For those recently in the work force, what are your biggest surprises and learnings so far?
A LOT. School to me was essentially giving me the ingredients - presentation, design, basic html. Work is where I make the fucking sandwich.
Actual understanding of internal deliverables can be really hard to grasp - in school you're always following a syllabus, there's a checklist you're ticking off.
Knowing what to bring for an internal review versus a regroup versus a client presentation - well that just takes time. Figuring out when it's okay to play outside of the box is also a delicate ecosystem.
Digital thinking is also something I never learned in school (contrary to popular belief). It's one thing to slap a "we'll use Twitter" on a campaign, it's another to understand the social structure or if it's even the right platform.