I was a first-term graphic design student at a local vocational school and Mäd saw the potential in me that I didn’t even see in myself at first.
Rumor has it that at every graphic designer’s first job, responsibilities range from Photoshop-ing pictures to drawing tens of icons per day.
That’s it. Nothing more.
Therefore, as a newbie in the design field and agency world, I joined Mäd with very little expectations. As it turned out, (and I can’t say for other agencies) that is just what it is - a rumor.
I was fortunate enough to be involved in many different types of projects, ranging from rebranding to mobile application building, but that doesn’t mean I don’t photoshop pictures and draw icons though. Haha. At least, that’s not all I do everyday. While I’m entirely grateful for that, my first several weeks at Mäd was daunting! Or to tone down the exaggeration a little (or not), it was mädness.
At the very first day of my job, I was assigned to be involved in 3 different ongoing projects. I attended all meetings and ideation sessions. I was there to absorb only, but they were very open and happy for me to contribute as much as I wanted to, and were open to any suggestions and ideas.
In fact, I believe them involving me in all those big projects, even though I was still very new, made a huge impact in my understanding of the work process and really widened my perspective.
This proves Confucius’ famous lesson on the importance of active engagement:
“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.”
Now imagine how a noob design student would feel during those meetings. Up until now, I still vividly remember the feeling I had when I was in those first few meetings and ideation sessions. People just threw in all kinds of ideas, combatted differences, and such. Working in this sort of environment is incredibly fast-paced, but I've never been more inspired.
The first few weeks were the most difficult in terms of adapting to the new environment and accepting new responsibilities. I found myself working late and, sometimes, on weekends to complete the work, but there was a real trade-off in terms of stimulating, challenging work. Though it was overwhelming at first, it was also rewarding to be given responsibilities from day one and expected to deliver just like everyone else. This, to me, meant that they trust me that I will do my best at my job.
As my weeks progressed at Mäd, so did my capabilities.
I got to grips with my assigned tasks and began to feel more part of the team. I was, at first, overwhelmed by the work and responsibilities that were placed on me, but thankfully, all my team members were incredibly friendly, with a little bit of bullying (haha), but very keen to help. Anything I got stuck at would be quickly diminished by simply raising my hand and asking for help.
It took me quite a while to realize them being tough on you didn’t mean that they are ruthless creatures who would stand by and watch you jump off the cliff. It’s just their way of giving you a nudge to go off the deep end, get shit done, and make it happen.
Overall, my first three months at Mäd was mädness, but it’s the kind of mädness that drives me to my productivity peak. It’s the kind of mädness that I’ve always wanted to be involved in, because otherwise work will be just dull and boring!