Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Under Armor

My name is Daniella Ma and I’m a senior graphic design major. During fall 2014, I was the E Commerce Creative Intern at Under Armour. During the previous summer, I was the Women’s Design Intern at Under Armour. Throughout my time in the Women’s department, I worked hard, made connections, and later expressed my interest in the web field. I met with the senior creative designer in the E-Commerce department, who later became my manager in the fall. I constantly pressed the HR and Recruiting departments to see if it was possible to make a fall internship in E-Commerce possible. Both managers were able to put in a good word for me, and together, we all pestered the HR, Recruiting, and Finance department to create the position of E-Commerce Creative Intern. After about a month, I got the official approval with all departments and was able to begin my time again in the fall.


Because I was still a full-time student, I was only able to fit about 25 hours a week for the internship. This became immediately frustrating because I realized the tight deadlines for the average project is about a week or two, and being at work for only half a week at a time made it difficult to complete projects on my own. I would take on requests and finish what I could, and hand it off to another designer who would make the final edits and deliver the files. I was able to see part of my work live on the website within the next week, which was awesome, but it wasn’t completely my own design. I talked to my manager and asked him for quicker turnover projects that I could finish within that day or week. He then introduced me to another senior designer who was in charge of the social creative marketing side of E-Commerce. I got assigned projects to make banner ads, emails, social media assets, affiliates, and small product promotions. At first, they barely assigned me projects because maybe they thought I couldn’t handle it, but soon they realized how fast I could deliver great quality work and would assign on average 4-7 projects a day. I was even given a huge affiliate project to work on completely on my own, which was intimidating at first. Around the holiday time (Black Friday and Christmas), the creative team would get crazy amounts of requests from marketing that we had  to prioritize projects to meet certain deadlines.


It put into perspective how demanding this field is. I worked on not only the US website, but the Canadian as well. I had to design assets in French! While this is going on, the creative team received a HUGE request on redesigning the entire website AGAIN, but instead of a few years of prep, we get less than 8 months. UA had to hire an outside agency to help split up the workload, but it is definitely stressing out the entire team to meet this deadline AND the regular asset deadlines. Although the team is obviously stressed, they don’t let it come in between the fun relationships everyone has. It definitely feels like a team and a second family.

I grew many relationships with different people within E-Commerce—from marketing to copywriting to ux (user experience) design. It was crazy to see how many people, opinions, and drafts went into various projects. Working in this department made me realize this isn’t exactly  what I am looking for, but I feel close to it. I just want to work on bigger things within web and ux. I love being able to see my own work online for thousands to see. I saw my work on UA.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even the Words With Friends app. It gives me the instant gratification that I need to keep pushing myself to make more work. I love the intense competition and pressure between the clock and me. However, this field is definitely not for everyone, that’s for sure.

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