Sunday, May 16, 2010

10 reflection from six weeks of internship at W+K Tokyo

It's internship half time. My Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo internship asked all my time from me for the last six weeks. I really should have blogged a bit more about it. Now I'll have to cramp six weeks of Japanese craziness and work madness into one post. A list of ten reflections is the format. Let's go.
1. Working in a different language and culture. It takes time to get a sense of the culture, it's a never ending task catching up on a whole different world. But it's sometimes good to ignore it, and to look at things from a fresh angle. Also, because of language and copy I think that being an art director is easier abroad. I wrote a decent amount of copy here including headlines, tag lines and manifestos and it's always a bit heartbreaking seeing it being translated without having any influence on it.
2. Work/life balance in one of the most amazing cities in the world. Something that I need to improve on for sure. Currently I spend to much time at work when there's such a great city around me that offers unlimited amounts of inspiration and opportunities. I want to work more outside the office and be more efficient when working at the office so I can enjoy Tokyo more.
3. Asking for too much work. When we arrived at W+K we asked to be challenged. And we got what we asked for. Being on three projects at the same time is mostly fun, I like that a lot. It's nice being able to switch between briefs once stuck. It only gets tricky when presentations are very near to each other and especially when they are on the same day. So I'd like to think more about my resources. It's just way too tempting getting a shot at all the interesting stuff.
4. Being 'only' an intern. There are awesome things and there are things going on that I think could be done better. But how to give that feedback and address it? Is it worth doing at all? As an intern? I need to reflect about this one a bit more and find a way to do this in a smart way.
5. Integrated communication. After going to Hyper Island I was a little bit worried being labeled as a digital creative. I'm very happy it didn't turn out that way. We get to work on different media across the board, from TV to PR to packaging to web. Ace! Just what I wanted. Saying that I need to improve in script writing skills to be better with TV briefs.
6. Creative partnership 24/7. I'm working and sharing an apartment together with my creative partner Robbin. Most of the time it's great fun. But sometimes it's too much. The Hyper methods we picked up, help us quite a bit to resolve problems. We should continue doing that more and keep working on the partnership.
7. Idea development. Hyper Island was all about big teams and processes. Here at W+K it's back to the creative duo. It feels very familiar to the way I worked in London. I need to think about processes, there's always ways to make idea development more efficient and compelling. Looking for new methods and actively trying them out should be a goal for me. As well as collaborating with other people. For a women specific brief we invited two girls from the agency to an idea development session, it turned out to be very helpful.
8. Using agency resources wisely. W+K has a great design studio and fantastic animators. I want to spend more time with these people and learn from them. I would like to get involved in a W+K lab project and work on a music video.
9. Keeping in touch with the other side of the world. Time difference makes it quite tough to Skype with family and friends. It's very important and I need to make more time for it. Included staying in touch with my IAD'10 classmates.
10. Never forget Hyper Island. Every day that passes by I realize more about all the great things I've learned back at Hyper Island and how important they are. The way of working is crucial to success, no matter what I do. I need to come back to these learnings on a daily basis. It's just way to easy too forget about them and drift into a daily routine.

That should do for now. I appreciate any comments.


Anonymous said...

Dude, you worked in this industry, how is it now that you're noticing things you must have known before?


I admire your positive attitude, but for god's sake man, liven up and get real!

Unknown said...

some of them are not the newest insights dear anonymous but rather thoughts that reoccur.

Mike said...

Stick at it Wal, I'd imagine it's a lot to take and as with anywhere there is always hindsight, I can't begin to imagine what working in another country/ the pressure of being an intern mixed in. Good Luck!

C.M.Britt said...

You stated in your list of reflections:
#2. Work/life balance in one of the most amazing cities in the world. I too struggle with balancing work and leisure. While in Japan were you able to learn any strategies to gain better balance?