What I learnt going from an intern to a full-time designer a year later.

Sarah Houghton
May 17, 2019 · 7 min read
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1. Uni didn’t fully prepare me for a job, but that’s okay.

Uni can’t prepare you for navigating the politics of working in an office. You have to figure that out yourself. What I’ve discovered is that it’s best to be as honest with colleagues as possible. Working at TransferWise has been about finding a balance between saying I could do things at the edges of my ability and then being honest about when I had no idea.

2. Know there is more to design than just agencies.

If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be working in a financial tech company, I wouldn’t have believed you. I always assumed I’d work at a design agency. But working here has allowed me to consider a whole breadth of new options for the future, and it has helped me to widen my view of where my career can now go. I would say to any graduates out there looking for a career in design: think unconventionally and where you end up might be super unique.

3. At the start, you might be taking more than you can give.

I’ve been met with such kindness while working here. People have always been so keen to help me, give advice and help me to grow which I am ever grateful for. Even after the millionth question.

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L-R: Derek, Sarah, Chris — this photo pretty much sums up our characters! (Agata has since joined too).

4. Say yes to any social activity you can!

I know it sounds silly now, but I spent so much money on food while I was interning, as I always wanted to join in and go wherever the team was going for lunch (normally Viet Grill or Patty Bun — would recommend both). It was on these seemingly meaningless walks to and from places that I started to feel like I had a place and belonged in this team. Creating a good impression is so important, just by being on time, keen and getting involved in everything I could. I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea but saying yes to all the social activities really helped me.

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Partaking in a user research session one month in.
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Most of the team from our offsite to the Cotsworlds in October.

TransferWise Design

In the TransferWise design team, it’s our job to understand…

Sarah Houghton

Written by

Designer in and around London, currently designing @ Transferwise. Co-founder of Protest Press.

TransferWise Design

In the TransferWise design team, it’s our job to understand people, ask the right questions, and make abstract ideas tangible. We care for the details, and we keep humans at the centre of our work. We make global money simple and human for people without borders.

Sarah Houghton

Written by

Designer in and around London, currently designing @ Transferwise. Co-founder of Protest Press.

TransferWise Design

In the TransferWise design team, it’s our job to understand people, ask the right questions, and make abstract ideas tangible. We care for the details, and we keep humans at the centre of our work. We make global money simple and human for people without borders.

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