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Ketchum UK's Inclusion Council 'spotlight series' with Miguel Hernandez

Ketchum UK’s Inclusion Council returns with another ‘spotlight series’, this month featuring Miguel Hernandez, Midweight Designer, who sheds light on his journey into PR and his role at Ketchum.


Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Latin American, Considerate, Creative 

Describe your role within Ketchum in 10 words or less.
Bringing brands to life across different touchpoints. 

What does your typical day look like?
I cycle to work, get a hot drink for me and whomever is sitting next to me.
We always have a team catch up at 9:15 to see how everyone is doing and what we are all working on.
After that one of us will get snacks to share with the rest of the team.
I’ll focus for a few hours and ask for feedback. Talk about some design trend or a weird new typeface with the others. Then we all go for lunch (a fancier option if it is close to payday!).The afternoon passes quickly so I’ll be finishing my work, checking with the team that I’m working with that what I sent is correct and then wrap up for the day and maybe socialise with the team before heading home. 

Where or when do you feel your most creative?

As much as I love coming to work and being part of a team, I feel most creative when I am on my own and I have some time to sketch and write down my ideas. I particularly work better at night as the ambivert that I am (leaning more towards the introverted side of the spectrum).

Once I’ve come up with a concept or an idea, I find it incredibly helpful to get other people’s opinions, so that I take more points of view into consideration.

What energises you most about your role?
I love bringing an idea to life for a client and seeing their reaction.
I also love storyboarding. It’s very rewarding to turn someone’s script into visuals and think of all the transitions and layers of animation it could have. Pair that with choosing music and sound effects that would turn something conventionally thought of as ‘boring’ into something more exciting and aesthetically pleasing. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
1.  Don’t wait for something in your life to happen for you to finally allow yourself to be happy.
2. Use Paragraph Styles on InDesign 

What’s been the hardest lesson to learn?
How to set my own boundaries between work and life in post-lockdown world.
WFH obviously let me carry on providing for and looking after my family, but there was only so much Netflix I could watch, and banana loaves I could make. I just thought I needed to be productive all the time and be on top of things for the next day.
Going back to the office and seeing how other people on my team work and when they pause to have a little chat or make each other a cuppa helped me slow down a bit.
Also, having good people leading the design team and looking after us helped me get back on track.

Why chose comms for your creative career?
No two days are the same. I get to work with different brands and adapt my skills to projects that can range from animation for social media to logo design or even installations.
I also like having the chance to learn about so many topics that affect different people, and the solutions different teams give to these.

How can inclusive design push boundaries and drive innovation?
Part of the design process is to challenge what already exists and find a different point of view for something that might not be too familiar to us. Different backgrounds, and different ways of seeing and experiencing the world definitely contribute to this process. The more diverse a team is, the easier it will be to collectively put yourself in other people’s shoes and challenge biases and norms, which ultimately leads to innovation.

Highlight/most memorable moment at Ketchum so far…
When we all came back to work for the very first time after being in lockdown for so many months. It was such a nice feeling to see people at the office and do things together. I think it gave us a really strong sense of community as we had so many shared experiences and faced the same challenges.

And the karaoke at last year’s summer party was incredible! Everyone was singing and having fun.

My favourite work perk is…
The ‘own your own development’ initiative! I don’t know any other workplace that is as generous as Ketchum with enabling their employees to choose what courses/training to take to progress in their own career. I used it twice last year and it’s helped me with how I approach my projects.

When I’m not at my desk you’ll find me…
At the Rose and Crown. £6.50 for a burger and chips.