Creatives Abroad
23 January 2017 - Impact Hub Berlin

Creatives Abroad

A thriving graduation project at Impact Hub Berlin

By Matthijs van Son, graduation student & initiator of Creatives Abroad.

Let’s imagine you’ve decided to pursue a personal ambition: Choosing your own graduation project focusing on creating the best international working experience possible. For this you’re embarking on a working adventure abroad, travelling to 4 different European cities within 4 months. The questions is: Where do you choose to work?

We chose Impact Hub. Undoubtedly one of the best choices we could have made for our project.

We are two Communication & Multimedia Design graduation students who see that many students are facing problems like financing, the lack of connections in the foreign country and the fear of missing relatives when considering an internship abroad. This results in relatively few junior creatives actually going abroad to work. We had the ambition to create the best possible international working experience for junior creatives there is, touching on these specific problems. The goal of our project was to develop an encouraging concept by researching and designing working abroad with the shareholders involved.

We started the project in Lisbon in our own Airbnb apartment. We picked the place based on the assumption of it being a comfortable working space. Major requirement: a big working table. However, as the apartment was still relatively small, we were working in the same space we ate, slept and watched TV shows in. Not a great idea. So, not unexpectedly, we concluded that working ‘at home’ was a no go.

Then we decided to continue our experiment by starting to work in a coworking space. We experienced that change of scenery and some ‘routine’ can be key for motivation, focus and productivity. Plus, simply having a nice working table and power sockets around made the experience stand out from working in bars for example. As creatives, we are producing a chaos of sketches, notes and post-its every day, so we did need space. Besides, heavy Adobe applications run overtime, so we really needed the charging power.

Our next step was to move on to Stockholm to start working at the local Impact Hub. There we learnt that another value is also important to us and to our project: The feeling of being part of a community. Feeling welcome; working alongside like-minded people you can learn from and share your ideas with; feeling like you’re all working on similar goals, as if you’re one big company.

All of this we experienced again in Berlin. More so, Impact Hub Berlin made us realize that the efforts taken to stimulate social interactions on a more personal level are the key to achieving this sense of community. From a detailed and playful member board to Kaffee & Kuchen, Community Lunch or Wine Downs, these community events were very valuable for our project as we noticed that our concept was still lacking this real feeling of a community.

Besides being an inspiration to our project, the Impact Hubs supported us and our project in many other ways as well. They granted us access to rooms to host events and meetings, connected us to interesting contacts for our project and made us a kind deal regarding the terms of our short-term membership. We can say that regarding our financial limitations as students, this made a real difference to the project. The other project-defining decision we made in Berlin was organizing a short project pilot: a one-week internship for a team of two creative juniors to work on a local company challenge. We found a partner in crime at Impact Hub Budapest and project four started! Once again Impact Hub rocked our project by connecting us to the right people!

Find more details on their project here!