Our Apprentice, Margaux Delapierre, recently returned to Paris after completing her Brand Strategy Apprenticeship with BBG. After spending 6 months with the team in our Chicago-office, we asked her to recap her time with us.
Working for the BBG crew (and in the USA) was a very new experience for me. I didn’t know what to expect in flying to Chicago but I’m not disappointed. From day 1, BBG considered me a full-fledged member of the team, not only as an intern, but as a part of the family.
Through my 6 months, I struggled, learned, improved skills and more. Below are three incredibly important aspects I learned to succeed!
Pay Attention to Details
Not working in my native language has been a great experience for me. Every day, creating content for news and events, writing blogs for BBG’s internal brands and handling social media in English pushed me to understand tone and always watch for the small details.
Being a part of a small agency like BBG was also a first for me. I like the fact that everybody communicates daily with everyone else. The lines of communication are always open.
One thing I find particularly valuable at BBG is that we debrief on every active and upcoming project each morning. This is the great way to receive an overview of all projects and for sharing ideas as they come up.
Communication is the success key for agencies and BBG understands this very well.
If you need advice, ask for it. Everyone is here to help you succeed. In the end, asking will save time and keep you on a stronger path, so don’t wait if something is unclear, just ask.
These past 6 months helped me to learn more about myself, my career goals and taught me to never stop learning. Thanks again BBG!
“We’re thrilled to have Margaux in the office, having her to help with branding strategy with our brands like Avondale Type Co. and Mlmtr will be a huge help. I look forward to seeing what she can do!”
Margaux loves to travel, having been to Australia, Thailand and Europe during the last year, and we’re happy to have her here in Chicago. Her other interests include skiing, art, indie/folk music and, most of all, her cat Vanille. Welcome her to the team and say hi on Twitter at @margauxdelap.
Quan Ika Vu joined Bright Bright Great for 9 months upon graduating from Columbia College with a degree in Graphic Design. His portfolio stuck out to Bright Bright Great as one of exploration, modernism and we knew he would fit in well with the design team.
Thanks again to Quan for his hard work while at BBG.
“I’ll definitely miss Quan’s humor in team chat. Never change a thing. Let the true Quan shine. 🔥”
I knew of Bright Bright Great and the highly anticipated conferences they co-hosted. I knew that if I could join them I would be doing killer work.
Working with the team at BBG was truly transforming. I did not expect the experience I gathered after 9 months with their team would surpass my 4 years of college education.
There was no time to slack. Every day was incredibly fast-paced.
It’s one of the things I love about a small agency like BBG. You will learn to output lots of amazing work quickly, while being self guided. Each team member is expected to carry his or her own load from start to finish. At any given time, I had 3 clients/projects, which demands a lot from a designer, but that’s how you grow! Not a lot of agencies out there offer what BBG does. From the get-go, I was in client meetings, conference calls, and working alongside the entire team and leaders in the community. I also successfully designed 2 retail typefaces, which totally boosted my skill set to a new level.
You’ll never feel left out at BBG and are expected to be a one-person army from the first day.
In school and at bigger agencies, they won’t teach you how to interact with clients, let alone deal with sticky situations; a skill entirely missing from what you learn at school. I’ve come to learn that if you’re not able to sell your design through client communication and persuasion, you’re not a good designer. Clients are tough; not like your teachers or parents who always tell you’re the best. Out in the real world, you really have to make a stand for yourself and earn it.
My takeaway post-BBG is to be versatile. A saying by Nick Lush that I would always remember, it goes something like this: “All designers can be great and happy at what they do, but a versatile designer can afford longer vacations than a niche one.” That saying is self-explanatory. Being versatile not only with your skill set, but also with the ability to pitch yourself and your work. I can now design websites, typefaces, and make presentations look sexy, none of which was taught at my print-based degree in school.
The BBG gang is my family, and I’m honored to have them in my professional career. I will never forget how much fun we had, all the mini road trips and goofy team chats, and most importantly the knowledge they gave me.
Catch me on Behance and Dribbble. I can also be easily found in the Chicago design scene and am always down for a coffee!
Our intern, Dayan, recently returned to school after spending the summer with us. Before he left, we asked him to tell us what he learned during his time in our office.
My name is Dayan D’Aniello and I spent this past summer as a design intern at Bright Bright Great before going back to the University of Florida to finish out my senior year. During my time in the office, I was able to contribute to 5 projects and work on designing a typeface (a little better than just getting coffee, right?).
The important thing with any internship is to pick up new lessons and skills that will help you once you start a full-time job and I definitely learned a lot that will help me as I get started in my career. With that in mind, here are my three biggest takeaways from my time at BBG:
Write everything down.
I mean everything. I took 77 pages of notes from various morning meetings. Client interactions, art direction presentations, art direction feedback, et cetera. While I stopped taking notes in my classes, it was definitely necessary to keep track of all the things you’re asked to do: write it down!
Ask questions, but not too many.
Don’t be afraid to shoot someone a message if you’re in need of some help. There is a limit to this, though. Everyone else is busy most of the time, so try to figure it out on your own first instead of making someone feel like you’re trying to source your answers from them.
Everything moves quickly, be ready to hustle.
