Jan 31
2012

Don’t be afraid to give first

An interview with Lucian Savluc,
CapturePlay‘s Marketing and Customer Experience Director

Published in the Workplace Connections’ Working Paper, by M.O.S.A.I.C.
(Multi-Lingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities)

CapturePlay Team, Christmas Party 2011CapturePlay has been working with MOSAIC for the past 6 months, generously offering mentoring and internships to newcomer job-seekers in the IT field. All of the interns have thoroughly enjoyed their time at CapturePlay and, with the endorsement of the company, most of them have managed to find full-time employment.

We met with Lucian Savluc to ask about the company’s experience with diversity and newcomer talent.

MOSAIC: What has inspired you to offer to the newcomers this internship program?

Lucian: Ken Gordon (from Skills Connect) invited me at the Vancouver Public Library last year to speak at an event for IT skilled immigrants. The scope was to deliver a technical presentation. Seeing the audience — and remembering my first days here in Canada 9 years ago — I decided to tell them a story instead: how I got the job in my profession here.
The hardest part for newcomers is to get the chance to prove their skills. And I realized that CapturePlay can help while also getting help from newcomers — a win-win situation. We discussed this idea with the board and we agreed the internship program was worth a try.

MOSAIC: What do you see as being the value-added element of diversity in your workplace?

Lucian: Diversity has both challenges and benefits. Challenges are mostly for the newcomers; they have to learn and adapt to a work environment where the rules, communication and customs may be quite different compared with the country they came from. And probably this is the most important part of the internship: they learn how it is to work in a North American high tech company.
We treat our permanent employees and our interns the same. And we demand exactly the same involvement and dedication to them as we ask for our full timers. We are offering exactly what no school here can offer — firsthand experience and training.
We also learn a lot from our interns. We are developing a worldwide platform and we have to learn about the cultural aspects of each area where we promote our product.

MOSAIC: How would you describe a typical day of work for interns?

Lucian: We use an agile approach and the latest project management tools and practices; everything is structured quite well. At the same time, each of us is having a lot of liberty in implementing the tasks and goals. We encourage innovation and initiative and we embrace the "work hard play hard philosophy". We are doing our job very well but we also try to build a fun and pleasant work environment.
A work day is starting in the morning around 10 AM. After we check our correspondence, we have a short scrum meeting where each team member is presenting the tasks finished the day before, the tasks planned for the current day, problems encountered and what we learned. We turn back to our computers and we update our tasks lists in BaseCamp accordingly. After that, we proceed to execute these tasks.
The program is quite flexible, and for the interns is only 6 hours per day. They have a lunch break they can take whenever they want (we are reimbursing the lunch and transportation). If they have a personal problem or not feeling good, they can work from home.
We assume from the beginning that they will do their best for the job and, with a very few exceptions, we were right. At the end of the day, each of us checks the tasks and plans for the next day. We have also weekly team meetings, and monthly company meetings. The interns are part of all these, no difference. And because we wish to build a strong company culture, time to time we have team lunches and company parties of course.

MOSAIC: What feedback have you received from newcomers who completed their internships?

Lucian: Highly positive. I included here a quote from a former intern which reveals some insights:

"I started to work as an intern at Capture Play. Of course, I was afraid, if they would not understand me, or I would not understand them? Can I do my job well? My fears were proven wrong. I was involved in all team’s life. My duties were interesting. Whenever I asked I always received irrefragable answers. If I need help, they always helped me. I have felt myself not as a stranger, but as a competent team member. I took part in biweekly meetings, prepared and presented my reports. I participated in the ad campaigns and playathons, did weekly statistics, and tracked bugs. I enjoyed the tasty BBQ wings at the Summer Party, and petted Saber, the most handsome dog in Vancouver. Thank you guys! You are paying forward!"
Monika S. (After the internship position, she obtained an Application Support Analyst position with ZE PowerGroup).

MOSAIC: What would you say to employers who are still reluctant to employing or offering internships to newcomers?

Lucian: It’s worth it. They only have to prepare it well in advance, to establish the processes, training kits and a team leader. In our case, the most capable from them was picked to assist the team.
There are so many high skilled newcomers here in Canada… why don’t give them a chance to prove it. With minimum resources but with a lot of determination, there is no company that cannot implement such a program.
We are totally open to share our experience with any organization interested in this.

MOSAIC: Any piece of advice for job-seekers?

Lucian: Don’t be afraid to give first (this works on both sides, for job-seekers and for employers).
Show you are good. Be open to learn. Take chances. But be careful when you select your internships/volunteer work. You have to choose the one that is really meaningful to your planned career. Once you are there, put your whole effort and dedication. It will pay off.

Download the original paper.

Click to download the PDF

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10 responses so far

Creative Commons License "Don’t be afraid to give first" blog post content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. If you share modified copies of this work, note that the new work is based on a work at http://cianblog.com/2012/01/31/dont-be-afraid-to-give-first/trackback/ by Lucian Savluc.
  1. Oleg Vertlibon 31 Jan 2012 at 11:22 pm

    For the last seven months, Hitek Computer School (www.hitekschoo.com) has sent Software QA course graduates for internships with CapturePlay. It has been a highly rewarding experience; not only did the students learn valuable hands-on skills, they received work experience and a reliable reference to help them with their future employment opportunities. Thank you Lucian for all these.

