We regularly get emails from students, graduates and even creatives in the industry looking for studio experience to further their knowledge. I am a big believer in this because of my own journey. I learnt so much from work placements when I was a teenager in some amazing studios. I also learnt some stuff that I really didn't like, which also helped me develop as a person and as a designer.
Mia got in touch with us and we originally said the time wasn't right, and told her to get back in touch when everything has settled down. But she persevered and I liked her down to earth approach, willingness to learn, and friendly nature. So I thought - what can we lose. Here's how the experience was in Mia's own words...
So, I have just finished, what has been a great three weeks, gaining remote work experience with MadeByShape. I had just finished my second year at Uni, studying Fashion Art Direction when I got in touch with Andy. I didn’t want to sit at home watching Netflix, twiddling my thumbs, so I got in touch to see if there was any chance to complete some remote work experience. And to my surprise I started the following Monday. I had a nice little set up in my student gaff, nothing on the Shape studio, but it served me well.
Of course, summer is normally the perfect time to find a placement, but when the UK went into lockdown, I thought I had no chance. You might think remote experience wouldn’t work, but I can tell you that I have learnt a lot during the past few weeks. University is great an all, but you don’t learn much about the real world, working to tight deadlines, client expectations and company standards.
Although I specialise in Photography and Art Direction, I think it’s important to have a well-rounded knowledge of the industry you want to work in. I didn’t know quite what to expect from remote working, but I knew I wanted some experience within an agency setting, and despite not being able to go into the studio I have successfully been able to achieve this. Each day saw different tasks; from creating social media content, idea generation, pitching, website testing, editing via CMS, to video creating and editing.
It’s safe to say I have never edited a video in my life, but this was the perfect opportunity to learn new skills I wouldn’t have otherwise. For example, I was given a brief to put together a 10-year celebratory video for MadeByShape. This was definitely a challenge, where I had to learn new software, perfect timings, and be thorough with an eye for detail. However, everyone on the team at Shape, was super helpful and only a message or a zoom away.
Working remotely has enabled me to be self-sufficient and use my initiative to solve problems. Of course, in a studio setting it is way easier to just ask someone for instant help, but you don’t really learn why it has happened or to stop it from happening again. The guys at Shape, encouraged me to give something a go, and develop an understanding of the task at hand. This also heightened my productivity and I’ve realised that university deadlines are rather ridiculous. Students can achieve a lot more than they do, in the extensive time given for most projects. This has given me the opportunity to push myself and I’ve realised I don’t in-fact need a whole morning, to do a one-hour task.
I know finding work experience for students is hard at the very best of times never mind during a global pandemic but it’s not impossible and you could say maybe a bit easier. Remote work experience could allow students to work with their favourite brand over in Berlin while, working from home in Leeds. I would 100% recommend gaining some remote work experience, but a couple of things I would say is to get in touch with company’s who share similar values, do your research, don’t limit yourself and DON’T copy and paste an email, they can spot that a mile off.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the past few weeks and I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone at MadeByShape for making me feel so welcome and giving me this opportunity, during this strange time. Here’s to the future of remote work experience, it is possible!!