Nostalgic Episode #1
The summer after graduation, I interned at Frog in Seattle. I actually didn't plan on interning after graduation, especially since I had accepted an offer to work for Bing. I actually intended on backpacking across Europe. But last minute, my friend backed out; and with the encouragement of my professors, I pursued an internship.
To see what Frog was all about, I participated in Frog's two day design workshop. I absolutely loved those two days with them. About two dozen of us Seniors participated and we were split into five groups or so. Each group selected a problem space. My group drew "The Future of Education". Throughout the workshop, Frog mentors led us through their process and were helpful in unraveling our problem space. It was fun and challenging, to say the least. At the end of the two days, I approached one of the mentors, Michael Smith, and asked about any internship opportunities. Next thing you know, I land an interview, and I'm hired!
During my three months at Frog, I worked on a big project that I'm pretty sure I can't disclose any details about yet. Interestingly enough, their design process was quite true to how they led their workshop which was great. To me, that meant that they weren't bullshitting us back in April.
In addition to everyone at Frog being intelligent and creative, the team I specifically worked with was...unique and thoughtful. They wanted to be challenged by each other and strove to assemble a diverse and effective team. They made me feel like I had a legitimate point of view—that I was worth listening to. One thing I really loved about my them was if an idea was confusing or completely out of right field, they'd take the time to pick your brain. They didn't express annoyance, look down on the idea, or wave you off not to waste time, they honestly wanted to know what your thought process was and how you landed on the conclusion that you did. I now see how unique that engagement was.
Aside from the work, Frog did Coffee Time, Creative Thursdays, company hangouts, and lots of Happy Hours. During my time there, I didn't get to experience a Creative Thursday but I did experience a ton of Coffee Time. Coffee Time was every day at 4:00pm. It was inspired by a German tradition to help get everyone through the last hour at work. Every Thursday, different members volunteered to come up with a creative Coffee Time. Liz, the Interaction Design Intern, and I planned one of the first ones that summer. We picked movies as our theme. We designed posters and hung them around the studio, received some funding to buy snacks, and put together a Vimeo playlist of interesting shorts and videos (here's a link to the Vimeo album). The Coffee Time was a success but the next few were even better.
One of the more memorable ones was the Godfather themed Coffee Time led by a few of the Visual Designers. They made incredible posters, outlined dead bodies around the studio with white tape, made cannoli and other traditional Italian dishes, and played the movie in the background. Creative, right?
On my last day, there so happened to be an End of the Summer party at one of the Frog's houses. He had it catered, we drank, played beer pong, and shared stories. My Visual Lead and Frog Mentor, Rachel Hobart, gifted me with two books that day—"Let's Go Out" because I love to brunch, and a branding book. Another Visual Designer gave me a sketchbook that makes it easy to take pictures of pages and transfer sketches to Illustrator—neat stuff. That day was a perfect end to the internship.
I miss the team, the studio, and the Frog life. I hope they're all well and wish them only success and happiness.