Now and Then: Luke Rhys Jenkins

5 years ago by

Brought to you by Portfolio Recruitment

Now and Then is a new series where we catch up with designers who we’ve been recently placed, via Portfolio Recruitment, to get their thoughts and feedback about their roles and their work. First up we speak with Luke Rhys Jenkins. Luke is an intermediate designer based in Wellington.

Where it all began… I took an interest in design from a very young age, I was fortunate to study at a small creatively focused high school just outside of Chicago, IL. I studied Web-design, Architecture and Ceramics. On returning to New Zealand I was accepted to Whitecliffe College of Art and Design where I completed my BFA with a major in Graphic Design, while interning with Alt Group over the course of my final year.

After graduating I was offered a job in Taiwan, with one of the world’s oldest soy sauce manufacturers — a little strange I know, but was also kind of incredible — the role had a large focus on Branding, Packaging and Brand Strategy, all of which aligned with my final graduate project.

When my Visa ran out I made my way back to Auckland and started a position with Strategy Auckland. A team consisting of a small team of experts which became an incredible learning experience that I would recommend to anyone beginning their journey in the design industry. Studios of that size and nature will always have a sink or swim culture to some extent. You will work hard, but it will allow you to develop quickly as a creative and provide you with a great understanding of the industry we work in.

Once I had done my dash with Strategy and was wanting to take on new challenges, I went to Portfolio Recruitment to discuss my options and goals as a creative professional. I began interviewing and meeting Creative Directors and Managing Directors from various studios some of which gave me some great advice.

• As a side note, if you’re not overly familiar with the interviewing process, don’t treat every interview as an opportunity to find a new job. Every interview is unique and will give you a better understanding of the type of company and people you want to work for and with.

Tell us about your job.
The job I took … after two days of unemployment (best two days of my life), and two incredible months of freelancing with Material, my dream job with Designworks (based in their Wellington office) came knocking, ticking all of the boxes I had set for myself, these being to work with a larger team, larger clients with larger budgets.

What are you most excited about in your role?
My day to day… The most exciting thing about my role is the people I get to work with. Designworks is one of the largest design companies in Australasia and its internal culture has a very strong focus on being ‘joyful’ which translates through to how I approach my work at Designworks “How can I make this more joyful for the audience?” Something that’s not always easily achieved but most likely speaks to the success of the company. Also the quantity of great creative minds that I have the opportunity to work with on a daily basis. The more minds — the more thoughts — the more ideas — the more opinions — the more refinement — the greater the success. This may not be for everyone but the high level of collaboration is an environment without ego and I find myself thriving in it.

What advice or tip would you give to other designers looking for a role like this?
For anyone wanting to work in the design industry or is simply looking to take steps forward in their career, I don’t think that there is one specific model. It’s one of the best things about being a creative is that the creative approach and goals of your peers are always going to differ from your own, but without sounding like too much of a plug, this is something that Portfolio Recruitment is more than capable of helping you map out.

All and all the best advice I could give to anyone, although a little cliché, would be; “To work hard and silently and let your success be your noise.”

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