What I learned during my internship at Oxide (Kelsey Janda)
It started off like any other Monday morning. I got in at 9, checked my e-mail, and then made a quick trip to Bucky’s with the guys.
We sat down at the concepting table like we do every Monday morning for our traffic meeting. It usually consists of going through the open jobs list after we spend about an hour talking about our weekend, or less than an hour (depending on if we all had lame weekends or not).
I mentioned applying for my school loan, the prices for tuition rising, and still not knowing why I was going back. That was it. That was all it took.
Two hours later, we hadn’t gone through the job list or the exciting events of our weekend. No, the four men (who cared enough to wait a month while I traveled to China and back to let me start my internship) pushed aside their own schedules to explain to me why, in their opinion, I didn’t need to go back to school. It wasn’t about them or why having me around longer benefitted them. No, it was about my future.
This is a debate I started with myself months before Oxide. After about two hours of me silently listening to them explain their views, there really wasn’t much to say. So, the idea (that a few months back I thought might be a fun risk) turned into a reality. A week before school started, I said goodbye to homework, professors, and the label of “student”.
This wasn’t the first time these guys were solely looking out for my future. You see, they’re some of the most selfless people I know. Each project they’ve given me has been presented as, “Hey, Kelsey. I think this might be a fun project for you to do.” But it’s been so much more than that.
The projects have ranged from really small things to really big projects (literally). Catalog edits, office photos, 20 by 80 foot banner, save-the-date card, simple homepage, newsletter, poster, and brochure. They’ve even hired me as a freelance designer for a logo. In all these projects, they’ve cared more about me getting the experience than what they get out of it.
I realize this story, like the last, has a lot of me in it, but this says so much more about them. Oxide has brought me in on concept meetings, client meetings, and team meetings, and asked for my thoughts, ideas, and honest opinions. Believe me, they didn’t need them, but they wanted them. They wanted to give me the experience, to let me have a say in a big or small way, and to know how to handle this process in the future when I won’t be here.
You can make an argument about all of this and what their intentions could be. But when you hang out with these guys for 3 months (and some odd days) or 30 minutes, you can tell there’s something different. They’re not the big agency type looking out for only the thickness of their wallet or awards folder. They’re better.
But what do I know? I’m just the intern.
Note: Kelsey Janda was an intern at Oxide during the summer of 2011. See her portfolio of work at kelseyjanda.com. And we honestly did not bribe her to write this “” but we are most definitely flattered.