Web Development Immersive student turned Expert in Residence Andrea has teamed up with fellow GA-er to co-found Nature of the Beast, a creative company that works with socially-minded companies.
Follow Andrea on Twitter: @butterloverz
What brought you to General Assembly?
I was working for English Heritage as a historic consultant and was frustrated by the lack of permanent positions in the heritage and museums industry. I wanted to skill up without going back for a second masters degree, so I started looking at tech programs. GA was down the road from me in London and had literally just set up at the time. I took the second Web Development Immersive course to run in London.
You’ve come full-circle with us! Tell us about your role as an Expert-in-Residence at GA and how it helps further your skills as a developer.
As any developer can tell you, it’s nearly impossible to feel like an expert when something new comes out every day! I have had the experience of going from total newbie to competent developer, so there is an element of being able to relate to what is often a pretty shocking learning curve. I really enjoy teaching beginners to code and it helps me explore a lot more about the languages that I write, and seeing them from a new perspective. I don’t code on a daily—or weekly—basis anymore with my new company, but learning to code opened so many doors to an industry that I was previously completely uninvolved with.
We hear you launched a startup with one of our staff members. Tell me about your company?
I’ve started a creative agency called Nature of the Beast. We only work with good-natured companies doing social or environmental good. Tom, my co-founder is a designer with a background in advertising. We do everything from design to development, marketing to social media, as well as creative strategy. Our main clients at the moment are food and drink brands and music festivals.
Where did the idea stem from?
I have been working as an Expert in Residence at General Assembly on the Front-End Web Development program for the last year and Tom was working Front Lines while he was starting up Nature of the Beast. He got the idea for the agency after his time at the Do School in Hamburg. I joined him originally just to build the website, but quite organically became so immersed in the concept that in December last year I came on board as Co-founder. We launched officially in January and had an epic launch party at one of the GA London campuses in March.
What have you learned about yourself in the past year?
I’ve learned that I am less risk averse than most people, even though I still don’t see a lot of what I’m doing as risky. I also have learned that I am very stubborn and probably a workaholic. And finally, I’ve learned that I love what I do and that’s why it doesn’t feel like a job to me. It’s just what I want to be doing with my life.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sometimes I eat butter like it’s yogurt.
Brianna Plaza is an Email Marketing Producer at General Assembly. As an alumni, she conducts interviews with her peers to capture success stories from around the world.