At Work

Beyond the Canvas: Crafting Financial Narratives as a Creative Design Intern

3 Mins read
Patrick Ayo George; Creative Design Intern- COWRYWISE
Patrick Ayo George- Creative Design Intern - COWRYWISE

Dreams really do come true! Writing this with immense joy, I’m still pinching myself in awe of the reality that I finally had the opportunity to work with the Cowrywise team.

My design journey

I started my design journey with Coreldraw, volunteering my design skills for various NGOs. Back then, I wasn’t too concerned about the intricacies of arrangement, colour theories, or design systems. My primary goal was to create visually pleasing designs for the NGOs. A habit I developed early on was constantly observing other people’s designs, gradually building a strong design perspective, and realizing the need for personal growth in my skills.

With the guidance of my mentor at the time, Omoabugan Ezekiel, I began expanding my knowledge beyond Coreldraw. Learning to use Photoshop opened up new possibilities for me. Additionally, I started following design leaders on X (Twitter), soaking in insights and staying updated with industry trends.

During this exploration, I came across designs from various companies, and Cowrywise, in particular, caught my eye. The branding, design direction, and system fascinated me to the point of having an “ahn ahn” moment. It was then that I decided, “I have to work here!” 

This attraction then led me to join the Cowrywise ambassadors’ community earlier this year (2023) which was a major win for me and a significant step toward realizing my dream of working with Cowrywise as a designer. I vividly recall how the Ambassador’s Community prepared me for applying to intern at Cowrywise, with the Community Lead’s advice ringing in my ears: “...put your best foot forward.” Taking his words to heart, I gave it my all, and the result? I got in, though after my second application trial. Today, I’m thrilled to share my journey as a Design intern at Cowrywise.

My First Day at the Cowrywise HQ

My first day stepping into Cowrywise HQ marked the beginning of my internship journey. Initially, there were nerves, but that quickly melted away when I met Rotimi, my internship partner, at the reception. In less than 30 minutes, we hit it off and became ‘Bros for life.’ Timi Joel, the community lead, and our intern manager, welcomed us warmly and guided us through the onboarding process, laying out the focus points and objectives of the internship to steer us on this Cowrywise adventure.

Next up, he introduced us to our line managers. Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting the mastermind behind the incredible Cowrywise stunning designs—Kizito, the Creative Designer. He generously walked me through the brand’s design guidelines, turning my dream of understanding the creation process behind Cowrywise’s visual designs into a reality.

Understanding the Hybrid Model

Before now, I had only worked from home and didn’t really know how to juggle both remote and in-office work.

My time interning at Cowrywise gave me a firsthand taste of the dynamic work style that comes with a hybrid model. Learning how to connect and communicate online was a significant part of the experience. This hybrid setup not only highlighted the need for good communication but also played a key role in helping me become more disciplined, improve my time management, and enhance my communication skills.

Designing for Growth 🚀

After spending a week finding my footing, I dived into honing my illustration skills under the guidance of my fantastic Line Manager, Kizito. My task involved creating blog headers, pushing me to venture into the realm of illustrations. Surprisingly, in less than three weeks, I transformed from someone unfamiliar with illustrations to crafting diverse visuals tailored to their needs.

From illustrations, I transitioned to mastering typography on Figma, expanding my understanding of using Figma for media designs and, crucially, refining my workflow. Motion design was also on the agenda. While I had some basic knowledge of After Effects, working on three different practice projects and receiving guidance from Kizito allowed me to accomplish tasks and learn in the process.

These experiences reinforced the idea that as a budding multidisciplinary designer, thinking outside the box is essential, and improvement comes through consistent practice. Among the various projects, one that stood out was the Cowrywise x Sporting Lagos Marketing Ad Animation. Collaborating with Grillo, the Marketing and Growth Lead at Cowrywise, on this project was particularly enjoyable, providing not only a chance to create but also an opportunity for a meaningful conversation that allowed me to know him better.

Patrick Ayo George- Final Internship Presentation

What Next?

Beyond enhancing my skills, the internship significantly improved my interpersonal abilities and how effectively I conveyed my ideas to teammates. It wasn’t just about personal growth; it gave me a profound understanding of designing for growth, shaping my aspirations, and setting the stage for my next steps in the design journey. Now, I can proudly say I actively design with growth in mind! 

As I look ahead post-internship, my focus areas include:

  • Cultivating a growth mindset for design.
  • Improving my proficiency in creating illustrations and animations.
  • Working more on my time management and applying the principles I’ve learned here at Cowrywise.

I am sincerely thankful for this rare opportunity, and I am committed to spreading the word about this transformative experience. A special shoutout to the incredible individuals at Cowrywise, and heartfelt gratitude to Liz and Ebenezer for fostering a remarkable People Culture.

Thank you, Cowrywise! It’s time for me to think beyond the canvas and approach design differently!

If you are reading this and you are interested in participating in the Cowrywise ambassador internship program, click here to apply to become a campus ambassador and gain access to this once-in-a-lifetime chance.


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