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From Intern to Innovation and Technology Manager

With two new paid internships for 18-24 year olds available at Wired Sussex, we caught up with a member of our team - Chris Chowen - who started his own career at Wired Sussex as an intern and has moved his way up into his current position as Innovation and Technology Manager. 

Chris outside the Immersive Lab based in The FuseBoxChris outside the Immersive Lab based in The FuseBox

How did you start off at Wired Sussex? 

I graduated from The University of Kent with a degree in Multimedia Technology and Design. During that course, it was game design that caught my attention. I chose to focus my studies on VR in gaming and found there wasn’t much going on in the realm of VR so therefore lots of opportunities. I came to know about The FuseBox after some research and when I heard about this new Sussex immersive space, I thought it would be a good idea to get in touch. 

I got to know Phil Jones (the Managing Director) and my enthusiasm must have really shone through as he offered me a paid internship!

Chris at a Wired Sussex Members’ eventChris at a Wired Sussex Members’ event

What valuable experience and skills did you gain?

I was given a lot of time when I first started to explore and experiment with the technology available and learn in that way. What better way to learn than to play? I found myself trying to apply what I had learned from university straight into what I was doing at The FuseBox but quickly came to realise that I would learn the most through getting hands-on with the equipment and learning organically. I also have gained a huge amount from working alongside all the residents who are using The FuseBox.

I have made so many connections and new friends and found a great community of like-minded individuals to share ideas with and to learn from. 

Describe your journey from intern to employee at Wired Sussex.

After three months as an intern, I was promoted to a permanent role as Emerging Technologies Assistant, which was a continuation of the role but full time with some extra responsibilities. I got to research, source and buy new equipment for The FuseBox as well as organise events and meetups. I also held monthly lunches to catch up with what The Fusebox residents were working on and to understand their needs so that I could continue to improve the space and their experience with us. 

Now, three years on, I have been promoted to Innovation and Technology Manager and I am in the great position of being able to give someone else the opportunity that I had.

Chris guiding Caroline Lucas through VRChris guiding Caroline Lucas through VR

Any tips for people interested in applying for the internship?

We’re looking for someone with a love of technology who is enthusiastic, proactive and is willing to learn. It’s really amazing to be part of this community and to work for an organisation that really does prioritise creativity and collaboration. 

There are so many exciting new developments and innovations to get to learn about and play with here at The FuseBox. If you can match my enthusiasm for them, then we’re going to get on well! 

Chris trying out the green screen at The FuseBoxChris trying out the green screen at The FuseBox

Are you interested in finding out more about the internships?

Know someone who is 18-24 and looking to start their career in the digital sector?

Find out more about what the role entails and how to apply here.
Please note all applicants must be referred to apply by your work coach at the Job Centre, we are unable to accept applications from other routes.