Before I joined the team at Lamenza Corporation, I was pretty nervous as I didn't know what to expect with the job. Thankfully, the previous digital marketing assistant, Joanna Bonoan, was available to train me. Joanna is a student like myself so I really wanted to get some insight into the role, I interviewed Joanna about her of her experience at Lamenza.
Cole: What was the biggest factor for accepting the job at Lamenza?
Joanna: To be honest, I accepted the job at Lamenza because of a school course I was doing during the summer. I would get a credit for working there and it was close to me in Mississauga so it was easily accessible, and it was a paid internship so it was just like a win-win-win. Like I was going to get work experience, my credit, and I was going to get paid! Plus, they were one of the first companies to get back to me when I was applying to, I just said “okay, yeah, I’m gonna take that one!”
Cole: What did you like most about the job?
Joanna: There are a couple of things, one would be that the work that I got to do was pretty exciting to me. The school program that I was in had a lot of theory, so I wasn't really doing a lot of practical stuff like design. So, the fact that I had all this knowledge of skills like coding and theory, but then the first major project at Lamenza was to revamp the design of their website- I was like, “ok this is awesome!” I just thought that I was doing a lot there that felt like it was something new to me and that I wasn’t really doing stuff like that at school so I was just learning so much more.
The second thing would honestly be like, Farah and Sonal. They are so much fun to talk to and Farah is one door down from my office so we would get to talk, and she has such a big personality that it makes it so much fun to come in!
Cole: How do you think you did in the position?
Joanna: I think I was…alright, hahaha. I definitely think it would have been nice to have someone, like a higher-up, who knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing at times so I didn’t have to do so much self-learning. But at the same time, self-learning was such a great opportunity in the position, especially as a student. For me personally, I wasn't so well-versed in all the Adobe programs, so I had to go out there and learn myself.
I think it would be really awesome if, for example, a student intern didn’t know something that would make them better at the job then they could get training sessions during their internship. Other than that, I think that self-teaching was pretty cool.
Cole: I don’t think you give yourself enough credit! From the way everyone talks about you here, it seems like you were a really big help around the office. Did you feel like you had the necessary training, tools, resources, and working conditions to be successful in the role?
Joanna: Other than the whole, "well, I felt that I didn’t know enough" thing, I felt that I had the proper support there. Farah was so helpful and Sonal was so helpful in just providing feedback that I really needed. If I was just working, I could be like “can someone help me with this?” or “I’m just not getting it!”, you know, and they were there to really try to understand and give me constructive criticism or advice.
And whenever I needed a meeting with Lavinia, every week she was always there to talk and she would always make the time for me, too, because I wasn’t in the office as much as everybody else. I thought they did a really great job at checking up on me in my position and being supportive.
Cole: What was the relationship with your manager, Sonal, like?
Joanna: I think they did really well at following up with me all the time and making sure I’m on track and really just being there for me. Sonal did such a good job at being there for me, like, as a friend. Whenever I would go up for meetings with her, we would spend time just talking about how our weekends were, or how our week is going, or how school is going, so I definitely would never dread going into work because I knew it wouldn’t just be, you know, work work work. It would actually feel as though I loved being there, talking with everyone and having relationships with everybody, so they did such a good job at making me feel welcomed and not stressing me out with the workload or anything.
Cole: How did you feel about your their overall managing style?
Joanna: It's hard to really say, but Lavinia for example, would often send me emails if she didn’t catch me in the office, as in it wouldn’t be a big deal if I missed her and we wouldn’t panic about it, she wouldn’t give me a hard time, we could set up a phone call meeting or something so it was extremely accommodating to my schedule, and she was really open to anything I said about the work, like my opinions on things.
Sonal, you know like I said, she was just such a friend to me, so it was easy to talk to her all the time and for her to be my manager and to update her on every single thing I’m doing or every single thing I’m struggling with in my work.
Cole: Do you have any suggestions for improvement around the office?
Joanna: I actually think Lavinia does a great job at making sure that everybody gets recognized and gets the chance to recognize somebody else through things like TinyPulse. Every week or so she changes the TinyPulse question that gets sent out and you can answer anonymously. So, for example, you can answer how satisfied you are with the job, or a project, or something that you can rate 1 - 10 and then explain. But also on that platform you can log in and get the ability to recognize other employees of Lamenza, then you can write a comment about how they did such a good job and write the qualities you feel they showed, like ‘respecting others’ or ‘working collaboratively’. You can also attach like a $5 gift card that the company has already paid for, which I think is super cute and just really great because it like, warms my little heart when someone would recognize me, and then I would try my best to recognize someone else.
Cole: Under what circumstances, if any, would you consider returning to the company?
Joanna: Well, if Lamenza just wanted to take me back for another full-time position, that would be really great. I know right now with everything going on it’s kind of tough with the workload going on at Lamenza, but whenever CoLab opens up, and you guys need more employees or anything, I wouldn’t mind coming back so long as I wasn’t committed to another position that I love and adore.
Cole: Do you have any feedback for Lamenza that you would like to share?
Joanna: I feel like I have no serious complaints except for the fact that the snacks in the upstairs kitchen are all so healthy! Sometimes I just want to go upstairs and have, like, a cookie. But really, I’m so grateful for the opportunity and the fact I was even able to stay on the team for a whole year, which was not expected. I thought it was only going to be a summer term thing, but they let me stay on and even accommodated me while I was working full time at another retail store and also studying,
They were so, so nice to me and the work itself helped me learn a lot because I would teach myself a lot of things, and I really had to push and motivate myself to work on some of those things. It was a very big learning curve for me, but it was also something huge that I feel like really set me up for success in the future. It helped me work towards a goal and be disciplined and kind of be a perfectionist, but not too much of one, or else the work would never end! I learned to use some new programs through the job, got experience with web design and coding and worked on things I may not have gotten the opportunity to elsewhere.