New Agency is Uncertainty
Looking back on August, uncertainty was already part of my plans since I had nothing yet planned for any work experience; the only thing I was certain about was that my spreadsheet was busy filling up with where I’ve sent my applications to, yet no greens in terms of replies. On one side, this uncertainty brought the what if question out more often, which made me worry thinking if I’d ever find something that I would want to do. However on the other side, this uncertainty has also allowed me to pace myself at a slower rate. I think now I’m at a better stage of understanding that at the moment nothing is quite stable or long term so uncertainty is part of the experience, teaching you to become flexible. Hence my surprise in September when I received a reply from an email I had sent back in June!
New Agency is Rejection
There was one rejection email (amongst others but this one in particular) that made me realise that sometimes rejection doesn’t have to make you feel bad. The story goes…I applied to an open job position at Bumble (yep it’s the dating app) knowing that they most likely were looking for senior designers but I had some hopes. I remember laughing as I was telling my friend the story when I saw the rejection email, it’s my reaction that made me realise that some experiences are just not meant to be but even so still worth the time to apply because of the ‘what if?’ I think the main thing at this point is that its better to get a rejection email than be the one ghosted. And always to try your luck!
New Agency is Decisions
This email that I wrote back in June was to a staff member I knew that worked within marketing and communications back at my old school, where I used to volunteer while I was a student. In the email she told me how her current assistant just left and that she was looking for someone else to fill in the spot! Making decisions in a short time has never been my forte, especially since I remember having another interview the next day and a promising reply in my inbox from another company. Not knowing exactly what type of experience I was looking for and being opened to explore and to try my skills within different environments, just made me question my decisions and options even more.
New Agency is Experimenting
Community and social design became my two key words after my tutorial with Sarah, which I think was one of the main reasons I chose to take up the opportunity at my old school. I’m currently working full time as a Visual Marketing assistant at Clapton Girls Academy, talk about doing a 360 in life. Being a staff but essentially still a student I think has allowed me a greater insight into their audience, for me to understand exactly their work and their message. Being employed and not working as an ‘intern’ essentially has given me freedom yet a workload of responsibility as a package.
New Agency is Confrontation
Although I am stable with my current work experience and my time is preoccupied with learning, experimenting and exploring the working world, there’s always times where I’m confronted with the thoughts of what next. There’s days where I’m questioning my choices and wondering if I should be doing more? More in terms of having chosen a company more set on graphic design rather than something as broad as my current role. A few months in our DPS journey and I seem to already have set an expectation on myself of knowing what I want to do next or double wondering why I feel like I have yet to discover my own style. These thoughts are always passive but always make me evaluate where I’m at. Sometimes I feel these thoughts as an extra pressure and sometimes it’s my rain check to stop and think of where I’m at in the year. I think these thoughts are most of the time the product of comparing yourself and your experiences to others. So to battle this, sometimes I have to stop and jot down the whys of my choices and all the benefits that a smaller company can bring to me and even better, what I can bring to them in terms of pushing their communications further. I think one thing I need to start doing more is seeing the benefits in the now and where these can take me after.
New Agency is Adaptability
Currently I’m working on site, a second lockdown yet the trains are fully packed by 7 when I get on. The biggest con of this job is the waking up early, probably a insignificant detail but the pain of a working reality which I have just joined. Adapting to this new routine has taken me some time, adapting at work now being on the other side of things, a staff and not a student anymore, has also been another step. Apart from a major shake up to my routine, I think there has also been two important events which have added to my ability to adapt to changes and responsibility. One- managing the communications side of things for two weeks while my manager was off. This has definitely polished my multi tasking skills and given me a raw taste of work experience. And two- being briefed a major project to lead on by myself and having seen this project from start to finish, with it going live last week on the 25th Nov! With majority of communications being digital now, sometimes it feels unreal that your work is out to the public since you physically can’t see anyone looking at it.
New Agency is Vision
Time is flying with December around the corner, and when looking back at my aims for the year - to explore, refine and challenge, I think my current role has been a major insight into the skills I have and what I can offer to a company (refine my skills set). Now my next steps is to find a role which I can expand and learn new skills (explore design fields/challenge). A DPS resolution list to come.
Martin Creed, Work #203, 1999
White neon / Installation at The Portico, Linscott Road, London (- current work experience location!)
Photograph: Hugo Glendinning