I don’t know about you all, but I strongly believe in destiny. Why, you might ask? Bear with me and you’ll understand.
So, for four years, I was a student of the English Language and Literature program at the University of Prishtina. While this major wasn’t my first choice, I realized I had made the right educational decision when I was introduced to Translation(my first love). Despite loving translation as a profession and working as a translator for a few months, I decided to give it a go and try something else. Who could have thought that even the other job I would grow to love would be related to writing? Not me, that’s for sure.
So, this is me telling how I found my newest love—Content Marketing—here at Manaferra.
Initial Contact with Manaferra
Now that I think about it, the whole thing about me joining Manaferra is a kind of drama in itself. That’s why I’m going to tell the entire story because I don’t want to leave something out.
I believe, at the time, a friend and I were looking for jobs we could apply for and stumbled upon an internship program whose deadline, unfortunately, was over (obviously, it wasn’t that unfortunate).
Scrolling through different job portals for job vacancies, I think I saw the ad for the internship program in Manaferra first in the socials but can’t really recall why I didn’t apply right away. Luckily, the friend I mentioned sent me the link after a few days. Once again, I had before me the announcement that Manaferra was looking for SEO and Content Writing interns (talk about destiny).
One thing that was interesting to me at the time was the fact that they didn’t have that many requirements for prospective candidates. They were looking for people that were proficient in English and were eager to learn. Knowing that I had both of these qualities (not to mention the endless stalking and scanning I did on their socials), I was convinced I should apply for it.
The First Interview
Upon application, after a few weeks, I got a callback notifying me that I had passed the first round of selection for the internship program and that an interview was scheduled for me in a few days.
In the email they also included a few resources I had to read and prepare for that interview. Even though I already knew that the interview wouldn’t be “conventional” as I had previously read an article written by one of my colleagues here on her experience of being an intern at Manaferra.
Long story short, the day of the interview came. I read all the resources and felt prepared, but still was quite anxious about it as it was my first official job interview. Arrived at their office just on time. Once there, I realized I had nothing to worry about. One of the interviewers who was also a colleague I had in university—who would also become my supervisor—welcomed me and introduced me to the other interviewer.
The interview took place in the meeting room that they called “Oda”. Besides the polite small talk we exchanged, I was asked about the resources they had sent me—what I thought about them, what I had learned while reading them, and had a sort of a quiz. Both of the interviewers were nice, polite, and made me feel that everything was going well during the entire interview. But being a perfectionist (which at times can really be a “curse”) made me feel as though I could do better.
Although I wasn’t that satisfied with my performance at the interview, I was informed through email that I had passed the interview successfully and was expected to do a writing assignment so that they could get a feeling of my writing. In the email were also shared the instructions of what I was supposed to do and given a few days to deliver it. Everything was clear from beginning to end, which was a plus in my book for Manaferra. They had thought of what we could have difficulty understanding and simplified everything for us.
The Second Interview
The writing assignment went quite well. I knew I did my best and was waiting for confirmation on it. After a few days, I got an email confirming that I had passed this stage too, and was scheduled for a second interview. In my head, I didn’t expect a second interview as I thought the assignment was the final step to the final decision. However, their goal was to choose the best of the best and that’s why the process was divided into numerous stages.
Now, moving on to the big day. Unlike the first interview, this time, all of the management was present in the interview. They informed me from the beginning that they would be focusing on me, who Diana is as a person, her personality, her views, and beliefs.
Like anybody who is asked to talk about themselves, I felt somewhat nervous. But as the conversation went over, I got comfortable as I was feeling listened to and my opinions being valued.
Getting the Good News
In a matter of a few days, I was emailed back with the good news about me being chosen for the 2-week testing period. I was excited, to say the least and couldn’t wait to start this new adventure.
