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I have been fortunate to attend a number of workshops with web industry experts and have benefitted greatly from them. Whether it be learning new concepts, affirming an approach I currently use or making new friends I always believe they are worth the time and money.
In my opinion, the single greatest aspect of being an intern is immersion. I acted like a sponge the whole time, picking up tips and tricks from everyone around me. The guys at Clearleft are really good at running workshops, communicating ideas, managing client expectations, usability testing, etc. I got to sit in on all these activities and learn by experience.
Lots of people have, due to first or second hand experience, negative opinions of Web Design education. I felt the same and saw this as an opportunity to make something amazing, tell these backwards folk in their tweed, leather elbowed jackets how its done.
Maybe it gave the students confidence in finding their first gig. Heaven forbid, I might have actually provided a small insight into the industry. Whatever it was, I realised by just giving up a few hours of my day to a room full of students motivated them to join our – not industry – community.