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Playground : A Success Story from the Start

At the end of the summer, we launched the very first edition of our internship program, Playground. Meet the 3 rookies who made it to the Fall 2017 team.

The article is written by MANNY, content creator at Republik.

Being a member of the team, I was able to participate in the development of the program and I was lucky enough to witness the first results (of which I am very proud btw). I was still curious to hear the thoughts of the main parties concerned, aka the interns.

I first sat down with Republik’s big bosses, JP and Vince, to ask them a few questions. Then I took the interns aside and locked myself in a meeting room with them to know what they really think.

Manny: Why did you choose to appoint the employees and the summer interns to the internship program?

JP: We thought it would be interesting to give the team a project with great creative freedom to allow each member of the team to give his all. As a matter of fact, the project gathered everyone and brought the team closer. Everybody was excited to work on a project together.

Manny: What do you see as the biggest benefit of giving the lead of the project to your team?

Vince: The interns themselves were at school not too long ago and so, there is not many people better suited than them to know what we look for in a post-graduation internship. We wanted the program to be carried out by, and for the benefit of interns.

Manny: What do you think of the program your team put together?

JP: I’m honestly really really excited by what the team presented to us. I think it is one of the best design projects we did in a while; I’m really proud of what they did there.

Vince: We were very satisfied. It was one of the first time that we gave the team a turnkey project;, it was a 100% their creation. We didn’t get involved in the project development and it really showed in the results. Maybe they felt a little pressure to deliver because it was their project.

Manny: Now that Playground is launched, and that the new interns are working, what do you think of the first cohort?

JP: They’re among the best interns we ever had, they do an excellent job. We also saw it in the quality of the applications. The program really attracted talented candidates.

Vince: The standards of application were higher, and we couldn’t compare the quality of the interviewed candidates. We could of, legit, hired everyone we saw. For example, usually, out of 5-6 interviewees, there is only one candidate that could actually do the job. This time around, everyone met the expectations, we can tell the difference. The fact that Playground was handed over to the interns from the start, that’s really cool. You’re recruited into a program, then you too have the opportunity to push it further.

This is all well and good, the bosses are happy. But what do the interns recruited into Playground really think? I sat down with Leo, Tyran and Etienne to chat about it.

Swipe right for more pictures!
Leonora Pires-Pierre - Community Manager
Étienne Dufresne - Visual Content Creator
Tyran Trieu - Graphic Designer
The 3 interns at Republik's playground.

The Playground Fall 2017 photoshoot was imagined & produces by the interns, under their mentor's supervision.

Manny: How did you find out about Playground and why did you decide to apply?

Leo: I first saw a post on Facebook, then a friend tagged me on one of the publications. I decided to apply because Playground’s Art Direction really caught my eye, just like the agency it was dynamic and youthful. I found the program very interesting, I applied and here I am!

Tyran: PO, Republik’s Art Director, came to UQAM Design’s graduates exhibition and wrote an article about his 2017 favorites. I was one of them and I thought to myself “Wow, that’s nice!”, so I followed Republik on Facebook and saw the post about Playground not too long after. I thought: “The Art Director already likes my work, might as well apply!” And here I am too.

Etienne: I saw the ad on Facebook and when I scrolled through the positions available, I saw “Visual Content Creator”. Then I thought: “ That’s what I want to do.” I didn’t know such a position existed, so I applied right away.

Manny: Ok, but honestly, how did your interviews go?

Leo: It was really nice! Jess was interviewing me and right before the start she told me she liked my outfit, it put me at ease. [Laughs]

Tyran: Me it was PO, we were talking design and I went to get my computer to show him my portfolio. When I opened it, a page about Conor McGregor was active on my desktop and he asked: “You’re into boxing?” and I said: “Yeah, I love boxing!” So we talked for a while about the match against Mayweather, then we went back to design. It was in the bag.

Etienne: Me, it was with Manny and PO. It went well! I was a bit shy to show them my video work, but their positive reactions put me at ease. Then I realized I had a lot of friends in common with PO because of Urbania and everything. That was really cool.

Manny: So, not too stressful?

All three of them in sync: No

Tyran: No, not at all!

Leo: Basically, a little tip that I can give: find common ground with your interviewer! [Laughs]

Tyran: Exactly.

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The interns on set.
Me giving directions to Étienne.
Manny: So far, how were your first weeks at Republik?

Tyran: There’s a lot happening, a lot of things to do.

Etienne: You won’t get bored, that’s for sure. That’s cool!

Tyran: The first week I worked like 45 hours.

Leo: But it doesn’t feel like it.

Tyran: No exactly, we don’t realize it, time goes by so fast because you’re always busy.

Leo: Plus, we have our hands on a lot different projects, it’s really dynamic! We’re learning a lot.

Manny: Ok so, as you know, you’re gonna be developing the art direction of the next edition of Playground. Are you guys excited to start working on it?

Etienne: Yeah, sure! It’s going to be really nice! I already like what Ty did on the new design so far. It’s even cooler than the last one.

Tyran: Don’t say that, don’t say that!

Leo: No but for real, it’s really interesting. Because we experienced Playground, we’re gonna be able to develop an art direction that really appeals to the target. We’re gonna be able to find the right words to attract the best candidates.

Etienne: Absolutely!

Manny: Precisely, that was my next question. Knowing that you, the interns, are targeting futur interns, what are the benefits of that?

Leo: I don’t know yet how we’re goingg to build the next edition, but what’s nice is that if the next interns have questions, we’re gonna be able to answer them frankly and easily. Usually, when you undertake an internship, you don’t really know what you’re in for. But, we’re gonna able to answer the questions and reassure. Above all, we’re gonna be able to find the right people because we know the fit.

Tyran: From my point of view, because I’m in design, the bar was set pretty high by the intern before me. I think you can only do better than the person before you, because you see what has been done. Basically, every new cohort will raise the bar and elevate Playground further up.

Etienne: For me, it’s all very new. I think I will be able to better explain to the next interns everything that will be new to them. It’s mostly going to be a job of new media translation and education.

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Etienne and me doing tests.
The interns on set.
Manny: Last one, I just thought of it. For fun, how would you describe Republik in one word?

Tyran: Busy?

Etienne: Current.

Manny: Current, I like that.

Leo: It’s hard, I am not a women of a few words...Mmm… Real!

Manny: That’s a cool answer. Just like our motto REAL TALK. Thanks guys!

All 3 of them: Thanks!

Ok, I think we covered everything here. JP and Vince are happy, the interns are happy, I’m happy. We can easily say that the first edition of Playground was a hit, no doubt!

As for me, I’m already excited to meet the next interns! What else could we ask for?

Oh, I know! We can only wish Playground a long and bright future!


As a copywriter, Manny has always made a point of never looking down on anyone.