From Intern to Perm with Jonny Reay and Raf Roethlin
Welcome to the second edition of ‘Inside Missouri’. In this post, former interns Raf Roethlin and Jonny Reay tell us about their Missouri Career journey so far, their tips to show up at work and their post-university experience.
1. What did you do to secure a role in Missouri?
Jonny: After submitting my portfolio and CV, I landed an internship in May 2022. Following a promising interview, I was given my start date at the end of August 2022. Four months later, I was offered a permanent position.
Raf: A member of the Missouri team attended my degree show, where we discussed my work and they invited me for an interview. After four months of interning, I was offered a permanent role.
2. What did you find is the difference between designing at an agency vs a university?
Jonny: Working for an agency like Missouri is a naturally a different experience compared to being at university. At university, you typically work on one project for an extended period, while at an agency, you will work on a variety of projects. This provides an exciting and fast-paced environment, it’s an opportunity to learn quickly. In an agency, you will receive a clear brief and specific guidelines, but you have the freedom to make decisions based on your expertise. The agency work is less open-ended compared to university projects, which means there is less pressure to know all the answers upfront.
Raf: At university the entire project is reliant on you, from research to creative direction, but at an agency you’re part of a great team where each person owns a part of the brief. The fast-paced nature of agency work might seem overwhelming at first, but it meant there is no room to overthink decisions. It meant I developed personally and professionally in a short amount of time.
3. How did Missouri help your development?
Jonny: Working with a team in Missouri has been a great learning experience. Being able to get clear and direct feedback straight away is beneficial and has made me more confident in my design process. I’m working alongside Senior Designers and Creative Directors, with everyone involved it’s a team effort and a great opportunity to learn.
Raf: At Missouri, I received hands-on training in using Cinema 4D, which was a skill set I didn’t have the opportunity to develop at university. But it’s not just the technical skills that I’ve gained here, it’s also the softer skills that are so important in a professional setting. I’ve learned how to build my confidence in the creative process, trusting that my ideas and vision will come to fruition. Through multiple iterations and trial and error, I’ve discovered that not every version will be used, but that’s all part of the journey to finding the perfect solution.
4. How did you make yourself stand out?
Jonny: I worked on projects that needed motion design, which was a great opportunity to set myself apart and show others what I was able to do. I asked others what they were working on, it was a good way to leave my desk and involve myself with other parts of the business. I think being open to other people’s feedback and trying to improve on what people say, not taking things personally, and being happy and willing to take the advice of others.
Raf: Showing a genuine interest in an application and suggesting ideas that could help Missouri succeed was a great way for me to stand out. I always made sure to ask if there were any other ways I could contribute to the team’s success, and I never hesitated to go above and beyond my job description. Also, it sounds simple, but a basic level of humour and respect goes a long way.
5. What is your advice for interns to ‘show up’ in the workplace?
Tip one: Speak to people across the business, ask about the projects they are working on and take an interest in them, it helps to build rapport and find out more about the business. Tip two: Immersing yourself in a project shows dedication and willingness to learn. Ask thoughtful questions and offer insights that add value to the project. Tip three: Don’t be afraid to approach senior team members, they have valuable experience to share. Seek advice and learn from their expertise. Tip four: Show flexibility, you can do this by accommodating high-priority requests, offering to help a team member or being open- minded to a change in a project. Tip five: Show enthusiasm to develop your skill set, from learning about industry trends to taking notes in meetings. It’s the small things to show you care and want to learn.
Tip one: Don’t look at yourself as the intern, find inspiration from your colleagues and use it as a goal for quality and quantity of work Tip two: Speak up during meetings and share your ideas. Your input and perspectives are valuable, and it’s what makes you stand out from the crowd. Tip three: Try not to be discouraged by mistakes or designs that didn’t turn out well. Learn from them and use them as a learning to grow. Tip four: Be innovative and unique in your designs! You can experiment with new skills and push the boundaries of what you already know. Tip five: Build on your strengths and unique experiences, perspectives, and cultural background. Embrace what makes you different and use it to your advantage.
It’s worth mentioning there isn’t a precise formula for securing a permanent role in an agency, there are a series of factors that can contribute. For example, being at the right place at the right time or being the right cultural fit for the agency. An internship will still provide you will valuable experience that you can use in your future careers, don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t lead to a full-time role.
For post- university internship opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org with you CV and portfolio.