About not being a student anymore
In about two hours my graduation ceremony starts. That means myself in a suit, a lot of other people in suits, my family coming to Vienna from the countryside, some speeches and a fancy certificate of my academic prowess. Master of arts. Right …
I also quit at LHBS with the beginning of the month. I was the first employee there and I guess I grew with the company. I learned a lot at LHBS. It was a great and special time, from getting the opportunity to do stuff to asking a friend like Neil over to do an Uncomfortable Talk for the company I work for. Then of course, I still had to finish my master thesis in communications and bachelor thesis in business. It wasn’t always easy to get that together, especially not if you hate trade-offs. I’m very thankful Stefan and Joanna put up with my schedule and me taking longer than I expected with the theses.
Now if I think back, in the last 5 years, before I finished university, I have been lucky enough to work on pretty much everything from global brands to medium sized regional companies to start ups and people with crazy ideas. I wrote about how I moved from web design to online marketing to an internship in planning at DDB in Budapest to the last two years at the independent brand strategy and innovation agency LHBS before, but all that never felt like much of a decision to make. It always felt logical or natural. I was always a student, not halfway there, and whatever I did, I did with the goal of finishing my research and thesis in mind. That doesn’t mean I didn’t think about what I was doing, but technically I was always a student, living his live in Vienna and about to finish. I could’ve quit my program a few times when people asked to come to a certain city to work with them or do a PHD in Vancouver. I never did. I told myself I was a student. I was in Vienna. I wanted to finish this. What a nice excuse, (eh?).
Now all this ‘I’m still a student’ talk ends. I’m not a student anymore. If I am realistic, I really haven’t been a student for quite a while. I remember Paul, someone I’d consider my mentor and one of my professors at the UBC in Vancouver telling me once how I’d have to stop calling myself a student. “You’re a young planner. You might still be studying, but you’re not a student.” – That was in 2009.
It was a special time, it was a great excuse and I still have a hard time to explain to people that while I am technically a grad, I have worked on stuff for quite a while.
So now on to that growing up thing. Starting with a trip around China and Singapore.
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