Monthly Archives: March 2010

I went to the zoo yesterday. Are you jealous?

Also, I saved P&G a ton of money by making some last minute mock-ups. That’s always fun.

More notes from the Co-Op

Hey I miss Atlanta and all my friends a ton, but I’m glad to be missing out on Atlanta’s pollen season this year.

That’s just gross.

P&G buzz that I hear around the office

3D White is a new Sub-brand of Crest that was just released a couple of weeks ago. I saw it being worked on during its final stages! More info on 3D white here.

P&G is looking to expand our sales by reaching to untapped markets. See more info here.

Onto the news about my Co-Op at P&G
I haven’t posted in a while because as I progress on the learning curve, I’m finding things less and less bewildering.

Work has been pretty normal, and people have been taking their Spring Breaks one at a time. I get a few days off, but I’m saving them for early May. That’s when GT graduation parties and Iron Man 2 are happening. It’s a win-win.

I’ve been working on projects that have been assigned to me, but a few weeks ago I made my own project. I’m not a glutton for punishment; I was just really inspired by something. I talked with my manager and now it’s a full blown project. Once the sketching/ modeling part is over, I plan to talk to the engineers about manufacturing feasibility so that I can get experience dealing with them. Not that I don’t have experience talking to engineers, coming from Tech… I just think I should take advantage of all the brilliant people here.

Onto another topic, when I am introduced to a P&G employee, the first question is, “Are you from The University of Cincinnati (UC)?” Apparently, the idea of Co-Oping originated with UC. It is mandatory for EVERYONE at UC to participate in the Co-op program, regardless of major. UC helps you find and coordinate Co-Op Positions, so it’s not too much of a hassle. It’s a big selling point for the university, since you are pretty much guaranteed a good amount of field experience by the time you graduate.

When I first heard about this guarantee, I was pretty jealous of the UC students. I worked my butt off to track down and apply for my internships/ Co-op. But, it may have just helped me. I talked to a P&G designer originally from SCAD, who told me that he was more excited about the position of a Co-op than his peers (from UC) when he did it here. It’s not a knock on UC, I’m just saying that I value the position more because of all the effort it took to get it. That’s why I’m continually looking at this opportunity with a fresh pair of eyes to try and take advantage of it.

In addition to all my designer/Co-op duties, I’m trying to do some other things, too. There is so much opportunity for me to explore this company and all of it’s functions; I don’t want to leave without trying as much as I can. For example, there is some design-leader training that I’m going to try to get into, as well as a bit of corporate culture shifting. It’s all very exciting.  All ideas for new ways to utilize my Co-Op position are welcome (No, I’m not going to sell trade secrets, so don’t ask).

I’ve been making it out to other Design areas lately. It’s a good experience to see what’s outside of Oral Care Design, and a little networking never hurt anyone. I found out something : while there are certainly lots of similarities, each design group is very different. One has Wacom Tablets adorned with Transformers and Nerf guns all over the place, whereas another is a pit of cubicles. I saw one design space with designer furniture with IKEA accents, and one space with all furniture by Herman Miller. There are lots of business-like designers here, but just as many crazy-hipster designers. Some design functions like to be very hands on, while others like to partner with design agencies. Basically, it’s like there are these little design colonies throughout P&G with very separate and unique cultures.

Well that’s about it for now. My first Co-op term is almost over, and the next one begins in April. Now that I’ve gotten past (relatively) the training and confusion of a new-hier, I expect the next three months to be very impactful. I plan on doing a lot more that what people expect a Co-op to do, and I think I’ll learn more for it. I’m going to pick one or two things that I’m really interested in, and crazily pursue it. Seriously, I want to use every chance I get to explore the areas of design in this company.

Should be fun.

Isn’t Photoshop wonderful? Above is something I threw together to celebrate the end of my Cincinnati winter.

3 updates

Downtown Cincinnati from northern KY. Picture via vinacincinnati.blogspot.com

Update 1!

Everyone always asks me how I like my Co-Op with Procter&Gamble. So, for those of you who haven’t had the chance to ask, I’ll give you the extended canned response.

I’m learning a lot, obviously. I’m getting a lot of good insights and practice to further my design skills. But what I’m learning the most is the business side of design: the corporate language, organization management, and policy/procedures.

Update 2!

I talked to a guy who has a peculiar role. Through is own interest and research into the topic of storytelling, he has been able to make a name for himself as a “master storyteller.” Basically, if a project needs some help identifying what their strategy and goals are ultimately achieving, he will come in and make the project into a story. He will then break the story down and identiy certain areas that need to be focused on (like the hero, the mentor, the magic item… etc.) It all seems pretty silly, but it ends up being a nice tool to have when you need an outside opinion on something.

Storytelling can be especially helpful in marketing strategies. It helps identify what the brand’s role is in the story of a commercial or print ad. Again, I’m sure it sounds pretty weird, but there are very applicable uses to a guy who can draw analogies to stories like him.

Update 3!

Remember that presentation I gave last Wednesday? It was the one where I couldn’t have the Oral Care design manager present? Well I gave her a one-on-one presentation today. The feedback: She was impressed at the level of detail that I had gone into, and I did a good job presenting the information that she needed to know to make a quick, yet informed decision. So, it’s pretty sweet that she not only liked my presentation, but some of my ideas will get implemented!

The Score:              Adam 1            Corporate America 0