Godofredo (Freddy) Mendez – BA ’16, MA ’18
When did you work at Design Works/Union Marketing?
I started at DesignWorks in 2014.
What was your role here?
I started as a Shop Assistant, helping out with Annalise around the shop. When the position opened, I was able to help out with marketing and the creation of content.
If you could sum up your experience in Design Works in one-two words, what would it be?
Family, I think that’s the only word I need.
What was your first memory of working at Design Works?
I have so many, but the first one that is really vivid… I was helping Annalise, we were cutting stuff with the Exacto knife and I cut myself. I think it was the first or second week I was there, so I was so paranoid that I was going to get fired because I hurt myself and felt like a liability. I thought ‘Oh no, this is it, this is it. They don’t want somebody fumbling with their knives.’
What have you done since leaving Design Works and graduating from UNT? / What do you do now?
“It’s been wild. I left DesignWorks when I was still in school. I was finishing my Master’s. About a little bit over a year, I got into film classes. I started working on major projects and expanding a lit bit career-wise. I started doing social media content creation and analytics. During the same time, my dad owned several companies in town, but his health wasn’t doing so well. I never saw myself as a business owner, but I took over a couple of companies from him. I’m running a couple of companies and in the process of trying to open up my own comic book shop/coffee shop/video game shop. It’s been a long-term project and I feel like that would be my magnum opus of sorts.”
How did your time at Design Works prepare you for the future?
“I think DesignWorks really showed me adaptability. Before DesignWorks, I guess I had the mentality that you go to school and you study for one thing and you think that those are all the skills you’ll need to be successful, but it’s not true. At Designworks, the pace changed constantly, so I had to learn new skills and figure things out. Which is hilarious, because that knowledge translates to different things. It taught me to think quick on my feet and not be scared of jumping into the deep end of the pool.”
What was your favorite moment at Design Works? Careful lol
“During Halloween, when we dressed up as the Ew girls. Spencer and I decided to do the whole cross dress thing. I don’t know why, but at that moment, everyone always brings it up. When I talk to Spencer or Jonathan, it always comes up. Even Jonathan has mentioned that we should write a comedy about that.”
Favorite project you worked on? Any that stand out?
“My favorite project was definitely the green screen with Shane. To this day, that was probably one of the best synergies that I’ve had working on a crew with someone. Working on it was such an involved experience. There was so much creativity and challenge. It was so much fun. It also made DesignWorks feel like a family because everyone participated. You knew that you could ask someone for help and the help would be given. There was no such thing as begging people, everyone wanted to participate.”
What do you wish other people knew about Design Works?
“It’s not just a print shop. It’s so much more. It’s the kind of place with so many great minds. Maybe there is a thing not listed on the service sheet, but you can go in and get help. It’s basically a think tank. There are so many people from so many backgrounds creating and making things.”
A thing you miss about Design works? Things you miss about UNT?
“The friends and community I made there. I read a study that said most of your best friends will come from college and never believed it, but its so true. I stay in touch with everyone that I met in both undergrad and graduate school. Even in DesignWorks, we all worked so close, so we couldn’t help but to become friends. There is nothing greater. For example, I went to Chicago and I met with Jonathan. It was so great that he was eager to hang out. Even though we didn’t get to interact that much in Designworks, the connection was there. I think that is something DesignWorks enabled that sense of community and friendship.”
What’s your spirit animal?
What is your brain food?
What’s in your bag?
Video games, Nintendo Switch
What’s your favorite color?
What is your favorite thing about your job now?
This one is weird because I never thought I would be happy with it, but the unpredictability. I don’t have a set schedule, which is cool. It surprises me left and right. I’m challenged every day and I’m moving forward. I’m able to get projects that I never thought I would have the knowledge to do. Like I said, I never thought I was a business person, but all the experience I have accrued helps me see things from a different perspective I guess.
Advice for current students?
Don’t rush through things. Enjoy every second of it and try not to stress too much. Things always find a way to sort themselves out.