on notes to take during the meeting which allowed me to created a brief overview of what was said and notes to refer to. As my first week drew to a close, I briefly scanned through my notes and realised how much there is still to learn and how excited I am to do so.”

For more information on becoming a member of the team, view all our vacancies on our careers page!


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