Landing at Pentagram
Alexsandra Kruusberg, GMD
I am extremely fascinated by social design which has become a popular and important topic over the past few years. I believe it has grown from the need to change our ever- growing society and has thus pushed design beyond it’s traditional core and scope. It is therefore hard to say where the limits of social design go and how to draw a line between activism, advertising and social design.
My interest in social design developed during the second year of my course which was also the time of DPS lectures. By the time our placement year proposals were due, I had a clear vision of where I wish to be in couple of months. Following my portfolio approval from Sarah, I was ready for applications- or so I thought. I decided not to go crazy with sending emails and selected all the companies very carefully. Which was also the reason of being heartbroken after my first ‘your portfolio is really good, however, we are not looking for interns at the moment…’.
Soon after, Sarah sent out the very first WOW email listing with an internship opportunity at Pentagram. A world’s largest independently-owned design studio working across four different countries and with various different clients. (It also happened to be my top choice.) The opportunity allowed an intern to join Angus Hyland’s team whose work covers different mediums and combines his personal interests with working at Pentagram. I remember thinking my portfolio would fit in perfectly and I would therefore be a valuable part of the team. Within a week of my application I was invited for an interview. Next thing I remember was me walking out of the office happier than ever- I was asked to join the team from September onwards. I couldn’t believe my luck!
On my first day, I arrived 15 mins early (just in case!) and felt a bit more stressed than necessary. I was seated at the reception, patiently waiting for someone to come and take me upstairs. Luckily, there was nothing to worry about as straight away I was introduced to my colleagues and therefore got to meet the whole team. I spent my first day figuring out where things were and how the team works.
I have now finished my second week at Pentagram and I could not have asked for a better start to my DPS year. My fear of not being able to contribute to the design process as much as I would love has always turned me away from working in big companies, however, Pentagram has so far proved me wrong. From the first day until now, I have been working on real projects and have already assisted Marisa and Alice (who are both brilliant designers and really lovely people!). As well as having a wonderful team, I am treated as a proper part of it. I am given responsibilities that will contribute to the final outcome. I can also see what others on my team are working on, which gives me an excellent opportunity to be part of the whole design process (essentially I see how the magic happens). So far so good and even better than I expected- I love Pentagram and cannot wait to see what next three months will bring!
Overall, I have been very pleased with DPS course, Pentagram and my two other secured placements. I will be staying in London for six months (Pentagram + Think Birch Studio) and moving to Berlin to work in an advertising agency (DieckertSchmidt) soon after.
Interesting facts about Pentagram that I’ve noticed so far:
- My team consists of women only- amazing!
- It is very quiet in the office during the day
- We always have lunch with the whole team and never talk about work during our breaks!
- Lady managing the canteen is scary
- Drinks every Friday with the whole office at local pub sound amazing
- I have seen several familiar faces from LCC!
Outside of Pentagram's office, there's a street named after them!
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