Irony would have it. I show up for my first day only to discover I can’t get into the building. I must have looked panic-stricken because the guy smoking nearby kindly opened the padlocked door…and proceeded up the steps to the nearest elevator. We got in, and I immediately smoothed down my skirt while looking up at the ceiling, then down at my heels.
He asked what office I was heading to. “Aqueduct” I replied. “Do you have a meeting?” he inquired. “I’m the new intern,” I said in the hopes of justifying my bit of jitters.
He opened the door for me. Then commented with a half smile, “try not to look so nervous.” And I immediately thought, well glad my calm-cool-and-collected act was working out so well I thought.
I was greeted by a warm handshake from the head strategist. The office was a long corridor of grey, white and yellow. We continued to talk as we headed to the back kitchen. Next I was lead to my new desk for the summer. Luck would have it that the same person from the elevator was sitting at the opposite end of the desk. We officially met with a handshake, as I reintroduced myself.
After, I met my mentor, Hamid. Within the first 30 seconds I was enthralled and intimidated by his interest and philosophy on UX Design. He discussed a bit on metadata, mentioned a few books for inspiration, and then dove into an overview of the summer.
My first task – redesign a calendar for Great British Racing. Eager to impress and loving the idea that I might actually be doing something thought-proving, I dove right in with a half dozen sketches. When Hamid reviewed my work, he wanted more ideas, but didn’t seem entirely disappointed.
The day proceeded with creative exercises. I walked away from my first day wondering if I had signed up for an internship or a nine-hour session on creative thinking.
Photo from Aqueduct