Thursday, December 22, 2016

T. Rowe Price



I am Thomas Yang, a Graphic Design senior at MICA. MICA guaranteed a certain level of artistic freedom, whereas T. Rowe Price taught me the practical graphic design that a financial company needs. 


T. Rowe Price provided a company-standard rule on color, ratio, and photographic composition. At first, it seemed cumbersome to me, but because all design projects had the similar basic format, I was able to make much more progress in a short amount of time. Learning how to be persuasive through imagery was another important skill in producing good graphic design work making this internship extremely helpful to me in improving my English as well as my design skills.

Michael Worobytz, the head of the Motion Graphics and Visual Design of Brand + Creative branch, was my direct supervisor. Every Thursday morning, he held one on one meetings to talk to interns about their concerns and stresses at work. Addressing this greatly influenced my relationship between with the branch.


Although I was not directly in charge of a project during my internship, I took a supporting role in the project of working on T. Rowe Price's comprehensive brand. I worked on many aspects of this project from the designing of small business cards to adjusting the visual elements of web design. As well as designing the bike jersey with the co-branded design of T. Rowe Price and British Legion and redesigning the previously used T. Rowe Price vector icons and giving them motion. One of the works I am most proud of is the business card design I did for the Tokyo branch of T. Rowe Price. No one working with me spoke Japanese and, although at the time I did not speak Japanese very well either, I had a sense of East Asian design layouts. I was also helped by my sister who can speak Japanese well. This allowed me to take a great role in completing the difficult business card project.


Working as an intern at T. Rowe Price, although for only a brief three months, was an invaluable experience during which I learned many things I couldn’t learn from school. One example is adhering to the company’s guidelines to ensure unity in all design products which was an approach completely different from my experience in school where I am free to design to the mood of the moment. Even more importantly, I learned the best designs are ones my audience find pleasing not just when it looks good to me. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

IBM Research


My name is Livia Song, and I’m a Graphic Design senior. I found my internship with IBM Research through a posting on s job listing website.

I learned an incredible amount when I interned at IBM Research, a place at the forefront of STEM research, this summer. I felt like I was working in a university facility with its own set of faculty who were not only focused on creating enterprise software, but on learning more about: chemistry and material sciences, algorithms, hardware, software architecture, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and cognitive services.

My supervisor’s name was Justin Weisz, the Director of the Mobile Solutions and Infrastructure branch whose specialty is in CS and HCI. Although he was my overseer, he did not give me major design advice as he conceded that it was not his area of expertise. My design mentor was Kate Vogt whose advice and directions I followed despite her not being my supervisor.

I worked as the sole Visual Designer for the mobile solutions team along with a user experience designer to create and maintain a visual identity for Zion, our iOS native healthcare application project. Zion is meant to serve as an aid for medical professionals so that they can create and follow up on care plans for patients, as well as monitor for any worrying changes in health. I worked with all sorts of developers and designers - half of the Zion team was even located across the Atlantic, in Ireland!

I am most proud of managing the workload of an “adult” job though I regret not having broken out of my shell more. I’m also proud of having landed the internship in the first place because it opened my mind to a world I had not known of before. The knowledge I gained of mobile application workflow from conception to implementation will likely prove to be invaluable as well.


I am definitely looking forward to working in or  with the tech industry in the future.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Drexler


My name is Joar Heiberg and I'm a Graphic Design senior. During the summer of 2016, I was a design intern at Drexler in Baltimore. I had initially gone through the selection and interview process with Blue State Digital in Washington, D.C., and had been offered an internship. Unfortunately, that opportunity fell through due to conflicting schedules. In a conversation with Brockett Horne, the department chair of Graphic Design, she asked if I had reached out to Drexler. I sent Drexler an email with a cover letter and a link to my online portfolio. The following day, I received an email asking if I could come for an interview. Prior to the interview I did research on the work that Drexler does, and I found their work to be inspiring. I wanted the main focus of my internship this summer to be on digital design. The interview went well, and the Drexler team was accommodating in working around my summer class. During the duration of the summer class, I was at Drexler for two days a week, and afterwards I worked there full time.



Drexler is a full-service creative agency, but their primary focus is on digital design for web and email. They have both retainer clients who require daily work and clients who reach out with specific needs. My direct supervisor was Mike McNeive, one of the founding partners of Drexler.



As a designer at Drexler, I was involved in a variety of projects. The first project I worked on was an exploration for a website for an upscale bed and breakfast in New York. The client wanted a different aesthetic than what the first round of designs from Drexler provided so I was asked to do some exploration.


Another website I worked on was for Mt. Cuba Center, a botanic garden in Delaware. Part of the website is dedicated to allowing the public to sign up for an account and take classes at the garden. The registration process, class overview and history, and payment is all done through a third party system on the native site. I designed the style guides for the third party system to reflect the design of the other pages of the website.

I also worked on Drexler’s latest email client, Chewy, a Florida-based company which sells pet products such as food and accessories on the web. As a new client, this work included much visual exploration to push the client to define what the brand looks like and how it behaves in email marketing.

Working with clients I found to be creatively challenging and very self-directed. At times, when asking the client for feedback, it was limited to, “We don’t like this, what else do you have to show us?” My job was then to return to exploration until I could find what exactly their vision was.

I am proud to say I received an offer to stay on as a designer one day a week during the fallwhich I accepted as I wish to continue to grow and pursue my skills in digital design. I appreciate that all the hard work and positive attitude I put in represented me as someone who is valuable to the team at Drexler. The most important thing I learned at Drexler was to be even more self-guided than I have been in the past, and to know when and where to ask for feedback and direction. I was given tremendous creative freedom, and this experience taught me the importance of being specific when asking for feedback on a project. I also learned the value of not becoming too attached to my ideas, especially during client-based work. My internship at Drexler has re-emphasized the interest I have in creating digital solutions through great UI/UX.