By Aishwarya Murali, an intern at &us
It was a stressful summer. It wasn’t just the scorching sun burning my eyes, it was also the intense amount of stress that burnt my brain into fumes, all caused by looking into the computer screen as I tried to hunt for an internship!
I was sharing the same feeling with 29 other students on my MA Innovation Management course at Central Saint Martins. My inbox was overflowing with rejection letters from companies, accompanied by sleepless nights of anxiety.
Then one fine day I put everything behind me and stared at my CV, realising it was boring and monochrome which was an absolute contrast of my character. I am a person filled with colour, creativity and imagination but none of these elements seemed to be reflected in my CV.
So I re-designed it to represent my character better, telling a story and taking a simple approach.
When I sent this new CV out, I started to connect with people of similar mindsets. In no time, I started getting messages to set up calls, interviews and meet-ups.
One such message was from &us. It was a special one.
(Long story short), after a few catch ups and coffee dates, I knew this was the exact place I wanted to land on! Hence, match found!!!
The Special Welcome
Honestly, I didn’t have many expectations on my first day. I was prepared to be given a table in the corner like I’ve heard happens to other interns, and from there I would be more of a spectator, not someone who would be invited to take part.
But wait! I really didn’t need to worry. I had the warmest welcome and even got treated to a special breakfast (we get a free breakfast every Monday! Can this place get any better?). Everybody in the team greeted me with their best smiles. They really seemed genuinely interested and curious about me and my background. I was overwhelmed with the awesomeness of it all already.
But, here’s the best part!
Paul (co-founder) handed me a huge box with a brand-new laptop. This was then followed by another special box that had my name on it which all newcomers to &us receive: their welcome box. This one had even more goodies including pens, chocolates and, books to name just a few!
I then began a round of one-to-ones meetings with loads of people on the team, and got to work on various different projects, clients and proposals.
My brain started to soak in everything as I became engrossed in conversation with everyone. They answered all my silly little doubts patiently. I began to understand why &us is becoming known for solving some enormous problems in a simple, friendly and absolutely fun way.
I spent my time shadowing people, learning how collaboration and innovation works in the process. I was invited to client meetings and discussions that gave me a huge amount of insight to my research work, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. It completely gave me a new perspective on the design processes I have been learning all my life.
I also saw how the &us bus* always stops to have fun and celebrate, no matter how busy the ride is or how fast you are going. This can include being treated to a workplace massage at your desk, having a whole day allocated to the fun and games of Christmas plus regular team outings and lunch in special cosy places.
It is now my sixth week here as I write this and it has already been an amazing journey so far. I can’t wait to share even more with you over the coming weeks.
Until I meet you guys with another special story from my journey…
Ciao! Bye! See you!
&us is an eclectic mix of product people, designers, and coaches who make things and coach others to make. If you’re interested in chatting to someone at &us, get in touch with us!