A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to job shadow at a graphic design company that works closely with big retailers and brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Target, Starbucks, and more to create a better shopping experience for customers in stores. Chase Design is located close to me in upstate New York, near the scenic Skaneateles Lake. I spent the day there and spoke with many of the designers, including a multimedia designer, client strategist, and the graphic designers who all worked together as well as separately, doing their part to achieve the goals of the company. It truly helped me to see how fast-paced the workplace really is and how crucial teamwork is to their success as a company.
The walls were covered in ideas, inspirations, blueprints, and strategies. The environment itself had such a creative feel to it and there was a certain enthusiasm and life to the place. Every designer I sat with had distinctly different styles, and they incorporated bits and pieces of those styles into all of the work they did, while adhering to the instructions of the brand. Most of what they did included package design, product and retail design, rebranding, and communication design. They actually seemed to have FUN. Many of them offered helpful tips about where to look for good internships, and all of them gave me their contact information in case I had any questions or wanted advice for my future.
I highly recommend job shadowing and interning as much as you can. Even if you are not put to work right away, being in the presence of experienced designers and seeing how it all works will really help down the road. It’s guaranteed that you will walk away with tons of new information, new connections, and possibly a job in your future!