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So about 4 months ago, I did a writing challenge. It was to write 500 words per day for 30 days straight. I found it strangely invigorating and enjoyable. Today I’m hopping back on the wagon. What better way to do that then by answering some of the frequently asked questions that prospective employees/interns have about our company. Shout out to Grace Lindsey for submitting these:

What’s the general employee culture of SkEye Studios?

I love this question. “Culture” is a buzzword that businesses and people are frequently using these days. Everyone seems to be very concerned with the culture — whatever that is. I don’t say this to downplay the importance of culture, in fact I would argue that the culture should be one of the highest priorities in deciding where you want to work. I just don’t think that you can describe culture in words. In my opinion there are lots of radically different cultures that can all be very healthy for different types of companies. The only thing that really matters is that the culture feels right to you. I also think that the culture is generally a manifestation of the owner/founder’s character and personality.

So maybe the best way to describe our culture is by describing my own aspirations and desires for the place I would like to work. We are a company that believes, with our entire being, in growth. It’s about the climb. Legends are not born, they are made. We like to think we are a company that is fostering the creation of legends. We are a very tight-knit group. We eat lunch together. We love collaboration. We are humble, but we acknowledge that we all have egos. We believe that gossip is poison, and we strive to voice our frustrations directly with the person. It is not common, but not unexpected for tears to be shed in meetings; it is the natural consequence of working and living out something that we are all so passionate about. We grind day in and day out, not because we have to, but because we love branding and advertising. We are open-minded, but we have opinions that we can defend. We realize that people do business with friends, and we seek to be friends with everyone we do business with.

Are you normally working with more than one client at once? Is the team divided up on projects, or does everyone work together on one?

Yes, at any given time our company is actively working on 15-30 clients at a time. However, each of those clients is at a different phase in working with us. The most time-consuming phase is the initial branding phase. There are typically only 2 or 3 businesses in that phase at a time. It is important that our employees have the discipline and organization to keep track of the various responsibilities that we have on our plates. At any given time, we have someone that is responsible for managing the deadlines and expectations of the project and the client, but there are frequently meetings where we come together to collaborate on the best way to accomplish a given task.

What’s been the most exciting thing about the progress of this company over the last couple years, and what are you most excited about in the company’s future?

This is a very interesting question, and I’m sure you would get very different answers depending on who you talked to. It might sound weird to say this, but since we started SkEye back in 2013, I consistently feel like I am working on the most exciting project that our company has ever worked on. When I really take a step back though and look, there are definitely key points in our companies. Two amazing benchmarks in our company in 2016 were having the grand opening of our office space in Hillsboro hosted by the chamber of commerce. The second was producing the first commercial for SkEye Studios, “Moon Seed.” Both of these accomplishments were two things that seemed nearly impossible when I started the business in 2013. Looking into the future I’m excited to continue pushing myself and our company into projects and jobs that don’t seem possible for us. In the immediate future, I’m very excited about the opportunity we are pursuing in working with Tri-met. This would be another amazing jump into a new tier of client for us.

Two amazing benchmarks in our company in 2016 were having the grand opening of our office space in Hillsboro hosted by the chamber of commerce. The second was producing the first commercial for SkEye Studios, “Moon Seed.” Both of these accomplishments were two things that seemed nearly impossible when I started the business in 2013. Looking into the future I’m excited to continue pushing myself and our company into projects and jobs that don’t seem possible for us. In the immediate future, I’m very excited about the opportunity we are pursuing in working with Tri-met. This would be another amazing jump into a new tier of client for us.

I’d like to get an idea of the compensation for the internships. Does it differ from internship to internship?

We prefer to compensate interns with experience, opportunity, and growth as oppose to money (hear me out, before you just label me as a cheap a*$). I say that not because we don’t pay people money, but to acknowledge the stage that our company is in right now. As a young startup we don’t try to compete with other larger companies that will be able to pay more in dollars than we do. It is very difficult for a large business to compete in the level of involvement that we provide at SkEye Studios for our interns. The main reason is because we have less to lose than bigger companies.

The compensation differs from one internship to the next. It is determined on an individual basis, we factor in the person’s work experience, portfolio, communication skills, and age. In the past, compensation has been in the form of college credit, stipends, hourly, or some combination of those. At the end of the day, if an intern is providing our company with real value that we are able to bill a client for we will pay them for that.

On a side note, I can’t wait for when SkEye is able to pay highly competitive wages for all of our positions including internships, but I know that we are not at that point yet. So in the meantime, we will continue to compensate our employees and interns with what we have an ample amount of, opportunity, challenging experiences, and being a part of an amazing culture.

I believe that the opportunity that SkEye Studios is providing is legitimately the best internship in the country. That is because we put students straight into the fire. We believe growth comes through rapid failure, and experiential learning. We believe that students are capable of so much more than they think they are, and we get great joy out of helping them realize that as they go through our internship.