20 Minutes with a Junior Designer

by Marisa Sanchez-Dunning

As most of my little world knows, I am currently in a new internship role here at Thompson Brand Partners. What better way to get to know people in the office, a little bit about their personal lives, and their job role here at Thompson other than to awkwardly ask to interview them?!

I was honoured with the opportunity to speak to one of the Junior Designers here at Thompson, George Kirk. He attended and graduated from Northumbria University. We went to a trendy café called, Stories, ordered our obligatory flat whites and had a chat.

  • M: How long have you been with Thompson? How did you make the decision to go agency side and not client side?

    G: “I have been with Thompson for a little over 10 months now, and I am really enjoying it. Coming out of University, working in an agency is, in my opinion, the best way to work on a range of high profile and diverse clients. There are designers to learn from and an accounts team who are there to keep the clients happy so I can spend as much time as possible designing. I like working in smaller agencies (in terms of staff) mainly because everyone is involved in the work. People get to have a say, which is something that I really value.”

    M: How do you find dealing with hard criticism?

    G: “I am definitely getting better with dealing and learning how to incorporate hard criticism into my work. I had a mentor once tell me, ‘Be passionate, not precious’, and that has really stuck. I am just a Junior, so learning how to be flexible and take criticism is all a part of the learning curve and helps the creative process. If I didn’t want to learn and be willing to be challenged, then I am in the wrong profession.”

    M: What brands do you admire the most and why?

    G: “Ah, this is a hard one.. I would have to say that my top three brands are, The Northface, Canyon Bikes and Volkswagen. I like the Northface because it is quite outdoorsy and I like the fact that they brand their product confidently; there is a functionalism to everything they create. There are a few consistencies across these brands that resonate with me; all of these products are built to last and they are all confident in not only their brand and their design aesthetic.”

  • M: As we all know, there is a lot of pressure and tough deadlines in our industry. How do you cope with this environment?

    G: “I am lucky to be working for an agency that have systems in place to make sure that deadlines are handled. Although when things go wrong, which they sometimes do, you’ve just got to accept it and put in the extra hours; it just comes with the job.”

    M: Being a year out of University, how do you think you have progressed?

    G: “That’s a funny question because I was really confident, and if I’m honest pretty cocky, when I graduated University, and after the last 10 months in industry, I have realised there is so much more to learn – which is very exciting. I am continuously understanding what the role is about, and learning on the job is key. This is a trend based industry, so learning how to react when things just shift is crucial. So, yes I have gotten better but I have a long way to go.”

    And yes, we did have a shameless little photo shoot.

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