Walk-in to say hi?

Postby mirk » February 11th, 2013, 7:42 pm

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So I have my reading week coming up next week, and I haven't had a vacation in a long time so I'm thinking of flying out somewhere and just hanging out in a completely different environment for a few days. Cheapest flights to a relatively far place are to New York.

As luck has it, I'm applying to a bunch of places in New York for summer internships, some who I've already had contact with of various levels (application sent but no reply yet, had an interview recently), and some I've had no contact with at all.

I'm thinking of stopping by a few of these places, just to introduce myself, maybe hand out a card or two, not going door-to-door with my portfolio or anything. Does this seem like a reasonable thing to do, or will I be seen as an inconvenience and burn any possible bridges right there?
Michael Coyle

Portfolio: mcoyledesign.com
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Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby Travisimo » February 12th, 2013, 7:14 am

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Why don't you request informational interviews...

If they don't have time for that.. identify an interesting guy working there and offer to buy them lunch and a chat. You'll learn about the local design business and make a new contact/friend out of it.

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby rkuchinsky » February 12th, 2013, 12:05 pm

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I wouldn't stop by un-announced. Not good form. Call ahead, let them know you'll be in town for a couple of days and ask if you can meet up for an informal meeting or take someone to lunch. Best if you can speak with someone specific not the HR or secretary.

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Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby slippyfish » February 12th, 2013, 6:22 pm

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You could camp outside their office doors, wait until lunchtime, and then put on a show, play guitar, do some crazy memorable event that will have people (hopefully some of your new office-mates) talking about you. Then follow up the next week with a "remember this guy?"

This would work at my agency. But we aren't conventional.

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby PackageID » February 12th, 2013, 7:41 pm

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I agree with Travis and R. Try to make a contact and ask to buy someone lunch. Showing up un-announced could back fire.

Slippyfish - I don't know that would work for me.

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Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby mirk » February 12th, 2013, 10:44 pm

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Thanks for the advice guys! Slippy, I think I'll stick with the conventional route this time, maybe you'll see me if I'm ever in Seattle :P

I guess the next step is to start calling! Any tips on how to get a hold of the right person?

Also, if anyone is in the area from the 18th to 20th (inclusively), let me know, I could use some company.
Michael Coyle

Portfolio: mcoyledesign.com
Twitter: @mcoyledesign
kijanitechnology.com

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby sprockets » February 13th, 2013, 12:21 am

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Walk-ins are always a favorite of mine because those that I have encountered have had extremely memorable resumes but not in a way that any job seeker would want. My all-time favorite really did get attention from junior designers on up to the director because it was such a laugh. I really regret not making a copy of it. It was a one-piece resume and portfolio teaser delivered in person by a hopeful job seeker who did not even want to spend more than 30 seconds in the office (I offered a dime tour and I was shot down!). Anyway, the document was a single B-sized printout rolled up and held with a rubber-band. Unfurling the paper exposed an apparently random assemblage of images, sketches, and renders with a list of key interests and character traits that included an interest in sexy design, an interest in sex, and character traits of virility and sexiness.

I am 99% sure it was not a joke.
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Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby hatts » February 13th, 2013, 2:20 pm


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I would definitely advise against a walk-in. It's just a pattern I've noticed about (smallish) studios in NYC: everyone's overworked/understaffed and trying desperately to get their work done during business hours. Unexpected guests, or cold calls, or gimmicks ("Hey I sent you guys a pizza!), sort of just distract.

I cannot speak for corporate offices or extra large agencies.

BTW, feel free to PM if you want to grab a beer during your trip.
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Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby Greenman » February 13th, 2013, 3:08 pm

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hatts wrote:I cannot speak for corporate offices or extra large agencies.


I've had people get a hold of me via the receptionist and a few more resourceful geeks got my direct line and called me directly. In one case I gave them some of my time, offered to set up an informational tour with an employee here who does that, I never heard back.

If someone walked it it would be purely the roll of the dice on whether I felt accommodating that day to take the time to review their work and give them a tour. I would, however, set the precedent right up front whether or not we are hiring. In this economy, if a position is not posted publicly, I wouldn't bother walking in.

If you can do a good impression I would encourage you to try a Walken Walk-In, they might not hire you, but damn that would be funny.
All dots connect, even the tiny blue one

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby sanjy009 » February 13th, 2013, 6:18 pm

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When I was in the US I arranged some visits by PM'ing some people on these boards. One of the benefits of this form of networking. People can get an idea of you from what you post, your opinions and interests etc.

Bear in mind you are taking up their time, so a no may not be a no, just a no at the time which is convenient for you.

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby leezard » February 15th, 2013, 3:17 pm


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If someone tried to just walk in to where I work, they'd be turned away at the door. Because we work on a lot of specialized proprietary projects we can't just let any random person walk in the door unannounced. I imagine a lot of other design studios would be similar, they don't want any random person catching a glimpse of patent-pending or proprietary product information. When we have people coming in for tours we get advance notice to take down a huge poster of one of our ongoing projects and put it away until they're gone and make sure we don't leave sensitive material just laying around our desks, etc.

However, if you called enough in advance interested in an open position we have available we would probably make some time to talk to you or show you around. It may be just the culture at my company, but we'd be a little put out by the presumptuousness of someone just waltzing in expecting us to drop everything for them.

Remember, if a company is hiring that probably means they have more work to do than they have employees to handle so all the employees are probably going to be swamped with work and might not necessarily have the time to meet with you.

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby mirk » February 24th, 2013, 5:52 pm

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Thanks again for the input everyone! The main reason I was asking was because I had midterms the week before and didn't have much time to set meetings up. I wanted to gauge the response I would get and the responses I received exactly replicated the feedback here.

I called/emailed ahead to a few places and offered to buy lunch and most agreed. Got some great information and even made a few connections. One guy liked my work but wasn't sure if they could use me so he sent me over to another place telling me to name drop him to get through the door, but I got turned away even with that (though some emailing later on cleared it up).
Michael Coyle

Portfolio: mcoyledesign.com
Twitter: @mcoyledesign
kijanitechnology.com

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby Travisimo » February 25th, 2013, 4:02 pm

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Good job!

Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby Lmo » February 25th, 2013, 6:47 pm

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Good job!


And stay in touch. The more folks you work with this way, the better you will get at it, and as you've now observed for yourself, the more doors will start to open.
Lew Morris
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Re: Walk-in to say hi?

Postby mirk » March 11th, 2013, 1:28 pm

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Working on staying in touch now!
It's been 2.5 weeks, I started to follow up after 1.5 weeks, but I'm experiencing some slow downs on the HR side of things. This has happened before, and I ended up giving them too much space, trying not to be a nuisance, and HR lost my file and hired someone else, despite a strong recommendation from within the company, so I'm not eager to let that happen again.
Is it bad form to check in with my original contact again, having tried and failed to get a hold of HR multiple times a day for the past week?
Michael Coyle

Portfolio: mcoyledesign.com
Twitter: @mcoyledesign
kijanitechnology.com

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