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Learning on the Job

My first "real" internship since graduating college. Here is a little bit about the things I've learned as a designer and working on real life projects.

Things I’ve learned (In progress):

  1. Get fast at your craft. It pays off.

  2. Knowing all sides (strategy, execution, copywriting etc.) will help you immensely.

  3. Listen to people’s ideas. Even if you think they’re stupid.

  4. Have a thick skin. Or at least get out the emotions in college.

  5. People will surprise you.

  6. The people in the ad industry are some of the weirdest ones out there. But they are great people.

  7. All ad agencies are different.

  8. Do informational interviews!!! So many people disregard this. It’s a great foot in the door and a great resource for feedback.

  9. Working with a copywriter might seem easy but they’re protective of their copy as much as you are protective of your design.

  10. The relationship with account managers can be...well complicated. Don’t be afraid to push back.

  11. On that last note, get good at explaining the conceptualization of your design. And with less design jargon. It helps sell your ideas.

  12. Know why you did everything. Absolutely everything in a design. Even a certain bit of negative space you left blank.

  13. Never lie. Just don’t do it. Not about your skills or anything. Be honest.

  14. Do personal passion projects when you can.

  15. People will chew you out in the ad business. Don’t take it personally. It’s not the end of the world.

  16. College is different because your getting graded. Somehow, the real world is less tense. At least for me.

  17. Always send a thank you or follow up. Try to stand out from other applicants even if you think everyone does it.

  18. Ask questions. People in the industry want to help. They love imparting their knowledge on the young-ins.

  19. Make sure you enjoy the people you work with.

  20. Be realistic with your team on what’s possible on a project.

  21. If you want that fancy job. You have to work for it. It’s not going to come just because you have a good portfolio. Personality matters.

  22. Don’t be cocky. People hate that.

  23. Be memorable. With everyone you meet, every place you go. Even if it means goofing off and putting on a beer bottle costume.

  24. Dress professional but not too businessy. The ad business isn’t that uptight. But try to get a cue from what others wear at that place.


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