A few short weeks ago, I fulfilled a designer’s dream when I attended Adobe MAX conference in Las Vegas. Surrounded by 12,000 like-minded creatives, I felt an overwhelming feeling of community. Participants traveled from across the globe to experience the summit that is Adobe.

The overarching takeaway I experienced from this conference is a solidification of my career as a graphic designer. Traveling halfway across the country meant a lot, not only for Swim, but for me as a young designer. Three days of sessions, hands-on labs, and celebrity keynotes are a lot to soak in, yet I was ready to learn. Here are two of my favorite takeaways from the week:

Building Your Personal Brand

This session really made me think introspectively about how a personal brand can be applied to our team and to our clients as well. Stephen Gates charged the room with powerful examples of establishing a well-defined image. He also spoke about luck and that it does not exist in the workplace. Instead, he claims that luck is the residual of skill. With skill you can seize opportunity, as it appears much more easily. 

Fast and Fearless: Pitching, Prototyping, and Executing in the Enterprise

Two powerful in-house creatives from Wyndham Hotels led the classroom through a day in their lives as Directors of design. Every day they’re up against managing and pitching nearly two dozen different brands that have to still remain under the same umbrella. This session was wonderful to see similar struggles and compromises that arise when trying to mesh brand standards with a sales team’s goals. It must all add up to one cohesive communication. Testing and analyzing data makes for easier pitching. When the idea seemed great, but yours can be backed up with results and is on brand, then you are far more likely to win over the room. 

Adobe MAX has been a high point of both 2017 and my future as a graphic designer. From the lecture sessions that made me think about the future, to the hands-on learning I took straight back to work and applied with the team, I didn’t want it to end. When you love what you do, then you really can’t call it work.