This blog post was written by April Mandziak, who is working within tag as a summer student:

Graduating from college is exciting. And also scary. Having just finished my Visual Communications degree at Medicine Hat College, I wasn’t sure what life, or work, would bring me. I think every graduate’s biggest question is “will I get a job in my field?”. You can’t help but wonder if all the years of cramming, late nights, exhaustion and soon-to-be-paid-back student loans were actually worth it. Lucky for me, I was approached by tag concepts to join their new co-workspace as a junior graphic designer and my unnecessary anxiety was quickly laid to rest. 

I remember opening the email from Dee asking to meet up to discuss upcoming opportunities with tag. I was ecstatic, to say the least. I had previously applied at tag over 2 years ago when I first heard about the company from a fellow student who had already completed a work term there. Things didn’t work out for me that time around, but I always kept tag on my radar. And apparently, they kept me on theirs as well. 

On my first day at tag, I went in feeling a bit timid and a whole lot of nervous. All kinds of unanswered questions were racing through my mind:

What will working for Deanna be like? 

What will the other people in the co-workspace be like? Will we get along? 

Will my work be up to their standards?

What if I suck and no one likes me and they hate everything I design? 

We don’t always like to admit that we have these thoughts, but at some point, we all have them. That self-doubt tends to creep in whenever a new opportunity or challenge appears to us. I try to see it as a sign that I am going in the right direction and simply need to push myself forward that much more.

Alas, as with my previous post-graduation fears, there was, in fact, nothing to fear at all. From the moment I stepped into the co-workspace, I knew I was in the right place. Dee was warm, welcoming and kind, and yet radiated with professionalism, experience and competency.  I have found there is often a rigid dichotomy between those two things. That if you are a good, kind person, you are therefore weaker and can’t possibly be successful in business. I love the fact that Dee has embraced her beliefs in intuition, and in people, to create a brilliant culture where it is no longer “every man for himself”.  

Here are my Top 3 reasons why working in the tag co-workspace is ideal for me: 

  1. Diverse Collection of People and Talents

The tag co-workspace is full of amazing people who specialize in all different types of work. There is not one day I will go there and not learn something new. As a student, I was nervous about working with so many experienced individuals. Now, I am grateful to be surrounded by so many experienced individuals. In the co-workspace, someone is always there to offer advice, provide feedback, share tips, computer shortcuts and jump in on a brainstorming session. It’s like an unexpected yet very much appreciated mentorship program.   

  1. Office Space and Access 

As much as everyone wants the perfect office to work out of, we simply can’t always afford to set up our own space. With a co-workspace, you get the benefits of a great environment to not only work in, but also show off to clients, at a fraction of the cost. An open concept, amazing lighting and multiple workstations are just a few of the perks at tag. Additionally, this co-workspace also has private meeting rooms, a mini kitchen, a music station and a ton of whiteboard walls to help bring ideas to life. Not to mention 24-hour access to the space. So whether you are an early bird or a night owl, you’re always able to put in your best work at the hours that suit you.      

  1. Support, Support, Support

A co-workspace is a support system that applies both personally and professionally. Need a sounding board for ideas? You got it. Need to vent about your writing block? Let’s hear it. Need to share an awkwardly long video about your kid’s field trip to Heritage Park last year? Someone wants to see that. In a co-workspace, your peers become your friends and oftentimes, your second family. They are there to help you through concept creation, design issues, marketing challenges, and even offer an open ear over a cup of tea if you need it. 

Here’s the thing about my experience working in the tag co-workspace… I don’t feel nervous anymore. I don’t feel scared. I do sometimes feel that I’m still not good enough, but that is on me and that takes time. The most important thing that I do not feel anymore is alone. I am also taking every opportunity to learn, to grow and to hopefully absorb everyone’s endless list of skills and talents through the sheer power of osmosis. Hey, if I stick around long enough, you never know what might happen right?