This one speaks for itself. There were times I was in the office until 2 AM. On a Saturday. You have to put in the work to enjoy the rewards.
And that’s that! Keep track of what I’m up to during my senior year on my Behance page. Keep an eye out for open apprenticeships here.
Bright Bright Great is proud to announce our Fall 2012 Internship.
This internship is quite a bit different for us. Our Fall intern will be dedicated to one client of ours who is in the process of launching a luxury jewelry line during this internship. Want to learn about what an internship with our agency is like? Check out what our last 3 had to say: Amy, Alex & Molly.
– Copywriting (Important)
– Creation of database/information for all necklaces and bracelets
– Lead social media responsibilities
– Liaison between BBG and client
– Creative needs as required – BBG is currently working on launch materials
– Coordinate and assist with November Chicago live event
My summer internship began with a Tuesday night Taco party at Logan Square Design Bldg and ended with a company trip to Chicago Comic Con, so it was pretty much the best summer of my life.
Beyond mass taco consumption and purchasing vinyl toys with my BBG buds, my internship entailed actually working with clients on real projects — no cleaning the bathrooms or making coffee here. You’re expected to work like a pro and trusted to handle projects and client relations with tenacity and tact. From the first day, the three interns were totally immersed in projects, meeting with clients, jumping on conference calls, and working together to produce some killer designs. Through the guidance of Jason Schwartz & Jason Gross, I learned the intricacies of business workflow and how to effectively interact with clients. Jason Gross taught me how to speak professionally on the phone and how to leave voicemails without rambling on with a three-minute goodbye. (I’m notoriously bad at leaving voicemails).
After graduating from a design program that was completely print-based, I had no real experience with digital and interactive design. While interning at BBG, I not only learned the basics of digital design (the 960 grid is your friend), but also how to carry out a project to beautiful completion, from art direction to finessing the fine details.
I learned more in my summer at BBG than I did in an entire year of undergrad. I have a solid understanding of how an agency operates, as well as experience working with real clients. These are things you can only learn on the job, and BBG was an amazing environment for learning. I came in every day, hung out with the coolest people I know, and designed beautiful things all day.
One of the most valuable things I learned while interning at BBG is how to make design usable and functional. In design school we all learn how to make things pretty, but there’s a big disconnect between what you learn in school and how you use that in the real world.
At BBG, we approached every project with the mentality “we know we can make this look awesome no matter what, how do we make the user experience awesome”. Now on every project I work on I keep that thought in mind in every decision I make. A cool looking site is
useless if you don’t have information or don’t know how to use it. The team at Bright Bright Great acknowledges that this is something
schools tend to skim over and goes out of their way to help the interns come up with the right solution and be a part of the process.
While working at BBG I worked on websites, apps, and print material and got hands on experience on applying usability to all outputs. I
was able to compare and contrast what systems work in what circumstances.
All the interns were given the opportunity to work closely with the team throughout the whole process. Within one week, we were presenting to and working directly with the clients. If there was ever down time, we were told to take a stab at art direction for a new project. Because BBG is a smaller firm, we really got hands-on experience in every step of the strategy, creative, and production process that I would have missed out on had I been interning at a company with separate departments.
Another plus was the studio space. Logan Square Design Building is full of really awesome, creative, talented people. It’s a very laid
back, but everyone around you is working on really cool projects that will continue to inspire and motivate you. It definitely makes you
feel like part of a community. There are always different people coming in and working. Not only do you get a chance to make
connections and meet people, but you also get to make some cool friends.
And, you get to hang out with a dog everyday. That’s cool too.
What I’m trying to say is that my internship at BBG was one of the greatest things to have ever happened to me. I truly mean that. Bright Bright Great provided me with the opportunity to do some amazing work. I think it’s safe to say I learned more in my 2 month internship than I did during 4 years of design school.
Some of the perks of the internship:
– Company trip to Comicon
– Awesome monthly events where you get to meet tons of design community pros
– Coffee snobs make sure every cup of coffee is the best you’ve ever had
– Company dog is the best dog
– Trips to subway
– Intern dumpster diving championships
I’ve had a few other internships in recent years, all of which basically used me for manual labor like taking out the trash and cleaning the bathrooms. At BBG, I never had to take out the trash or clean anything. I was a design intern, and design was all I did. Most people think of an intern as the lowest level employee at a company, doing the projects that no one else wants to do. On my very first day at BBG, I was thrown onto one of the biggest projects the company had ever worked on. I was given responsibility, and the opportunity to prove myself. Every day was something new- a new problem to solve, a new thing that you learn, a new opportunity to make something beautiful. A BBG internship gives you responsibility to the point where you feel extremely appreciated. You feel like it actually makes a difference that you are there.
I didn’t only learn how to design a pretty website. I learned about how to develop and expand a brand, how to look at a website as a product and not just a digital brochure, how to talk to clients, and so much more.
Long story short, if your goal is to get your foot in the door of the Chicago design community, the BBG internship will make that happen. I learned everything.
Presenting the OFFICIAL Summer 2012 BBG Summer Interns!
In total, we received over 30 applicants for the 2 spots and had some really great people to choose from. We are excited to announce that we are taking on 3 Summer interns, all who are graduating from DePaul’s design program next week. Non-traditional, we know.