The 2-Week Testing Period
So the big day came, me and the other 7 applicants arrived at the Manaferra office. Most of the applicants were female and surprisingly half of us were English majors, while the other half were students of other faculties. We were warmly welcomed by the management and the team. I remember we formed a circle and went on to introduce ourselves. The environment, the people were beyond anything I had imagined. After that little introduction play, we were led to Oda where management had prepared everything to introduce us with the company and the field. At noon they took us out for lunch and there we had the chance to talk with each other and found out that all of us were huge fans of tv-shows.
Needless to say, two weeks went by pretty quickly. I felt as though I had learned quite much for the industry, which when I first started didn’t even know it existed. During those two weeks, we worked hard, learned a lot, and had fun. That’s why when the end of the testing period came, I started feeling kind of anxious about what was going to happen next.
Getting the Good News for the Second Time
Let me tell you, the wait was excruciating. It’s not that I had to wait long for the final answer, but I wanted that intern position so bad that I needed to know as soon as possible. I knew I had done my best, but I also knew that all of the other candidates were quite prepared and hardworking. I didn’t know who was going to be chosen, but one thing I knew was that it would be difficult for the management to come to a decision.
This time I didn’t get the news through an email, but was invited to the offices for a meeting with the management and my supervisor, Dafina. Once there, they flattered me and congratulated me on officially becoming an Intern at Manaferra.
I went in without expectations as I didn’t want to get disappointed if the chance wouldn’t be given to me. But got out of there as a Content Writer Intern instead.
Working From Home
Approximately one month into our internship, our team had to continue working from home due to the pandemic outbreak. While this was an unexpected situation and we had no clue what was going to happen, work-wise we were pretty good. We tried to be productive even in those hard unprecedented times.
One thing that should be mentioned is the management’s willingness to assist and be with us by organizing virtual daily gatherings in Google Meet, monthly one-on-one meetings, and making sure we all had the necessary work items delivered to our homes.
COVID-19 was certainly a challenge for all of us, but I can confidently say we managed it successfully, both health-wise (as none of us got infected), and productivity-wise as we all worked hard not to let it affect us.
Coming Back to the Office
While we surely did our best to keep ourselves, our family and others safe and enjoyed the time we spent working from home, there came a point when we couldn’t wait to come back to the office. We had missed each other, our comfy office and even our working desks.
So, when the relevant public health institutions decided that the time has come to go back to “new normality”, we returned to the office, while making sure we were obliged by the regulations that the government brought out. However, the office transition didn’t happen all at once. Half of the team was back and the other half was still working from home.
It was during this time that we, the interns of Manaferra, were near the end of our internship. As we were informed from the beginning, at the end of the program only some of us would become full-time employees at Manaferra. However, thanks to continuous training we got, our hard work, and the expertise we built during those 6 months, most of us were eventually not only hired but also promoted to a newer and higher position (hence me becoming a Jr. Content Specialist).
While the pandemic didn’t give us a chance to celebrate the birthdays of staff members across the months, in August we celebrated the 6th birthday of Manaferra with pizza and cake.
Team Retreat to Rugova
Manaferra, as a company, wants to make sure that people that work there are enjoying themselves. That’s why we usually organize team retreats where we can get to know and spend more time with each other out of work context. While in normal conditions, we would make our first retreat in the spring, this year, the pandemic forced us to make a change of plans. Instead, the retreat was organized in September, and we spent a long weekend in Rugove. We call it a long weekend, but in reality, it felt like we stayed there for only a few hours.
There we had the chance to hang out with each other, know each other better, play a lot of jenga, uno and not to forget volleyball (realized that some of us had the talent for it) and the swing that we would take turns on.
We made very fond memories during that weekend, but we know that we will make even more as a team as the months go by.
Now that I’m writing this article, it’s been eight months since I joined Manaferra. I couldn’t be more proud of the decision I made months ago. Today, I’m even thankful for the missed opportunities because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today. Lastly, I hope that you too, one day, will get to walk in my shoes and experience something similar first-hand.