At Whitespace, many of us have careers thanks to placements, internships, work experience – even just a timely chat with an inspiring person that set us on an unexpected career trajectory. A helpful hand, a supportive word, a top tip or twelve.

In turn, we like to keep on paying it forward. We support and mentor, passing on the advice that got us where we are today. We pass on the things we wish someone had told us, remembering the times we felt stuck, with no idea what the future held.

So, when a global pandemic forced us all to stay in our homes, we didn’t let that stop us.

Whitespace’s placement program moved to the virtual realm. Which is just a fun way of saying we got to know a lot of new people through video calls. Virtual project briefings, virtual portfolio reviews, virtual chats over coffee.

I had an amazing time! I felt very welcomed as part of the team, and learned a lot of valuable advice from chatting to different people. 10/10.

Scott Black, DJCAD 

In the early days of lockdown, we feared we wouldn’t be able to provide a worthwhile placement experience. Would our placements feel included while working remotely? Would they be able to learn and engage with the projects? But as time went on, we realised the alternative was worse. Being stuck at home, the world on pause, with no idea what the future held.

So, it was time to get back into it, and learn as we went. Each new placement has taught us more and more about how we can create a better experience while working remotely. We’ve been learning new ways to maintain the same level of engagement as they would experience in person when working in the studio.

In some ways, working remotely has meant better experiences, thanks to flexible working, one-to-one coaching, the comfort of home for those with physical and mental health needs, and no need to spend money on commuting!

The Internship Programme at Whitespace gave me the opportunity to understand the Design industry in an exceptional creativity and innovative company.

Rafael Garcia Santiago, DJCAD 

Here’s a little insight into what two weeks as a remote placement looks like at Whitespace:

  • A Whitespacer that acts as a point of contact and checks in everyday. The friendly face that you’d normally sit next to every morning and have a chat with. Someone you can talk through your work with, share problems with, or just have a natter over a cuppa.  
  • Meeting and working on projects with a wider team. You’ll be briefed and have opportunities to share work and get feedback. They’ll help you understand the processes of an agency, and support you as team-mates. 
  • Opportunities to talk to people in roles that interest you. The people that will open your eyes to what your career could be, and reveal paths you’d never considered.
  • Tutorials and portfolio reviews to learn new skills and refine existing ones.  
  • Attending company-wide meetings. Discovering what makes up the culture and productivity of Whitespace and seeing everyone in one lovely zoom call. Free entertainment will be provided.

The last 2 years have been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but one of the biggest bright spots has been getting to know and work alongside so many fantastic people through our placement program. They’ve provided us with skills, support, and friendship in a time when none of us really knew what the future held.  

It was lovely! I had the best time getting to know everyone and have an in-person office experience! It was lovely to work with a group of designers and get to know some tips and advice from industry professionals.

Aerin Downs, Napier