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.


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