What They Don’t Teach You in School – My First Three Weeks on the Job.

Desiree Sierra

scottsdale-branding-agency

 

Early this spring, I began to hunt for graphic design internships throughout Phoenix. As the usual routine goes, I scanned through endless amounts of company portfolios. Obviously, when looking for work, being picky isn’t really an option, however it was important to me that I land a position in a company that aligned with my personal values as a designer. My biggest fear was to work for a stiff corporation that played it safe and spit out generic designs. I desperately wanted to be a part of a team that was open to exploration, collaboration and mentorship along the way. My wish was granted when I received a job offer at AtticSalt.

I am now approaching my fourth week of employment at this studio, and I already feel growth taking place. It came as a surprise to me that most of my learning has not grown through designing in the computer, but rather through discussion and listening. Being at a studio that focuses on brand identity has exposed me to a deeper level of design. I am incredibly fortunate to learn from the brand founder, Rani Sweis as he has shown me what it takes to build an identity. It was through conversation about brands like Nike, Google, Coca-Cola that it dawned on me – brands are much more than a logo but a persona we experience. It has been fascinating to break through the surface level of design and learn about the core of an identity.

Whether it be through discussion, photographing work, writing blogs or helping with refinements it has all contributed to my learning experience as a designer. There are definitely times when I feel completely inexperienced in this field and feel as if I should know everything – but I suppose that’s apart of learning. While in those times of feeling somewhat lost, I have also felt that skills from the classroom have paid off. Little things like having sensitivity towards typography, understanding hierarchy, documenting process and asking for feedback have all helped me contribute to the team and stay on the same page. I don’t think any schooling can prepare you with all of the tools that you will need to know but having great mentors along the way has made this experience thoroughly enjoyable.

At the end of the day, I am happy to have the chance to work for a studio that is blunt, daring and produces beautiful work. My mindset coming into this studio was to be a sponge and absorb as much as I can, I feel that it has allowed me to stay open to possibilities. In the end, I would say I was picky for a reason because it led me to a wonderful place, AtticSalt.

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