Summer means school holidays. School holidays mean work experience. And work experience means an extra-enthusiastic, extra-curious extra pair of hands around the office. We had the pleasure of welcoming one such young man last week, Ché, and giving him a week long peek into agency life. He wrote us an account of his time at W+K, and we think we didn't embarrass ourselves too much, so here it is:
[photo courtesy of Paul Barbera]
Strange and unfamiliar are words which cannot describe enough the extent to which W+K was a new environment to me. Prints on ceilings. Statues made of awards. Rooms made to look like old libraries, mental hospital facilities and diners. Irreverent is one word that perhaps best sums up the overall vibe as I walked in on Monday morning, with a feeling of acute unknowing as to what the week would bring. Who are these people walking around purposefully with a dazzling array of Nike trainers on, carrying MacBook Airs everywhere? And are they really ‘walking in stupid everyday’ as the man with a blender for a head in reception implores them to?
I can safely now answer these questions and more, because my week was better than these first impressions could have ever suggested. W+K London holds the Nike advertising account, hence the trainers, and the reasons behind the purposeful MacBook walking became clearer each day. Dynamism is one main one, as I understood when I got my own laptop, and myself became a purposeful-MacBook-walking Wiedener (life goal reached). Everything felt like it was always moving, whether it was other people whom I had displaced from their seats (sorry Tom and Indiana :/) or the work itself, which the Finish team truly included me in. I really have to thank everyone on the Finish team, especially my supervisors Frankie and Holly, whose enthusiasm for their work made me delighted to find out more about dishwashers – something I never thought I’d say - and who were more than forthcoming with information on W+K and the advertising industry as a whole.
My encounters with everyone left me with a much greater understanding of the unique space W+K inhabits; as an independent company extremely appreciative of the efforts of its staff, all of whom say they love working there. By the end of the week, I believed them, because my work experience was helpful in making me understand how work can be done differently, yet still to the highest standard and with a level of attention to detail that continually astounded me.
Even though it flew by like a lightning bolt, the week taught me about the basic rules of work, as W+K is a place that doesn’t seem too fixated on rules, and so just lets the work just get done. But also, I learned that work can be fun. Busy, stressful and tiring, but still fun. And if there is one tip I can offer the next lucky hopefuls who are at Wieden+Kennedy for a week or longer, it is this: don’t wear Adidas. But seriously, that not what matters most – just remember to ‘walk in stupid’ every day.