  2. Viktor Pakon 01 Feb 2012 at 12:28 am

    Hi there! My name is Viktor Pak and I want to share my thoughts about my internship with CapturePlay.

    First of all I want to say that, this is very good opportunity, especially for new immigrants, to be involved to internship program and get the real Canadian experience not only within IT fields but in many others, such as Project Management.

    Before started my internship with CP, I just had a fundamental knowledge of Internet Marketing and Websites’ promotion, but now I feel myself much more proficient and wide-oriented. The CP is giving me the real hands–on experience working with game web applications, writing test cases and they execution, GUI testing, Black box testing and bugs tracking and validating processes.

    From the very first days I was deeply involved in all processes of the company and it’s giving me such a good feeling to be a part of the team and company. I believe that experience which I have working with CP will lead me to get a job in IT industry.

    I want to thank you Lucian and wish you to keep going with internship program, because it’s really worth it.

    Good luck!

  3. Marina Tishkovaon 02 Feb 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I was one of those lucky people, who were hired by CapturePlay
    Systems. Yes, I was hired, not just offered the internship. I went
    through the interview with Lucian and had to prove my skills. I was
    paid for transportation and my lunches. I was treated as a company
    member and both as a student (my mistakes were shown to me
    confidentially, not punished).
    The most important thing was I felt that I worked; the company needed me; my co-workers relied on me. I even became popular on LinkedIn: my friends sent me congrats with
    getting a job, and recruiters sent me emails with their current posts.
    The internship broke the wall of notorious Canadian experience. Thank
    you, Lucian.

  4. Mikhail Dinelton 02 Feb 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Once I got an idea to make a turn in my career and become a software tester. I got an advice to try myself as an intern at CapturePlay. I passed an interview and was accepted to the company. Of course, first of all I want to tell about Lucian. He is a really great leader and a good manager. He turned my efforts to such a way, that I realize I’m really important and useful part of the team. I’m doing the job which is the most suitable for me – tracking bugs in gaming applications, reporting them, engaging with people visiting CapturePlay website, helping other players to get familiar with games rules, some other details of website.
    I feel that CapturePlay is functioning like a big well designed mechanism. All the people, either hired professionals or interns (volunteers) are effectively doing their own job. And the work of this mechanism is coordinated at daily scrums and weekly meetings. We share our opinions and ideas and try all this to get improved. I realize that companies leaded by the managers like Lucian will always survive, even in such hard times like now, – a time of economic recession.
    So, I want to say: thank you very much Lucian and other people at CapturePlay for your support and inspiration. Now I feel that I’m getting a real push in my future career as QA professional and realize that this program can be very useful for people who want to gain some real world experience in IT company.

  5. Vitalii Kozeratskyion 02 Feb 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hello everybody! I spend 2 month at CapturePlay as intern. That was the best time working in IT since I’m in Canada. You will get allot of different experience from CapturePlay. You will learn how to be real tester because of opportunity communicate with programmers. This is very important moment in IT industry. Also you’ll get exp in business communication. But the most interesting is black box testing ! Lucian is a great person I was enjoying working with him. Thanks to everybody from CP team !
    P.S. Miss you guys :)

  6. Elena Bogdachevaon 02 Feb 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hi everybody! I totally agree with all above comments and only want to add, that if you have a chance , grab this opportunity to gain industry experience, to learn new Project Management and Marketing tools, to exposure to Agile work environment and, of course, to have fun:)!

  7. Lucian Savlucon 03 Feb 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you all for the nice words and support. I hope we will continue and expand this program. I have some plans related to it, I’ll keep you updated.

  8. Monika Stepanyukon 05 Feb 2012 at 10:04 am

    Thank you Lucian. This program helped me a lot. I gained self-confidence, Canadian experience, and many technical skills which I am using now at my workplace.

  9. Simeron 06 Feb 2012 at 12:11 pm

    For everything you have let pass, you have achieved something else.
    And for everything you have added on, you have omitted something as well… But it is about your outlook towards life. You can either feel disappointed or be delighted…
    Internship offered the tease of valuable work experience and potential job in the future and I hope this would lead me towards my goal and I would get breakthrough in IT industry where I could use my skills and test all my knowledge I have in real.
    One of the great pleasures at Captureplay was to work with you Lucian. Thank you for always encouraging and motivating me. I not only gained experience in project management but I have gained confidence to be successful in any given project.
    I feel rejoiced with the decision I made by taking upon the internship at Captureplay!

  10. Karen Reateguion 23 Mar 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Hi Everybody!! It’s been a long time eh? I agree with everyone that posted a comment, this program is worth it, I was in CapturePlay for 1 month and it gave me the Canadian working experience I didn’t have; also I became more confident in my IT and communication skills. I learned about agile methodology that now is really helpful when I have to work in different projects at the same time. All the experience I got in the internship I can use it now in my workplace. Thank you Lucian, you are a great person, you always encouraged and motivated us!!!! Miss you all!!

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