Since the beginning of January this year, I've been a design apprentice at a really cool company called The Working Group. The company is made up of designers, engineers, strategists, business developers building mobile and web products for startups and national brands such as the Toronto Star, TSN, and Everlane. TWG plays a leading role in the Toronto tech community by incubating start-ups and hosting technology and education events for our community such as Decoded Fashion, and the NEXT program with MarS.
As a design apprentice at TWG, I have been working closely with the designers, developers and project managers for a few different client projects. I can't say too much about those projects but it's been an awesome experience being able to be a part of the process from initial information architecture designs to creating the wireframes and visual designs for both tablet and web mocks. TWG has such a great open culture where I was able to walk over to absolutely anyone and ask them for advice, to char or just to pick their brains.
I've had my fair share of internship experiences in 2013 but this one was definitely very unique because of the large number of developers and engineers that I got to work with. In school, most of the time I only get to work with other designers, so it was a new experience for me to work with other people including the project managers and business developers. It opened my eyes up to who needed to be involved in a project in order to have it complete from start to finish in the 'real' world. Being a part of client meetings were also really informative and taught me that design wasn't the only thing to think about when it comes to creating solutions for a product. There were limitations and concerns that needed to be dealt with on the business side of things that were incredibly important for the designers to be aware of in order to design the best solution for the problems for our clients and their target audience.
My apprenticeship with TWG will be over in a few weeks so that's why I wanted to write a short reflection of my time there. Before accepting this position, I had my doubts that I wouldn't be able to handle my workload with school, extra-curricular activities with a part-time apprenticeship, but I am extremely glad I stuck with it and gave it a try. It's been a great three months and I'm very grateful to have met the awesome and incredible people at TWG!