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Work placement at a creative agency - what they don't teach you at uni!

25 September 2018


How working for a design agency differs from studying design!

In one of our earlier blog posts, we talked about a high school student coming to BDA for her work experience.

This post looks at another work experience placement – this time a design student from Hertfordshire University!

The real deal?

At the beginning of September, BDA welcomed a work experience placement university student to our agency, Nina!

Straightaway, Nina got stuck into the production work of our design team and took part in a range of tasks including; amending design work, coming up with new ideas, producing research, and of course – designing.

This included working on live client briefs – not a made-up task to test her skills – so Nina worked to real deadlines and sat in on meetings discussing current projects.

Having come during her studies at University, Nina developed her existing software and design skills (including motion graphic skills such as After Effects) on a much tighter deadline.

How the industry works

This work placement gave Nina a good idea of how the industry runs and threw her into the deep end of a fast-paced environment, working on multiple projects, and communicating with clients.

Additionally, she was able to develop new software skills as well as communicating on a professional level with clients and in internal meetings.

Having a new face in the office is always fun, and Nina was able to work with most people at BDA, from project managers to motion graphics, designers to innovators, in order to show off the breadth and scope of the work we produce.

Lessons on communication

Most of the time, communication is the most important part of producing projects effectively and efficiently. This doesn’t just apply to our clients, but also internally, so everyone is kept up-to-date on the status of a project, who it needs to go to next, and what is left to be done.

Communication was probably one of the most important things Nina learned during her time with BDA. Without this, you cannot deliver the best results, particularly as work is often shared and reviewed by many people in a project team.

It’s also important to understand how and when it is the right time to interact with clients and how often work needs to be overlooked by them – it wasn’t something Nina was taught at university, and it’s a major aspect in the industry and how projects run.

Too much back and forth between the agency and client – or too many people getting involved – and a project can stall. Not enough communication, and the final result may not be what was expected.

Final thoughts

When asked to describe BDA, Nina said how comfortable and relaxed the offices were. Using only three words, she said:

Fun. Interesting. Friendly.

It’s always great to have new faces with us, particularly when they are as passionate about creativity as we are! Nina’s two-week placement flew by, and we look forward to seeing her career blossom!

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