Meet our Team: Growth Intern Alex van der Merwe
Hey Alex! Thanks so much for doing this interview. We’ve loved having you here, and we wanted to ask you some questions about your time at SwipeGuide. To start, what do you do here at SwipeGuide?
No problem! Initially my role was as a Growth Intern, but my responsibilities have changed and developed over the past 5 months. They’ve ranged from content creation, to social media planning, to photography and design work. I also worked closely with our designer Eliena to create a set of comprehensive brand guidelines for SwipeGuide.
Wow, it sounds like you’ve worn a lot of hats during your time here. What would you say you value most in a work environment?
Good, effective communication with a wide variety of people. You can’t forget the human aspect of it all. At the end of the day, you’re working with people and you have to maintain that mindset. At SwipeGuide, the team is incredibly diverse. We have people from all over the world, which is great because you have so many different inputs and ideas being brought to the table. Ultimately, we’re all working towards the same goal. I think it’s really wonderful.
Awesome, that sounds like a lot of fun. So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Where are you from, and what brought you here?
Originally I’m from Namibia, but I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. I’m currently doing my degree in International Communications at the University of Utrecht, and this internship program is part of my coursework.
And where are you going next? What’s after SwipeGuide?
Well, first I’ll be going home to Cape Town for a bit to see my family. By the end of January I’ll be doing my minor abroad in Spain for the next part of my communications degree. I’ll be focusing mostly on documentary work, media editing, and cinema studies within the lens of international communication.
When you approach a creative project such as photography or design work, what’s important to you? What do you look for in any piece of content?
I think the key is to keep it simple. Be crazy, try everything, but make the core essence as simple as possible. Do that, and humans will respond well to whatever you’ve created. I think SwipeGuide takes this idea to heart and does a great job incorporating simplicity into their design philosophy.
In the same line of thinking, what do you value in a finished product or service?
I really appreciate when the product clearly has the user in mind throughout the entire design process, from start to finish. A company needs to understand their target, understand their user, and use that information to build their product from the ground up.
I totally agree with you on that. What was your favorite project during your internship?
At the beginning of my internship, I saw an opportunity to improve how SwipeGuide communicates itself to the outside world. That’s why I took on a couple of my projects, like shooting a portrait series of the team and revamping the ‘about us’ page. My goal was to develop and share the human side of SwipeGuide.
Click here to check out Alex’s work on the About Us page.
Very cool. I’ve seen the portraits on our ‘about us’ page, and they look great. Before you go, any advice or words of wisdom to future Swipees?
I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s important to believe in yourself. Be convinced of what you’re doing, and be honest with yourself and the people around you.