As you sit through advertising classes as an aspiring creative, you are taught and told that working in groups is something that you will need to become comfortable with as you advance in your studies and eventually post graduation. This is completely true. However, as this was engrained into my head it also gave me a sense of comfort. This sense of comfort was founded on the idea that I would always have a group of fellow, passionate creatives to help with ideas, designs, or anything else on which I may be working.
Before I started my creative design position at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners (RTO+P), my expectation of working as a creative designer/art director was a group setting always, where myself and fellow interns or fellow creatives worked on pieces together. As I began my position at RTO+P as a creative, I was hit with a wave of group concept meetings that did meet this expectation. However, after these meetings died down, my responsibilities started becoming very based around my own personal skills and producing work by myself for the art directors and creative directors. Once I got to this level, two things became very clear and for this I am very grateful as I am a much better designer and group member for it.
The first thing that working by myself at RTO+P taught me was that when you are a junior creative in this industry, you are expected to work by yourself and then present it to a group of other creatives. This is what all of the classes mean when they say we will be working in groups. They should really say we need to be able to convince a group of people that our idea is good. This has taught me so much as my rationalization skills have grown, as well as my presentation skills. Having to present my ideas to others has had such a positive impact on my work ethic as everything I do now has a reason.
The second thing that working at RTO+P has taught me is that after classes there really is no more practice. When I first arrived at RTO+P, I seemed to still be in a student mindset. Being thrown into projects right away had me quickly switch into a worker’s and problem solver’s mindset. The biggest takeaway from doing my internship at RTO+P is that they have taught me how to be a problem solver, and a solution seeker. If you don’t know something, don’t ask right away. Think about it. Find a solution. As an intern, RTO+P will never give you a job for which they do not have the resources. The fonts are there; The colors are there; The native files are there; You just have to find them.