First hand accounts of the creative explorers of editions 1 and 2
I was stretched in ways that helped me grow so much. I went in every day with this strange eagerness to make, and make, and make. I distinctly remember a meeting with a Creative Director where I was showing him some of my sketches. He took the paper, circled a part of the design, and said: “Take this, but fuck it up!” That small prompt stayed with me throughout WGI*. I applied that approach to my process and have never been so generative in my life. I would ask myself a series of “what if” questions and answer them visually as many ways as I could, regardless of whether it was good or bad. I wasn’t scared of making, I was excited and energized by the process and somehow I showed up to the first brainstorming session with pages upon pages of ideas.
WGI has given me the ability to explore different environments and cities, company structures, and cultures. This has been invaluable before moving into a full-time job because it helps me identify what does and does not resonate with me in different job aspects. The internship has also helped me identify how to become a better leader, listener, designer, and person. Exploring multiple environments helped me grow as a creative by harnessing inspiration from surrounding environments and pushing me out of my comfort zone. I have met so many people through the companies I have been working with as well as throughout the program, and as a byproduct I have intentionally been growing connections past the point of shallow "networking." I encourage creatives to apply if they want an experience which is unique and will stretch them as a designer and a person.
There are so many people I’ve met along this journey who have had a tremendous influence on me and my craft. I still have so much to learn and so long to go–but I feel as though I’m tentatively coming into my own in as a writer. In copywriting, you often only have one shot, and only a few words, to say something big, complex, beautiful. Mastering that economy of language is a challenge every time, but it’s one I continue to be fervently obsessed with. Words are such powerful things. I never thought my life could take a turn this bright. Check back with me in 10 years, and I’ll probably still be gushing about them.
Prior to WGI I was beginning to feel stagnation in my current roles and was longing for a change of pace. This was DEFINITELY that. Being able to gain experience within reputable agencies, working with amazing designers, and meeting creatives from all different backgrounds is such a unique experience that not many people get. This journey has helped to remind me that there is truly no one way or path to becoming a great designer. Having been chosen as part of this round of WGI has helped me step out of my comfort zone and has given me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world who have worked at agencies I’ve only dreamed of working at. I’ve been able to pick their brains and learn so much from each person I’ve met. In addition to forming meaningful connections with people from all over, I’ve also gained a lot of design experience and have improved my processes along the way. Through this experience I will emerge with the confidence I need to continue my career as a design professional and demonstrate my worth to the world as I move forward.
To be a creative is to be moved by the notion of risk, be passionate, thoughtful, and excitable. It’s a potent recipe for creating new and wonderful things. Multiply that by six, add in three different agencies, the wonderful team at Butchershop, and you’ve got the recipe for WGI. Never have I so quickly felt like I found my tribe as I did when I found the other interns of WGI. People that I gelled with immediately, people that pushed me to be better creatively, and people that pushed me to be a better version of me. It isn’t just the team at WGI that help you to grow, but the agencies that you work with as well. Wonderfully welcoming with a healthy dose of real life experience and stress, working for some of the best creative agencies in the world is an incredibly fun look behind the curtain of great design and branding. WGI is truly an experience that has shaped me, and one that is unavailable anywhere else. World's greatest internship by name and nature.
WGI gave me a fantastic opportunity to learn about design and creative businesses in a short period of time. It's something really useful for a young creative who is just starting out as it helped me identify where I really want to be in the near future. I got to explore how to apply my craft in new areas, challenge myself, learn to collaborate better and get to know so many creatives and designers along the way who not only taught me about design but also culture and ways of living.
WGI has had a profound impact on me as a designer and person. The experience has taught me the importance of openness, generosity and adaptability. I previously felt overwhelmed by the thought of working and living outside of New Zealand and this experience has made me feel braver and more resilient. I appreciate that WGI has offered this opportunity to six interns. We've been able to reflect on our experiences as a group and lean on each other for support and encouragement. Being able to share this unique experience together has created strong friendships with very special people we otherwise would not have had the chance to meet. WGI has solidified my belief in what I value most about design; the chance to be challenged and collaborate everyday.
Being a part of the program has benefited me in tremendous ways. WGI is a bridge that has connected me to people, places, and experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise have knowledge of or access to. In the past few months, I have been able to work with and learn from some of the greatest creative minds while expanding my professional network. I have also experienced living in some of the world’s most diverse cities while being exposed to all the culture, art, and everything these cities had to offer. Most importantly, I have been able to build international friendships that have impacted and will continue to impact my perspectives on both myself and the world.
WGI has given me the opportunity to rapidly grow as a designer within three very different agencies. Living in new cities and being part of different work cultures allowed me to see the design industry in a broader perspective and beyond my comfort zones. It has expanded my goals and purpose as a designer after seeing the different examples of the humanity and ambitions that drive the creative industry. I hope to continue my emerging design career with a strong sense of responsibility of improving my field and extended empathy that I have learned throughout this journey.