As AVB Brand's first ever placement student I didn't know what to expect and I'm not sure they entirely did either. The industry experience I've gained this past year has been invaluable and just as importantly the work has been thoroughly enjoyable. Twelve months just fly in when you're immersed in engaging projects. Ultimately the year validated my career direction and it's something I can't wait to get back into.
When I first arrived my mentors for the year John McDermott and Chris Killeen were working on the Ulster University rebrand. As a student of the university this was a fantastic opportunity and a great project to start out on as I already had some knowledge of the client and their requirements. I soon became involved in meetings, quickly becoming exposed to the processes of client briefings and feedback. In the lead up to the brand launch I designed a host of material and what a kick I got when I saw my work up at the university. Throughout the year I continued to work on many Ulster University projects including their Brand Guidelines and Logo Suite.
Another prominent client I worked with was Kerry Group, on a branding project for one of their ingredient sub-brands. This project involved a trip down to their headquarters in Naas for a client interview and multiple conference calls with their team in Chicago. This was one of the fantastic aspects of working in AVB Brand; due to the investigative nature of the branding process I participated in a lot of travelling for site visits and client meetings. I particularly enjoyed this initial stage of the work; it involves a lot of research and problem solving and ultimately underpins the visual identity output.
In terms of design, my knowledge and aptitude certainly increased. AVB constantly keep up to date with the best of current branding and design. Regular team meetings and feedback on work is carried out during each project and through this my judgment of and ability to critique design improved. My technical skills improved also as a result of working 9-5 with Adobe packages and having experts to look to for guidance and advice. My work rate ultimately increased as well as a result of learning my colleagues' efficient design methodologies. There is a definite culture of knowledge sharing within AVB, which helps the place revolve as a whole, and was something I certainly benefited from during my time there.
Throughout the year my professional confidence also developed. When I first began I was frightened to even make a phone call to a client but as the year went on I was able to arrange one to one meetings for myself. This type of development is a key benefit of placement and I feel AVB really unlock this for you. If you're ready to jump in at the deep end they're there to support you in taking that leap.
In my time at AVB I was involved in a whole range of projects through which I experienced different roles within the company. I was involved in copy writing jobs, animation and web projects and positioning / strategy work. I art directed a client photoshoot, awkwardly modelled and also got behind the camera for a client shoot. Every project big and small brought with it a variety of challenges and invaluable learnings.
Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time at AVB. The people are what really make this company special. I couldn't have asked for two better tutors than John and Chris, with their wealth of knowledge and perpetual patience for me. I would definitely recommend industry placement to all students. It will stand by me during the final year of my degree and has validated a clear sense of direction for my professional future.