A journey into design.
Our intern Joel tells us what it was like becoming a Nomad.
Hi, I’m Joel, I’m currently a second-year graphic design student at the University of Leeds. My course is a lot of fun. I've met some really, really great people, friends for life, I’d say. Teachers are great. Super supportive and super nice. And if it wasn’t for the university being supportive, I don’t know if I’d be here now.
It was actually another agency that told me about Nomad, I went to a portfolio review and was asking loads of questions about the Premier League. One of the Designers from the agency said ‘‘You’re asking a lot of questions about the Premier League. You should probably apply to Nomad’’ I was like, ‘‘All right, I’ll do that.‘‘ And since then it's been a journey for me to get here and to try and impress Stuart and Terry and to just do the best I can.
When it came to applying, Nomad was the first agency I rang after probably 40 emails I sent without any responses. I thought ’’Look I really want to work here, I’ll ring them up.’’ I can't remember who picked up the phone (probably Josh), but they were super nice and asked me to send in my portfolio, I emailed it over and got a reply within about 15 minutes.
“Come in, talk about your work.”
I was invited in to talk about my work. Nomad is super chill, kind of a lot calmer than I expected. And a lot more friendly. I had a feeling it’d be scary, but it wasn’t at all. I was nervous, for maybe the first five seconds and then yeah, it’s just super, super calm, super fun. I’m happy.
My interview was with Stuart Watson and Will a Senior Designer, and I met Callum the Creative Director too. Stuart was just kind of like… ‘‘Yeah, we want you, when can you start?’’.
I think the nicest thing about the interview was the feeling of being wanted. Because I’ve had so many months of feeling beaten up after getting no replies from agencies. It was just so nice for Nomad to be excited about me joining and I could tell the excitement from Stuart as well, which was really cool.
“Day one was really fun, but I was super nervous, obviously.”
I started doing proper work straight away, which is not at all what I expected. I’m not the only one in my year doing an internship, and from what I’d heard I thought I would be involved with the studio but maybe not doing actual projects. But it hasn’t been like that at all really. I’ve been put on anything where the team thinks I can apply my skills, which is really great.
I’ve now been at Nomad six months. And I really enjoy waking up in the morning and being excited to go to work. Even when I'm at home in the evenings I think about what I want to do the next day or what I've just been doing and I have to pinch myself and think
“I’m actually here. I'm doing the job I've been wanting to do for ages, I’m actually doing it.”
One of the biggest challenges has been staying motivated consistently for the whole day. Because at university you can work when you're feeling motivated and that’s when you can get all your work done. But having the structure here really helps and being in this environment where everyone’s in the same boat as well, also really helps.
‘‘Okay, these are just normal people. They're super nice and everyone’s here to help me.’’
I guess the most surprising part about my whole experience has been how down-to-earth and welcoming people were. Before coming to Nomad I was kind of like, ‘‘These people are at the top of their game. I don't know how I’m going to talk to them or anything.’’ But within a week I just felt, ‘‘Okay, these are just normal people. They're super nice and everyone’s here to help me.’’ And, with them having the belief in me as well, it was really, really nice. With Nomad being reasonably young as an agency and also finding their own voice, it’s been an exciting journey which I now feel a part of. I’ve only been here a short while but I’m already starting to feel really integrated.
I really love the culture here too, just the fact that I can talk and work with anyone in the studio is great and I really wouldn’t care who I got teamed up with. I think anyone could do amazing work together. And then there’s stuff like the parties and the kind of social aspect is really nice and not what I expected at all. Nomad doesn’t feel corporate in any way. Everyone feels like they’re friends before colleagues.
If I was going to give advice on how to go about becoming an intern I’d say, try and take onboard all the constructive criticism, try and constantly improve and try not to get deflated along the way. And then just be fearless as well. Ring people up.
In terms of actually being an intern, just work hard all the time. And remind yourself that you get to do this as a job. I think it’s easy to forget that design is really fun. And to make what could be seen as a hobby into a job is just amazing. I think everyone should feel blessed that we get to do this and make money from it as well.
I’ve wanted to be a designer since I was 15 years old and it's exceeded my expectations. It’s just great.