Hi! My name is Eddie and I'm Inspiring Digital Leaders No. 3. I’m from Glasgow and have just graduated in June from Product Design at the Glasgow School of Art. I was looking for some experience in design agencies after university and stumbled across the IDL program.
I’d always been keen to try my hand at different fields and felt that I had more to offer than just situating myself in design, so I was very pleased to be accepted into the program. I’d studied in Paris (in French) during my third year at art school and was encouraged to experiment with technology. I ended up taking a module in visual arts, dabbling in music production and visual programming. It’s cool to remember the digital world doesn’t have to feel rigid and intimidating, it can be flexible and expressive.
Eddie with his class mates on exchange in Paris
The Inspiring Digital Leaders programme is brand new this year, where did you hear about it and what made you want to apply?
I’d been going along to a lot of talks, workshops and events in my final year of uni. I was learning more about the design landscape in Glasgow and thinking about where I could see myself. It was there that I met a graduate of my course, Jamie Jefferson, who co-founded Equator. I got in touch later on about work and she pointed me in the direction of the program. I didn’t realise it was something that was on offer, obviously, it’s the first year that it’s been running so it’s a new opportunity. I think it’s really rare to be given the chance to work in five different disciplines of agency life, so it was exciting and beneficial to try it out.
Out of the 5 skills, you’ll be developing your skillset in (UX Design, Digital Marketing, Web Development, Content Strategy and Client Services), which are you most interested in?
So, this is the third month for me in the programme and for the last 4 weeks I have been working at AD, where I’ve been practising UX design. The first month was working in copywriting, and the second in client services. I’ve actually really enjoyed the three roles in different ways! With a background in design, I’d always known the UX work here would resonate with me, but I loved copywriting as well. I got to tackle briefs with the same kind of process I would as a designer, but instead focused solely on the power of language. I loved client services as well, experiencing managing and delivering a live project and all the interactions that involved, where soft skills and personality are so important.
Working hard, or hardly working?
You’re working with our UX Design department, do you feel that you’ve expanded your skill in this during your time with us?
Yeah, totally, my experience in UX design before had been attempting projects end-to-end at university. Working with AD, I’ve gained experience of how UX consultation works, advocating for the user experience during the design process in live client work. I’ve also witnessed how that’s been practised with the likes of EDF Energy and Artists’ Network.
You still have plenty of agencies to see, but after your time with us, do you feel more passionate about a career in digital or UX design?
I do, absolutely. It’s such a diverse sector, what’s really exciting is how quickly it evolves, and so too the associated job roles. I think a good business on this scale will inevitably have collaboration and dialogue between different team members, so it’s been a good experience to fulfil many different roles.
Quickfire! 3 highlights of working in the AD studio with our team:
- Leftover Tantrum doughnuts from client meetings
- A great wee day out to the fringe
- A fully packed library of high quality memes, expertly deployed by the team
If you could work for anyone or any brand in the world, who would it be and why?
Oooft, great question. I’d love to work for a superstar designer like Tinker Hatfield, or to get inside the offices in the creative team of Apple and Google just to see what life’s like on the inside. One of my favourite brands is the music production company Ableton, I think to be a part of that company would be so cool, and to be at the centre of the community it represents. But the agency life is a good resolve, as it gives you a wee bit of everything, you get to work with so many different clients
What is the most interesting thing that has ever happened to you?
I had the pretty unusual and unlikely occurrence of my best pal accidentally chopping the tip of my thumb off with a chainsaw when I was younger. He was kicking off a forestry business and I naively offered to help him out. I’d always admired people with cool scars etc growing up, as it showed they’d lived a life and been out and about. It’s kind of my defining feature, like a minor imitation of Captain Hook. These days you’ll find me around laptops, offices and safety; away fromdangerous pursuits.
Finally, would you recommend a programme like Inspiring Digital Leaders to others looking to start a career in digital?
Yeah absolutely, it’s perfect if you’re like me and a wee bit curious about loads of different areas. I’m not sure there’s a better way to educate yourself on Glaswegian agencies either. I feel like I’ve learned so much about all that’s going on, and the future’s exciting having had these experiences.
In a phrase: Just go for it!
5 interns. 5 agencies. 5 disciplines. With the Inspiring Digital Leaders programme, the successful interns are able to learn all about 5 different skills on the job at 5 leading Scottish agencies. We're thrilled to be working with TRC Media, BIMA, Screenmedia, Equator, Front Page and Dog Digital on this programme and facilitating the digital leaders of tomorrow! If you want to find out more about this, check out the website.