Young Gun Spotlight: Laylah Esau-Stead
By: Laylah Esau-Stead
This is my “Disco Light” and in true millennial fashion, I am going to talk about myself and the 21 hours a week that I spend in the Eventerprise office. I’m currently interning between my university classes – I’m a workaholic and I like to be productive with my time. Instead of pondering what flavour Two-Minute Noodles to cook or what assignments to work on, I come into the office.
I spend my free time stepping out of my comfort zone. In an ordinary situation, I am usually the designer, the person people point to when they need a logo, a business card, or … yawn. But what most people overlook are the skills designers have always had – we spot the problem, and create a solution. What is frustrating about this career is the demand for pretty pictures that take center stage, leaving designers with those annoying problems that never get resolved.
In my second year, I decided to specialize in Design Thinking and Problem Solving. Paired with my critical, cynical mind I found comfort in knowing that I would in some way help fix the world’s problems. In all honesty, I found peace for a minute, but only one minute and then the workaholic in me got bored.
I realised that most industries valued my opinion and mindset, but that’s where it ended. Filed as “needs to be done” or “insert great idea here” wasn’t enough for me. I wanted the problems I could identify to be fixed, the broken links to work, and for people’s lives to be easier. I wanted to see changes happen in front of me. We all know how harsh the world is without having to deal with broken links or horrible traffic on smooth roads.
This is the part where Eventerprise comes in. I, just like any other millennial, wanted one thing – a meaningful experience. On my first day, I remember walking in thinking, “I don’t want to be a barista with ideas, I don’t want to be a barista with ideas, I’m leaving if I become their barista”, but in truth, I had no reason to worry. I was placed in a forward-thinking environment that provided great content for my thesis as I shaped and adapted my studies to all the diverse situations I was placed in. I sat in on different meetings, wrote down all the jargon I needed to get up to speed with and interacted with students from different corners of the world. That was only my first day.
As my internship progressed, so have my responsibilities and my learning opportunities. In five short weeks, I have worked with a variety of tools, tracked user behaviour (a closet stalker’s dream come true), worked on online interactions, and been involved in conversion campaigns. This may not mean much to some people, but to me, it’s all I ever wanted out of an internship. To graduate with my Degree in seven months and know that I have contributed to more than just my report card and an academic institute’s bank account – that’s any millennial’s dream.
I’ve been forced to resolve conflict, something I am uncomfortable with, when one of the tools we use to optimise conversion refused to work for us. I stepped out of my comfort zone and started a Twitter war, okay a small quarrel, and questioned the functionality of the product. The anxiety was all the same. Many of my classmates may think juggling classes, waitressing, an internship, and a husband was the hardest part of my week – they’re wrong. I was completely thrown into a dark pool of anxiety by way of a tiny query on Twitter. This experience showed me the power of social media and that if I wanted to make the world a more efficient place, social media was a tool that worked!
My Eventerprise experience has allowed me to effect changes that solved the issues I picked up and that has been rewarding enough for me. By stepping out of my designer comfort zone, I stepped into a new comfortable state of discomfort.
To everyone at Eventerprise, I appreciate the work environment you have created, from the hot chocolate and salomi Fridays, to accidentally putting the wrong messages in the live chat once a week, it’s been great!
“An idea that is not dangerous, is unworthy of being called an idea at all” – Oscar Wilde
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