First day at Brand Manual

May 28, 2014

Slight excitement tingled me when I rang the Brand Manual door bell at 9:00.

I had been standing at the same door the previous evening for an internship interview and now, less than 16 hours later, I was back to start my first day. I was wondering how everything will go and who are my new colleagues. I knew I will figure out some answers immediately and some during the work process. But one thing I felt right away – I am at the right place! Everyone welcomed me and made me feel part of the team immediately. My workspace had already been arranged, which was very thoughtful and brought a smile to my face. Let’s get started!

I had a little tour around the office and explored the space, learning its features and details. Have you ever worked in an office, where candies are held in the most unexpected places? Where there’s more windows than people in the office? Where you can find a fresh issue of Creative Review or Harvard Business Review in the toilet? Or fill up Jägermeister shots straight from the cooling machine?

Needless to say, I was amused. Brand Manual is a service design agency and everything made sense here – ease of use and logic seemed to be the two key elements that kept the company going – making sense and making things better, simple as that.

Nevertheless, finding chocolate candies in the drawer where I would usually expect to find cutlery shaped my first impression about the company. Although I found the spoon I was looking for in the next drawer, the first finding stayed in my mind. I guess they do things differently on purpose.

The most exciting and relaxing moment of the day came when all team set off to lunch together. I can only imagine how much team spirit it creates when everyone spends half an hour outside the office eating and chatting about anything but work.

My first job was to interview all my colleagues and get to know them – one by one. There was no format set for the conversations, so I was free to explore. All conversations were different, yet exciting and mind opening. One thing I asked everyone was: “How did you first come across Brand Manual?” and the answers included most interesting stories which were eventually connected by one keyword – good chance. The matter of coincidences in life and taking action on these chances reminded me of the quote I had found on BM’s own website:

“Don’t get stuck on a merry-go-round of life. Take a roller coaster instead – both scary and exciting at the same time, you’ll laugh and scream all the way through. But when it’s over you’ll be wishing you could do it all all over again.” 

Later on, connecting the dots in my head, I came to a conclusion that everyone at Brand Manual possess the courage and willingness to create something new, everyone has a desire to develop their skills further and not to get stuck at one thing. Brand Manual is not a merry-go-round, that goes around hundreds of times in the same circle, but a roller coaster of highs and lows of exciting projects and clients with a sparkle in their eyes.

I think the sense of understanding and empathy are serendipitously coded into everyone’s DNA here. It was more than i expected from day one. 44 more to go!