The initiative has been in the works since September 2020, and we are thrilled to announce that we welcomed our first cohort of interns on 11 January 2021.
To uncover the most promising, young individuals for our programme, we partnered with two initiatives that share our belief in equality and diversity. Kwanda is a non-profit organisation supporting enterprise and creativity within the black community, and Workfinder is a company that matches students with opportunities in startups and scaleups.
It was essential for us to collaborate with an organisation like Kwanda to address racial diversity within the tech industry. We were especially drawn to Workfinder and their Women in Tech scheme that, through our partnership, we hope can deliver increased gender equality in our sector.
“Having our own intern programme that simultaneously gives young people the chance to explore a career in technology while addressing inequality in our industry was simply the right thing to do. Diversity is hugely important to the teams here at disguise. It’s something we actively seek to play a part in furthering within the industry as we develop high potential talent.”
Emma Rudd, Global Head of HR at disguise
The new programme allows interns to spend a full year with us during which they gain experience in two of our teams; majoring in one placement and minoring in the other.
disguise internships: what do they involve?
For the first three months of 2021, the interns will be in their minor placements. Their major placements will happen between March this year and January 2022. The interns will work on a project during the major placement, which they will present as a dissertation at the end of the year. Though fairly structured and mutually agreed with the teams they will be working within; the interns will have the freedom to work with other departments and gain a variety of experience on their year-long journey with us.
Coupled with our buddy and mentoring schemes’ support, the participants will gain invaluable hands-on experience working within the teams, learning everything they need to know to get the most out of their time with us.
Additionally, the interns are granted access to our training and learning management system, meaning they will be experienced users of our platform and workflows by the end of their placements. In our continued commitment to equality, those who decide to take up a disguise internship will receive the same benefits as regular staff.
“Technology underlines everything in this modern age, and somebody who may find entertainment, stage design and visual experiences interesting might not immediately make that connection,” Jermaine Craig, Kwanda Founder. “This partnership is important as it offers individuals interested in visceral experiences and tech to connect the two. I hope the interns will gradually appreciate what goes into stages, concerts and the visual experiences they enjoy. I’m sure the interns will love the work they do at disguise, and will ultimately grow to become needed industry contributors.”
"With a student community of 60,000, Workfinder is a platform for Britain's best businesses to connect with this network so they can innovate faster and better,” said Workfinder Founder, Sherry Coutu CBE. “To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day in October 2020, we launched a campaign to support the future generation of Women in Tech, by helping more than 100 companies source this rare talent to help drive business growth. disguise is one of our partners, and it’s great to see the first intern starting their year placement and getting the most out of the experience.”
Introducing the first disguise interns
As for our 2021 interns themselves, through our partnership with Kwanda, we have welcomed Charlene Ashu, Ephie Oyedoh and Kane Sargent, and via Workfinder we have Ophelia Wong. A fifth intern, Annabel Powell, is joining our marketing team for the full twelve months.
Charlene has a law background, but with a passion for technology, she is majoring in software engineering and minoring in support. Ephie is looking forward to exploring C++ further as she undertakes her software engineering major and QA minor. Kane will be taking his degree in live visual design and production from Backstage Academy to the next level as he majors in support and minors in QA. Ophelia comes from the field of human-computer interaction. She has chosen to major in QA and minor in UX. Annabel joins us to hone her interest in marketing having previously held broad marcomms roles.
“We’re passionate about inclusivity and diversity in the workplace and the technology industries within which we operate. Our new internship programme, in partnership with Kwanda and Workfinder, is another branch of that support. We hope that, through collaborations like these, we can help introduce new and exciting voices to the amazing projects disguise is at the centre of.”
Fernando Kufer, disguise CEO
We wish all our interns, present and future, all the best on their disguise journeys.