Monthly Archives: April 2010

IDSA recap + Presentations galore

Well it’s been two and a half weeks since the IDSA Southern District conference. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed hanging out with my ID friends from Atlanta that made it up. I wasn’t too impressed with the city of Charlotte, though. It was too clean… like an overgrown mall.
The next week I went to Toronto to see my brother perform in a recital, and on the way back saw Niagara Falls (good thing I had my camera!)

The biggest news from the Co-Op is a bunch of presentations. I presented some sketches and concepts for one of our Oral Care products to someone from R&D, and it went very well. The original idea was to put the sketches in front of consumers during the next round of qualitative research, but my concepts poked so many holes at what the product could actually be that we need to go back and make sure that people will pay to have the needs I’ve identified be fulfilled. But I raised a lot of good questions that haven’t been looked at yet, so in that way I think the project was successful. Plus, my presentation went well.

Later today, after much postponing and anticipation, I will present all of the work I have done here to the rest of the Oral Care Design Group. My presentation is a mixture of mandatory self-promotion, info-graphics of my learning, and a few silly jokes. I think everyone is going to love it.

I’ve been told that a benefit of having a co-op / intern is that he/she can I bring in new information or tools that the group wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. So… I’ve decided to give a 10 minute presentation on a really scary discovery and my view of how design directly influences the environment.
I haven’t really given much more detail than that, because I want the information to be kind of shocking, but I guess there’s no harm in spilling the beans online here. I think I’ve posted about the North Pacific Gyre before, but I’m pretty sure these guys haven’t heard of it. It’s just one aspect of one material in one instance, but even that is a huge problem. If I just rant about “Save the world” as people are wont to do, I’ll be respectfully ignored.

So those presentations are what’s going on. Plus, as the fiscal year is coming to a close, (terminating at the end of June, when I leave) things can get more frantic and more urgent. That’s something that I find interesting… life in the publicly-owned corporation, I guess. Oooh, and I taught myself a new trick in Illustrator!

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Midway through Co-Op + Conference preiew

rhino

I’m at the halfway point in my Co-Op. I had my(informal)  first quarter Co-Op review, where my manager sat down with me and talked about my performance for the past 3 months. She did mention beforehand that there wouldn’t be anything bad brought up, because if there was anything that I was doing wrong or not up to expectation I would have already been told about it. I don’t want to gloat about myself, but the comments were pretty positive! It’s always good to have your hard work noticed. It puts a smile on my face, anyway.

  •  I’m fitting in well with the others in the design group
  • My “AHA” moments are easy to see (I think this is good…) and it shows that I am very open-minded about what design actually touches in the real world.
  • Accuracy and Efficiency: I’m doing everything that I’m  supposed to, and playing well with others.  I’m keeping up with all of my responsibilities and project without the need of micro-managing.
  • The emergency needs that I have met have been very helpful, and completed in a timely manner.
  • I have been a great fresh pair of eyes, in that I have identified new opportunities for Oral Care (and P&G) to consider.
  • I have taken good initiative to get exposure to areas outside of Oral Care Design. I have scheduled lots of meetings with people outside  Oral Care Design, both in and outside of the design function, something that no CoOp has ever done before.
  • I’m doing a good job adding “Corporate Spunk” to the culture

Like I said, I’m not usually one to gloat, so I’ll share some of the areas that I will be improving over the next 3 months:

  • Now that I know the P&G strategy of design, I need to use it and make it visible that I am doing so.
  • I have learned that it is very important to “frame” conversations and presentations, and that is something that I will be practicing.

This was the overall feedback that I got. Design-specific feedback to come soon.

Now for a quick check on my goals since January:

  1. Impress the hell out of everyone.  I think I’m doing this pretty well. I constantly look around and have renewed excitement. I’ve introduced new tools and technologies to the group, identified opportunity space and gone after it, and I’ve shared my sense of fun. I’ve ideated some cool ideas that we hope to get tested soon, and I’ve come through for the team in emergency situations. I’d say I’ve impressed them.
  2. Get a great experience. I can’t really describe how much I’ve learned here… it’s that much. From the way corporations interact with design agencies to the way design business in general is run… Wow. I’m learning so much.
  3. Make lots of friends. I’d consider all the people that I work with to be my friends, and I’ve made lots of professional relationships her, too. There aren’t as many design Co-ops here, so I haven’t really done too much hanging with them

Other stuff

  • take pictures. check
  • explore Cincinnati. check
  • go skiing. check
  • Go explore other cities… and sleep in my car to avoid paying for a hotel. (I want to hit Indianapolis, and Chicago for sure.) I’ve been talked out of sleeping in my car, and I’m waiting for it to get warmer before hitting Chicago
  • Go to the IDSA Southern District Conference It’s tomorrow! So excited.
  • Spend some time with the design kids at the University of Cincinnati. I’ve done some, but not enough. They are very busy, so it’s hard to get them to tell me where the party is at
  • Join the gym inside (that’s right, inside) the P&G building and get a workout going I joined a gym down the road. Woah! Adam has an exercise routine?!
  • Try my hand at Expressionist painting. Uh… waiting for the warm weekend so I don’t have to paint in a nasty garage.

NEW Goals for the New Quarter

  • By the time I leave, I want the team to winder what the heck they are going to do without me. Become indispensable.
  • Continue to train for the Peachtree Road Race. I want to run the whole 10k without having to walk.
  • Get to see more multifunction partners. My manager is giving me some names for this.
  • Get some work lined up for after June.
  • Go to the roller coaster park that is literally right down the road from me.
  • Practice some jazz trumpet playing

 PS Sorry for the typos. They happen.

OK, this post is getting long, so I’ll start wrapping up. IDSA Southern Distric Conference is tomorrow! Amidst the flurry of portfolio preperation, I can’t wait to see my ID@GT friends! Unfortunately they won’t all be there, so I’ll see them in early May. It’s going to be a great conference, and I’m going to have a great time.