It’s been quite a bit since I first arrived in Austin on January 5th. What was thought to be an exchange semester at UT then shifted to 8 months in the Lone Star state, as I got an internship in a mobile app company in downtown for the summer. Time to thrive and learn new things. Here are the most important ones I got to do in 2014:
1. Leave some comfort zones. Period. Staying 3 months in Madrid in my last internship was a good try but this changed everything. They say that’s where good things happen…
2. Learn from the big ones. Besides having really experienced people teaching in college and some of the best classes I’ve taken so far, I could make it to the offices of the biggest advertising agencies in New York. BBDO NY, McCann Worldwide, HUGE or AKQA are some of the places that I visited with other 8 students in the Spring break week. Enough to get a sneak peak of each one’s history, their differences, on what aspects they focus on and how they work.
3. Study in the University of Texas at Austin, an institution that has been ranked as the #1 place to study Interactive Advertising by IAB and among the Top 5 world universities for Communication Studies.
4. Work as an art director at Minutemen Creatives, a student-run advertising agency where I had the oportunity of designing infographics for a nonprofit project.
5. Dive into Texas Advertising Group (free food!) where we received professionals from Y&R Austin, McGarrah Jessee, Leo Burnett or T3. Their views and experience were really worth spending Wednesday evening in the TAG weekly meetings.
6. Keep my insights in an idea journal. While lately I’ve been using Google Keep as my all-in-one notebook/reminder/ideas gatherer it quickly became a chaos vortex. One of the projects we had to do for class was a physical one, which I also kept after that and works as the place where I leave some random insights and ideas, ready to be hopefully developed in the future.
7. Venture into the UX / UI design world by enjoying an awesome internship in Perk.com, a quickly growing startup full of talented people where we created apps that have reached thousands of people, had a lot of time to learn and “most importantly ping pong tournaments”.
8. Learn a lot about Technology Marketing & Advertising from the tech guru Mark Bunting and doing some works for Reyes Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based full service marketing firm that creates and executes campaigns for the Hispanic and General Market.
9. Enjoy good & live music. If you’re in the Live Music Capital of the World any day is good to hang out with friends and visit a lot of music venues. Say Messed up Monday, Taco Tuesday, Whiskey Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday… And occasionally listen to indie bands such as Arcade Fire, Cut Copy or The Neighbourhood!
10. Meet a bunch of incredible people along the way. Some of them are Nikki, a Brazilian gamer called Lucas, the UNAV girls Gracia, Lucy and Isa (but still from Seville, Washington and Mexico), my Texas-spiced and awesome roommate Cole, and a portuguese videographer, Sebastiao. I met Linh and we could be briefly New Yorkers with Lucia, Wesley and so on; spent some good days with the Spanish guys Alexis, Imanol, Mónica, Jesús, Fer (ok, one was half-greek), two creatives like Mauricio and Daniel, Saleh, a Saudi that taught me a lot about people, the Perk family (Oliver, Ritu, Roj, Adam, Shaun, Andrés, BJ, Dan, Vanda, Patrick…), Frank (the craziest intern I will ever work with) and Maru. All worth seeing them again.
And finally, being abroad allowed me to freshen up my thoughts and tidy my priorities. Wishing to be back soon!
Now playing – Too Far Gone by The Junkyard Mongrels, a band we got to listen live in The hole in the Wall, an Austin’s legendary pub on Guadalupe St.