Why I Chose Elasticity
Peter Panda

If you would’ve asked me last year if I thought I’d end up working full-time for Elasticity, I might have said no.

I arrived at 1008 Locust St., overeager and overdressed, for the first day of my internship on Monday, May 22, 2017. I was greeted by Denny Blackwell in our lobby, which is also a Tiny Bar (seriously). It was no later than 8:15 a.m., and we were the only two people in the building.

After Denny and I exchanged small talk, he went about his day’s real, non-intern work. And I, of course, stared at my empty email inbox. Is this a test? I thought. Is someone going to jump out and karate-kick me?

Just a few minutes later, I received my first company-wide email. It was from Denny:

“Dominique is on 4.”

Dominique? That’s not my name. I mean, there are some cool guys named Dominique, like Dominique Wilkins. But shouldn’t I be worried that my coworkers don’t know my name?

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this story and why I stuck around after my shaky start. I’ll keep it brief. Looking back more than a year later, my first day as an intern taught me a lesson that not only made me want to stay at Elasticity, but that I still use today.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

I don’t know about you, but college taught me to button up, shine my shoes and stay on my best behavior. None of that is inherently bad, but an inability to loosen up from time to time stifles your energy and creativity (at least it did for me). Not to mention, it can make you a pain in the ass to work with.

It seems like all companies, especially creative agencies, rely on the “work hard, play hard” persona to attract young talent. But after interviewing at several other agencies (which shall remain nameless) I can safely say Elasticity is the only one that can back that up.

Sure, we’ll stay late at the office to finish a deck. But we also wear tank tops on Tuesdays. We’ll drive ourselves crazy figuring out the right word or color palette. But we have an assortment of mustachioed robots in our office, too.

You don’t need a suit and tie to effectively manage brand reputation. You don’t need industry jargon to impress clients. And you don’t need everyone at the office to have your name memorized when you show up for your first day in order to have a meaningful career.

It took me a while to figure that out, but it’s why I chose Elasticity.

Oh, and don’t worry, Denny. I forgive you.

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

Creative, Culture | 10.16.2018
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