Graduate Careers: Running about has its rewards
The Working Week
Thursday 25 November 1999
Status: Recently graduated with a degree in classics from King's College, London. Presently doing work experience with a number of companies to find a career.
Mission: A week's work experience at Frost Design, a design company based in Clerkenwell, London. The company works mainly on projects involving typography, editorial design and corporate identity.
Monday: Arrived at the studio and was immediately aware of how overworked the three designers and one studio manager were. The main man, Vince Frost, was running between meetings with Nokia; the Financial Times, on its new magazine, The Business; and an ideas group for a new (secret) project. My first task involved organising the reference library, consisting of all Frost Design's previous work for company publications, including Japanese Vogue, The Independent Magazine, D&AD (British Design and Art Direction), Photonica, and Big Magazine. Although not particularly taxing, it gave me an insight into the style and range of their work.
Tuesday: The studio manager had me perched on top of a ladder reorganising books and magazines on the shelves. Took the whole day, but gave me great satisfaction.
Wednesday: I was the office runner, responsible for everything from coffee and biscuit runs, to depositing packages at the post office, and dropping off negatives for printing.
Thursday: More running around Clerkenwell, but this afternoon I was rewarded. Apart from a great Chinese take-away for lunch, I was briefed by a designer and asked to do some picture research for the Nokia project. At last! Something to boast about to peers, parents, etc.
Friday: I continued my picture research and was taught how to use a scanner. In my eyes, this initiated me into the world of the designer but in everybody else's, it saved them from wasting their time on a particularly boring process. I spent the afternoon with one of the designers, preparing hard- copy proofs for the client to approve - or suggest changes - before printing.
My week on work experience taught me that I actually enjoy working, but I did not develop a sudden urge to become a designer. I think I have the potential to show the same enthusiasm and commitment I saw there... all I have to find out now is what I want to do.
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