The One Where Whole Foods Came to Visit

Hello AMA family! 

Welcome back to a new school year! This year has been filled with many unexpected changes for all of us, whether that be getting used to online classes, juggling home life with school life, taking care of our mental health, or finding ways to stay positive and creative. 

As a business student, this challenging time can definitely make an already overwhelming process of job searching, networking, and recruiting even tougher, especially when all personal and professional relationships have to be built through Zoom! 

Fortunately, AMA has had the opportunity to invite guest speakers to come and talk to us about their experiences in a more comfortable setting and possibly make this an easier task for all of us, whether you are a freshman navigating career options, or a junior looking for that key internship. 

Introducing Madeline Cuba: Whole Foods Designer 

This past Tuesday, we had the pleasure of speaking with Madeline Cuba, a designer for Whole Foods Market, and she walked us through some of the unique projects she has had an opportunity to create for Whole Foods, many of which you might recognize from a billboard or two! Madeline graduated from UT in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science and as an Advertising major. During her time on campus, she worked with Texas Creatives as their Art Director and, after college, later went on to work as a designer at both LinkedIn and Nordstrom before beginning her work with Whole Foods. 

Designing in a COVID and Digital-Driven World 

Similarly to how I’m sure many of us are feeling right now, Madeline talked about some of the challenges of staying creative and adjusting her outlook during this sensitive time of COVID. Especially as a designer, she detailed how it was important to her and the Whole Foods Brand to remain aware of their customers’ difficulties and to not put out anything that was disrespectful or seemed to ignore the elephant in the room, the financial, personal, and emotional struggles brought on by the pandemic. 

Unfortunately, this meant that some of the designs Madeline had been working on since the beginning of the year had to be modified, and while unexpected, as a designer, flexibility is a very important skill to have. Because the designs she and the Whole Foods team work on are directly related to seasonal changes, customer feedback, and cultural environments as a whole, it is part of her line of work to observe these changes and, accordingly, adjust to them in order to remain impactful and relevant. 

Madeline also spoke about her work with the new digital side of designing, including creating designs specific to Instagram or other social media platforms, building GIFs, Insta story stickers, and boomerang videos, and how translating a design from one form of media to another is an additional challenge in this new tech-driven age. 

Recognize These? Take a Look at Some of Madeline’s Amazing Designs! 

Campaign for “Polaroid: feel real” 

Campaign for “Philips Wake-up Light: Conquer Mornings” 

Campaign for “Chinet: More Fun for Your Fancy” 

(See more of Madeline’s designs at http://www.madelinecuba.com/portfolio)

Throughout this session, Madeline not only detailed a day-in-the-life as a designer at Whole Foods, but she also took us through some of the challenges that come with her job and especially when working from home in a pandemic. Along the way, we got to see some of the amazing and inspiring designs from her portfolio and truly learned what inspires her as a designer in both her personal and professional life! 

As Madeline explained, it can be difficult to think outside-the-box and adjust during such an isolating time. Yet, it is when we take advantage of these moments that we make the biggest impacts! I challenge our AMA family to use this time to be creative and reach beyond our limits, whether that is something career-focused, like taking advantage of exciting internships you can now access remotely, or something in your personal life, like taking the time to try a new hobby! 

BY ANANYA GOKHALE

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