This is a story of how a simple idea can come to life in a company such as Degordian.
It was a cold March in Zagreb when a spark of creativity, a puff of curiosity and a pinch of team harmony in a single e-mail thread marked a beginning of a very special initiative. We set off on an exploration to find the best way to pass our knowledge of digital marketing to up-and-coming professionals, the target audience we were looking for to fill our ranks.
And that’s where it all began. We created Sponge, an initiative for sharing the knowledge we have with students and other future professionals in order to grow with them. It’s like that in Degordian as well. We learn something new every day, but we also love to share the knowledge so that we can all grow together.
Read on to find out more on how this initiative first started, what the first challenges looked like and what the future holds.
A mail that started an avalanche
As a student, I was a team leader in a large student association that worked on various projects. Parallel to that, I was an intern at Degordian. As my colleagues at both of these time-consuming activities were knowledge-hungry, I got a simple idea. Why not bring my student friends to an educational lecture at Degordian. Also, I thought, people at the agency will be more than happy to get to know these students, potential interns.
It all started with a simple e-mail I wrote to HR and Accounts team, asking them if it’s ok for a couple of employees to hold a lecture for my friends. Then, an idea was born. An idea to start a series of lectures for all students who want to learn.
It wasn’t long (I’d say, three e-mails from that) when a project was actually set in stone. A brainstorming after that, our new sub-brand Sponge was born.
It’s a symbol of absorbing knowledge and sharing it around. Today, it’s not enough to just learn something and keep it in. We have to share if we want to learn even more. We learn by listening to others and doing practical work. That’s what we’re doing at Degordian and that’s what we want to achieve with Sponge.
Learning by doing
Sponge is an educational initiative, not a project. With Sponge, Degordian helps students and other future professionals to step into the world of grown-ups through lectures and practical assignments. Also, it’s a great opportunity for students to learn the things they are interested in from us, who already know a thing or two.
This is actually a way we educate internally, by sharing knowledge on various topics on a morning lecture in front of the whole Degordian team at least once a week. We get the practical assignments, obviously, from our clients :)
Sponge is also a great example of how an idea idea can come to life in a company that supports innovation. If you have an idea, a drive to do it and a good reason for doing it, you have a chance to be a part of making it all happen. Luckily for me, I was given this project in full, not knowing where it will evolve.
And evolved it did.
Digital Marketing Challenge
The initial idea of inviting colleagues from my student association was simply put on a larger scale. We decided to make it a learning experience for more students and, as we all feel that learning by doing is the best way to go, to make a small competitive challenge for the participants.
The name of the competition was “Digital Marketing Challenge”. We invited all student associations to apply and learn more about digital marketing with all of its parts explained by our experts. They could win a main prize (help with overall digital marketing of the association and subscriptions to Socialpuzzle), but one thing that was really important to us was to observe the contestants and try to single out a future intern from one of them.
We got several applications by student associations from Zagreb and picked out the best four, with every association bringing in five students. Oh, you must be wondering what was their assignment? It was to create a digital strategy for the “opposing” student association :)
After our students learned about the Accounts and Design departments, Degordian products Mediatoolkit, Socialpuzzle and Socialnumbers, as well as Facebook and Google Ads, they presented their digital strategies on an event at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb. eSTUDENT won, but everyone got something. Whether it was knowledge or networking, it was a great experience, one worth repeating.
One of the students broke my heart when I read this in his review: “You gave me back the will to do the job I love. Job that has both work and fun. Job that you love going to. This was an amazing experience that inspired me to perfect my skills and present them better when applying for an internship.”
Wipe that tear off your face.
What the future holds
“The future is uncertain but the end is always near” – Jim Morisson
I agree with the first part, but Jim, the second part is totally not applicable to Sponge. It’s only just begun, and the end is nowhere to be seen. There are big plans for the future so stay tuned for new opportunities to learn and grow with Degordian.
SPECIAL – Student Dev Quest, the first student developer challenge at Degordian is behind us! We gathered young minds, shared our knowledge and the most talented among them won a scholarship, as well as a chance for an internship in our Development team!