As a design student in the DAAP program at the University of Cincinnati, I have been fortunate enough to have had my fair share of internship experiences. I have spent semesters living in well established cities such as San Francisco, Atlanta and New York and worked at both corporations and consultancies. While all of those experiences were wonderful, I can say that my semester as a design resident for People's Liberty was a standout amongst all of the opportunities.
What made People's Liberty different from my corporate and consultancy design jobs was the unique type of work that the PL team is doing. Rather than designing for consumer goods or strategizing how to best impress a big client, People's Liberty is crafting a campaign for people—a campaign with the end goal of bettering an entire city.
This eye-opening experience exposed me to a field of design I had not known existed. Although there for only a few short months, working with the team at People's Liberty has since changed my plans for the trajectory of my career. I now have chosen to pursue design that seeks to build community—ambitious, yet humbling work like the talented group of people at PL are pursuing.
It is an inspiring thing to be able to design for something much bigger than what is tangible, be it product or paper. The work they are doing is already making a lasting impact on the city of Cincinnati, and there is an infectious energy that comes from being part of something so big. My experience investing in a creative community on the rise is something I have discovered is hard to find in big cities that have a fixed reputation.
At People's Liberty, the day to day work is just as great as the big picture. The office environment is casual—it's a place that allows for Swedish Fish snack breaks and YouTube viewings in between work that needs to be done. Amazing individuals that make great friends and lifelong mentors form the People's Liberty team. The work is collaborative and hands-on, filled with field trips and external learning opportunities.
My time at People's Liberty was so valuable and I couldn't possibly give it a stronger recommendation. As a young designer, this is an opportunity that doesn't come around often. Your opinions and ideas are truly valued and acted upon, you are exposed to new design processes that make an impact, and work doesn't quite feel like work—just time spent alongside great friends.