#WFH Diaries: Palak Kapadia, Student at Miami Ad School

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend society and business, we're checking in with people in the creative industry to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Palak Kapadia, a student at Miami Ad School in New York.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Indian girl in New York City who claims to be a copywriter but mostly just eats a lot of pizza.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

In an apartment with two roommates who are also advertising creatives. So it's not uncommon to hear us reading funny Cannes-celled tweets really loudly or announcing that yet another brand separated its logo.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I'll be graduating from Miami Ad School in June. I was supposed to spend this final quarter at VMLY&R to get some practical experience. But with how much everything has changed in the past few weeks, the school thought it'd be best for us to just take classes instead. So I'm currently taking classes online, working on D&AD New Blood briefs and applying for jobs.

Describe your socializing strategy.

One thing I love about this situation is how much time it has given me to catch up with friends and family back home. We do frequent video calls and play games online. I've recently discovered my exceptional talent for online Pictionary.

How are you dealing with childcare?

I don't have kids. But honestly, at this point, I am the child. So self-care includes reading, meditation and copious amounts of Ben & Jerry's.

What are you reading?

You mean besides COVID conspiracy theories?

What are you watching?

I love This Is Us. And Gossip Girl reruns for when I want something running in the background. Nothing takes one's mind off things like the secrets and scandals of Manhattan's elite.

What are you listening to?

NYT's Modern Love podcast. It's my daily dose of warm fuzzies.

How are you staying fit?

That's something I'm struggling with. In the pre-WFH age, most of my exercise came from walking to school/work. But I'm trying to get into a yoga habit with the help of this YouTube channel called Yoga With Adriene.

Have you taken up a hobby?

I've been cooking a lot, and surprisingly, I'm not completely terrible. I'm taking DuoLingo Spanish lessons more diligently. I'm also taking a Yale course called The Science of Well-Being online. I'm only a week in and it's fascinating. I'm very excited to see how it goes.

Any tips for getting necessities?

As infrequently as possible, from local businesses as much as possible, staying six feet away from everyone always!

An awkward moment since all this started.

Learning that House Party accepts all incoming video calls by default.

Best work email you got since all this started.

One of my professors sent a course outline that went:

You'll make 3 campaigns in the next 10 weeks. You get 3 weeks to finish each campaign. 10th week is your final presentation where you present all 3 ideas.
You'll come up with 10 ideas for each brief/assignment. Not less. Not more. Ten Ideas. (Don't come up with thoughts, come up with well thought out ideas.)
You take my consolidated feedback from the first 2 weeks and present the final deck.
Simple. Solid 21 days to build one idea. That's a lot of time. No reasons for not having it done.

I've been missing the pace of my regular life. This made me go, "Ah, normalcy."

An aha! moment since all this started.

Realizing I truly, madly, deeply love what I do. I was having proper withdrawals on like day 3. I know this is true for a lot of us because of how regularly I hear people mention how much they miss their agencies and the people they work with.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I'm trying not to speculate much and take each day as it comes. But I can't stop thinking about the day it'll all be over. The noise, the full restaurants, the hugs! I can't wait for life to be less airport rules and more airport reunions.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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