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

Early this spring, I began to hunt for graphic design internships throughout Phoenix. I scanned through endless amounts of company portfolios. 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. 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 our creative director, Rani Sweis. 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.

School does not prep you!

I’ve grown so much through discussion, photographing work, writing blogs and helping with refinements. There are definitely times when I feel completely inexperienced in this field. I also feel as if I should know everything – but I suppose that’s a part of learning. At times I also feel 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. I don’t think any school can prepare you for every single thing. However, 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’m glad I was picky because it led me to a wonderful place, AtticSalt.

By Desiree Sierra Jun 27, 2018
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