More than making the Tea…

By Kelly

My name’s Siân, and for the past 10 months I’ve been interning at Friends. As with any design agency we are mostly powered by copious amounts of caffeine, but running to the kitchen for the emergency 3pm coffee-fix is barely the tip of the iceberg of my interning experience so far. At university I heard all the stories; from all expenses paid trips to Berlin, to sitting in a corner waiting for someone to suggest a tea round. Although I didn’t expect either of these extremes, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

The internship itself is a success story for business networking events, as it was through a friend of mine attending one such event that I was first put in contact with Friends in the first place. After a few emails I came in for a little chat and we arranged a one month internship. Nine months later and I’m still here… apparently I’m not that easy to get rid of.

The plan for that month was that I would design Friends’ annual broadsheet and spend some time helping to find new clients, getting to experience both the design and admin sides of the agency. As more work came in and deadlines loomed this plan started to make its way swiftly out of the studio window. Soon I found myself at photoshoots, site visits and networking events, emailing clients and suppliers, and working on projects – including the exciting world of interiors! Fast-forward to today and I’ve been leading on projects and helping with client presentations and workshops.

These are the intern perks of working for a small agency. I’m not saying working for a larger, longer established agency is of less value, not at all, but my experience of a small, young agency has been well-rounded and all-inclusive. I’ve gained insight to the inner-workings of a small business and improved my design skills and knowledge through working closely with the rest of the team. I’ve been able to learn from people far more experienced than me the processes and skills they’ve learned along their own journeys. I’m like a child with a personal tutor, rather than lost in a class of 30.

Every week in the studio poses new opportunities; new skills for me to learn and new challenges that are making me into a better designer. It’s exciting to be part of something that is still small but growing, sharing in the processes and experiences that will continue to shape Friends into the design agency we aim to be. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow at Friends through all the challenges that come our way as a design team, developing existing skills and learning new ones along the way. And of course, I will continue to make the tea.

Disclaimer: I don’t make all of the tea.

photography by Pip Hayler & Simon Burt

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