By Mateusz Gryta, Information and Interface Design
Despite currently being busy enjoying Italian sun and food, I finally got to write a post about my first placement on DPS (the Italian one will follow soon). During the first internship I had a chance to work in Prague for 3 months in a German digital agency called Sinnerschrader, now also a part of Accenture Interactive. Being large (more than 600 people in 5 offices across Germany and Czechia) and having big clients means: cool offices - they won 2 awards for the best office space in Czechia this year, a lot of parties, events and trips, free food and alcohol and generally stuff which involves money and on the other hand - bureaucracy and overly complicated and time consuming processes. For a company of it’s size though, the atmosphere and people were really chill and fun. On my first day, I expected to land in a rather corporate environment, but the first thing I saw when entering the office was a guy in pink flip flops riding around on a longboard and being followed by 3 happy dogs and then almost everyone getting a beer for lunch at 12pm. It seemed much more like a small start-up environment rather than a German corporation. I also got to know the headquarters in Hamburg during a Christmas party trip, which was great and also included a whole day of interesting workshops and lectures about design and tech in general.
In terms of the projects, I was working on one each month. The first 2 weren’t especially engaging. I was basically designing early 2000 style adverts, just sitting in Photoshop and pasting smiling models and products in the template. No room for creativity or freedom whatsoever. It’s the kind of work I would never want to do in the future. But you have to start with something, and still I had some responsibility, as these were quite important clients and I was directly working on it since the first day. At least I mastered cutting out stuff in Photoshop.
The third project was a lot different though - designing and developing a new global website for one of the biggest carmakers in the world, which I can’t name now, as it’s still in progress. The project is really complex - it involves more than 100 people working on it for almost 2 years. I was on the UX/UI design side and actually got to design stuff which hopefully will be included in the final version of the website. People in the team were really amazing and helpful, but the whole process was sometimes frustrating, as every smallest decision required multiple video calls with parts of the team in other cities, the client and external agencies. Still, I learned a lot about UX and how this kind of platforms are being developed and how large teams located across different countries and cities work together.
The last aspect - Prague, was really a great place to live for a while. After living in London, I appreciated almost everything, from efficient public transport to tasty food, £1-per-pint-in-the-bar beers, relaxed and friendly people and the fact that from the internship salary and Erasmus grant I could rent a nice studio in the centre of the city and forget about cooking. Even though I suffered a bit from the cold, the time spent there reminded me how much easier the life in continental Europe can be.