Got an email last night from Millie, in response to The Internship Guide 1: What Are the 2 Major Kinds of Design Firms?. She has been in the design workforce for well more than the year, and gave some insights I thought would be great to share with everyone. Take the floor, Millie!
Hello Aldo! :D I think that as a business model, the Design Studio is only as good as its team. A small team can only be as well-oiled as the assembly line if everyone is hardworking, willing to step up, and takes responsibility. Apprentices should be fast learners and mentors should be generous with time. Unfortunately, most small studios don't compensate as well as big companies. Small, young companies are still growing, and all extra money gets invested towards the firm (new software, comfier chairs, etc). The salaries and benefits may be the same, but the perks are limited. Office parties and bonuses are rare, and you are expected to work a lot (even during typhoons, huhuhu). Although working in a small design studio is rewarding, I understand it is not for everyone. Cheers! :)