Interviewing an Intern: Craig Deacon, Development

Sep 13 | 2018

At Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc., we’re huge advocates of growth and learning. That’s one of the big reasons we love engaging with our local colleges and universities and participating in their internship programs.

Not only does it provide students with the opportunity to learn and apply their education first hand, it brings a lot of value to us as a business. We sat down with our latest intern, Craig Deacon, to talk about exactly that.

Meet Craig!

Meet Craig!

He’s a student from St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario and is working through the Computer Analyst Programming course. Over the years, he’s dabbled in a variety of things, including freelance work in the Toronto film industry, theatre (he was in a local production of The Tempest this past summer) and even work as a Private Investigator! He’s a big fan of comedy though, with a specialty in what are most commonly known as dad jokes. As a dad of a young daughter himself, it’s easy to see where they come from. Speaking of, why do you never see elephants hiding in trees? … Because they’re really good at it.

Here’s a transcript from the interview between Craig and Jake Irwin from our Marketing team:

Jake: Hi Craig, welcome. It’s been a busy… what, seventeen, eighteen weeks?

Craig: Eighteen – and yes, busy but fun!

Jake: Great to hear. And what have you been working on that’s kept you so busy?

Craig: Well, a lot different things, but my main project has been the Nomad Testing Tool. I’ve been able to add a lot to it in my time here, and it’s great knowing that this tool will continue to be used long after I’m gone. It gives my work meaning knowing that it’s not just “busy work”.

Jake: I know what you mean – I did an internship here myself. But I’d love to hear more about the Nomad Testing Tool. What does it do and how does it work?

Craig: Well, Nomad being a digital platform, we need to run regular diagnostics to make sure everything is working as intended. Previously, that was done manually and it could take a lot of development hours just to keep it all running smoothly. The Nomad Testing Tool automates a lot of those processes, freeing up valuable development time for other projects.

Jake: That sounds like a great thing to me. I know you’ve also done a bit of work with another new and exciting tool that BBD is now able to offer to new groups – the Online Enrollment Tool?

Craig: Yeah, we were able to apply the Nomad Testing Tool and have it go through the new Online Enrollment process.

Jake: To make sure everything works?

Craig: To make sure everything works, test the processes, validate the fields… If for example, you’re filling out an enrollment form and you indicate that you’re married, but don’t provide spousal information, we want to be sure that the tool will flag it as an error for you, so we don’t get incomplete information.

Jake: I was actually going to ask you what your crowning achievement was at BBD, but that sounds like a pretty good candidate right there. Online Enrollment for BBD has been a very exciting thing and you were able to help test it to make sure it works as intended. That’s huge!

Craig: Yeah, it would either be that, or successfully sneaking in a dad joke to my weekly updates on Jostle.

Jake: My favourite was, “I can cut wood just by looking at it. Don’t believe me? I saw it with my own eyes.” It just makes you shake your head and laugh.

Craig: And Jostle has been great for sharing those kinds of silly things, but also important stuff like weekly updates on the Nomad Testing Tool that everyone should be aware of.

Jake: Yes, BBD loves our intranet. It really brings our offices across the country together. But all of this brings me to a final kind of question, which you must have known was coming… We would love to get a sense of what you think of BBD as an employer and a place to work.

Craig: I’ve worked other places – without naming names – that say they’re “flexible” and “different”, but BBD takes it to a whole new level.

Jake: How do you mean?

Craig: Well, I always think back to my first day here. It was the company-wide meeting, the All-Staff, and we talked about some important business items, sure, but we also watched Troy’s daughter, who everyone knows here, play field hockey halfway across the world. The flexibility Kurt, the Director of Development, shows with schedules, time off and the focus everyone here has on the importance of work-life balance. It’s more than just talk. People actually do it.

Jake: That’s good to hear, and a sentiment I share. Is there anything else you wanted to mention?

Craig: No, I don’t think so. Just a big thank you to everyone at BBD for being great and helping me out and answering all of my questions.

Jake: Well, thank you for your contributions to BBD. As we’ve discussed, they’ve already solved some problems for BBD and helped successfully launch a new Online Enrollment Tool. So thank you, Craig!

See the fruits of Craig's labour: Learn more about the new Online Enrollment Tool!

Learn more