Colaboratory Final Thoughts

So it’s already a couple weeks since the Portland Advertising Federation’s Colaboratory program finished out. Hm. The time slips by.

I’m struck after the whole thing by how much it influenced in six short (or long?) weeks my whole outlook on my career. In many ways I took away more from Colaboratory than I did in a full two terms of college. This isn’t to denigrate OSU, but rather compliment Colaboratory for being perhaps more than it set out to be. If Colaboratory is a reflection of the Portland it wanted to portray, it succeeded. It wanted to show Portland as a place where people take the box they’re thinking in and invert it, turn it 180, cut the tape and then refold the box into a cardboard airplane. They’re friendlier. They are both serious and able to have fun. They really like food. Celebrate Portland delis, great Mexican, pizza and beer. Oh yeah. Forget COFFEE (that comes with the Northwest package). I did learn that agencies are definitely not made from the same cookie cutter. My final experience with Asterix proved that. Designer Ilona Wall with her great long distance relationship with the San Franciscan staff of Asterix put a real spin on my concept of what an agency can be and how it functions. I cannot lie, I had a great time at Asterix: I love close-knit agencies, which is what Asterix felt like despite it all.

My desk in Asterix's now closed Portland location.

My desk next to Ilona's

The last day of Colaboratory really sticks with me. My team, Kiwi Agency, managed to get a little sleep the night before presentation to Sameunderneath. We had spent every evening with each other for seven days (except the previous Sunday, where we worked independently). The whole thing had a flavor reminiscent of a Collaborative class I had at OSU but it was somehow more intense, and not just because it was for a great Portland company. It was the community that was there every step of the way. No professor or mentor at OSU was ever as involved in a project as the Colaboratory community was in such a hands-off way. Although class is no internship, I think academics could learn something from the Colaboratory process.

Sometimes my group took pictures of flowers

Vo & Kim working hard on taking flower photos

Of course, it could have just been the team I was in. UBER thanks to Mary McPherson, Bryan Davidson, Kim Karalekas, and Christine Vo for being UBERawesome. The greatest attention deficit team to have ever graced Portland! Seriously though, we got some quality work done. No one who is genuinely ADD could have pulled that off. Right? Right. Ryan Christensen may not have picked our group as the “winner” but our work is packed with serious chocolate-chip kudos.

UBER thanks to CMD Agency, Livengood | Nowack, and Asterix, as well as all the agencies that were involved in Colaboratory. Friends forever.

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