Two weeks ago I ventured out into the real world leaving behind the familiarity and security of my normal life.
My name is Sarah Ziegler and I’m in my second year of graphic design at Red River College. I spent the last two weeks at Deschenes Regnier for work placement.
During my time there I was asked to write a blog post — something I’ve never done before. I assumed it was going to be fairly straightforward. After rewriting my post for the third time I realized that the opposite was in fact true.
I thought about things a little bit differently prior to beginning my two weeks of work placement. I decided it would be best to go into it free of any preconceived ideas. I didn’t make assumptions as to what the experience would be like, and instead I maintained an open and optimistic frame of mind. As a result I wasn’t as limited by my thoughts, fears, doubts or abilities. I was able to experience everything to the fullest potential.
At its core work placement was meant to give students the opportunity to work in the industry in order to gain experience and insight. More specifically it provided us with the chance to apply our skills, discover where our interests lie, receive professional feedback and determine what areas we need to improve upon.
The experience was beneficial and inspiring in other ways though too. It not only pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but every day I was able to go to a place infused with creativity, positivity, and all things good. It allowed me to meet and work with really great people and I even learned a bit about myself in the process.
Don’t get me wrong — college is great. The graphic design program is extremely diverse in terms of what we are exposed to and taught. In the last year and a half I have learned a great a deal. Having said that though, it is almost impossible to know what the real world will be like without experiencing it first hand. And, as it often is, making decisions without all of the facts can be a difficult task.
That’s the beauty of work placement. It gives us a glimpse of what life as a designer could be like and it’s about as close as we can get to a “real world” situation.
But is two weeks really enough time to determine whether or not I want to be a graphic designer for the rest of my life? Maybe not, but it’s a good place to start.