Where interns truly belong to

Hi! Here’s Aurelien, the french guy from Nantes. I was looking for a two-months internship in a digital agency somewhere in Europe and this is where I got: Brasov. Where exactly? High Contrast. Why? Because it’s been a journey of two years since I started to catch feelings for design, without giving up on my first love, technology. And now I put them together and go on this agency life adventure. Hurray!

Mostly, a story about curiosity

I was looking for an Internship of two months in web design and I also wanted to improve my English. How could I hit them both? Searching for digital agencies all over Europe, up to adopt me. So I searched on Google Maps ”design agencies ready to babysit interns and make them learn some things about the daily struggle of a designer’s life”. High Contrast was one of the first agencies to respond to me positively and have a match with. Moreover, Romania was totally unknown to me so it was a lucky strike to be immersed in a new culture and learn design from a different point of view at the same time.

When tasks keep coming.

All fun and games, now here’s the test

My first contact with High Contrast was by email. Smart move. (A piece of advice here, if you ever want to get in touch with them, always use the email. Don’t you dare to think of a call as the first approach). We had that ‘terms & conditions’ talk and agreed with everything that we had on the table. After that, they sent me a web design test to challenge my abilities in design and my level with the tools they use (Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, Drive). My portfolio and CV were also important in this step. We had a Skype conversation to confirm some points and see the people who would welcome me. After all, I needed to know who I’m gonna deal with for the next two months.

First day in High Contrast

My first day began early in the morning. 11 o’clock. I met a part of the team and got familiar with their stuff, their projects, their way to work. They gave me time to assimilate their methods (like they had a choice), to explore their work and find questions, if necessary. In the afternoon they gave me my first task to complete. 100 website layouts. It was interesting to see and adapt to the different ways of working. Somehow. ‘Bogdan, do you have a minute?’. I love this phrase, I’m going to use it often. It just sounds lovely. 

Monday talk: `Who's gonna solve all his tasks by the end of the week?`

Everybody, meet the gang

The team welcomed me like you welcome a new colleague in high school: they have an  ’initiation’’ process. This is also a test to pass after your skills are proved. We’ve been hiking Postavaru peak, where I had the chance to sympathize with my new mates. I really loved that they weren't just colleagues at work and it was also possible to hang out with them in the evening. I thank them for that. (gratefulness everywhere)

Hiking with the newbies is a tradition.

Let the game begin

The fun of office life just begun. My duty was to help on some projects by creating, in the first place, visuals for collateral materials such as invitations mock-ups, layouts for the projects and some brand research. 

I’ve learned to use Semplice, Figma and got used to some tips in Photoshop and Illustrator. It was a good thing because at school it's difficult to test new things and take time to learn more about the process, so here they got me covered to learn and improve my skills.

Pros & cons of agency life

I've learned many things during my time spent in the agency. First of all, I got familiar with the way in which things are going on here. For example, I've experienced the branding process by working at some logos I had to do from scratch. The brand manuals taught me how to think over the process of a fancy and usable logo as well. Does it sound fun? Wait until you deal with the client's 'Can we try another version?' (just in case you've got the ok from the creative director). At least I had some sources to get my inspiration from, before asking for feedback. Behance helped me a lot.

This is how a design sprint looks like.
Overall, this life is pretty cool. The team had the enthusiasm of a start-up gang, the situations got always clear somehow and I had guidance from these multitasking guys and the materials they have made during their activity. The only thing that tried to kill our relationship was Slack, a communication tool supposed to make things easier and faster. Good that we had the lunch break and hangouts for truly human interaction, after all.

The goodbye

The one and only possible conclusion: it was a great experience from any point of you, but the best of it was definitely seeing the design process from a different view.

So, thank you, High Contrast! It was a pleasure.

Your devoted intern,