Recap on Gensler’s Show & Tell Talk
Together with 3 of our own, the speakers from Gensler started the talk by introducing “A day in the life” of an Associate Strategist – Amanda Ramos, a faculty member of the TransD program; a Strategic Designer – James Frankis, a graduate from the TransD program, and a Strategic Design intern – Tatiana Gurovich, a second year SDM student.
All three affirmed how the agile methodology of working, which Gensler is characterized by, has allowed them to be exposed to and be involved in projects and tasks that none of them would’ve imagined doing before. For James, it was the idea of having to confidently say “yes” to questions like “Do you know how to do this?” even though it was something he might’ve have never done before. For Tatiana, it was about creating and editing videos for various workshops, a task that she had not come across in her architectural practices and might’ve shied away from otherwise.
This shift and openness in navigating between different responsibilities and tasks has certainly allowed them to be in a constant state of learning, growth and motivation.
Moreover the company further instills a culture of innovation by allocating 8 hours per week for every creative team member to innovate by brainstorming and proposing various personal ideas they wish to share.
Additionally, when speaking about the challenges of pitching an idea to clients, James asserts the importance of being informed as much as possible about your ideas, to be able to back up concerns that might arise and answers questions such as “ Why should I pay for this idea?”. He continues by stating that this “it is not a psychological game that you play with your clients”, one needs to have a rational reason behind every design strategy they propose.
This, according to James, results from constant, that is enabled by the participation of designers in meetings between strategists and having them constantly work together and update each other on progress and decisions.
As the presentation and discussions come to a closure, Amanda gives a piece of advice for which the agency stands by. She is stating, “Don’t hide your skills. Flaunt them. But show how they can be translated!”. Therefore, an advice to designers and strategist interested in becoming part of their team, make sure you have a skill set you can sell, and when you’re in, embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and pave your way in the company to reach where you want to be.