The VCU Brandcenter is the most hectic, awe-inspiring, sometimes depressing but more often exhilarating experience I’ve ever had – and while not an excuse, the biggest reason you haven’t heard from me in quite some time.
As the holidays approach and we all start to wind down, I thought I’d share my 10 most salient learnings (a few of which come directly from the sage wisdom of professors and alumni) from the last 5 months:
- Have a backbone. Believe in yourself and your work. Take criticism when it’s warranted and constructive.
- As much as it might feel like it, you’re not yet a junior. This is the time to screw up and not “get on the list.”
- Good work doesn’t have to be on brief to be on strategy; and great work is a rarity. When you see it, you’ll know it. Appreciate it, and find a way to work with those who create it.
- Team meetings shouldn’t last 12 hours. They probably shouldn’t even last 3. If they do, you’re doing something wrong.
- Working in teams is (nearly) as much about luck as it is cooperation. But you’re not always going to luck out in the real world, so now is the time to figure it out.
- Keep some of your cards hidden; not everyone deserves or appreciates your help. But at the same time, find those people that are deserving; help them, and build fiercely loyal relationships.
- No one really understands what a strategist is or what a creative technologist should do; and that’s ok – define that role for yourself.
- Be a sponge. Everything is a learning opportunity. Be curious. Ask naive questions. Connect the dots. Have fun.
- Hard work is a waste of time if your idea sucks.
- Believe in magic.
10 ½. If you’re going to break your elbow, do it while you’re young and when you’re soon to have a break. At least then you’ll have time to update your blog ;).