INTERNSHIP STORIES

Submitted by students, these are internship experiences told first-hand.

Friday, April 3, 2020

FILMARTIST Creative Agency


I found this internship when they did a pop-up show at Stackt market in Toronto. Stackt has taken unused land and transformed it into an experience of curated discovery. It’s designed entirely out of shipping containers. I really loved this space and the concept but was very interested in the interactive work FILMARTIST had done.

FILMARTIST is a creative agency dedicated to crafting innovative and artistic contents for brands and businesses. By harnessing the talent of commercial artists, brand specialists and digital content creators, they produce memorable visual experiences and design.

My direct supervisor was the co-founder of the agency. I was involved in the design process of many of their projects, including design the 3D/4D graphics of an augmented reality business card. I also designed a lot of things for proposals like an interactive, immersive experience gallery space for two artists in China. I designed web layouts and logos for clients as well. I was given a lot of creative freedom in making interesting gifs for their social media using C4D.

I am most proud of getting out of my comfort zone and trying things I’ve never done before. I was encouraged to experiment, which lead to many new learning experiences and developing new skills. Some new skills I have acquired from this internship is understanding how AR works a little better and how to create virtual spaces.My biggest take away was how important communication is in design. Convincing a client to take chances and try untraditional and unconventional solutions is a challenge. It’s important to make them feel confident in investing in these projects. 

This internship really helped solidify my goal to work in the intersection of graphic design and interactive arts. I was unsure of how I would like it, but it excited me and I loved learning new things about technology and its endless possibilities.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Creative Capital Shanghai


I learned about this Creative Capital Shanghai (CC) from a MICA alum. CC is a brand advertising company and now it is collaborating with Altavia, a French advertising firm. My direct supervisor was the creative department manager.

I participated in design idea generating, presentation designing and even designed a project independently. I learned how to present my work more professionally. When I was in school, I only needed to think about my own feelings about the design, but when I work, I have to think about how everyone feels about the design, not just from the designer's point of view.

I am most proud of my time management and multi-stream working schedule. I learned about managing my time with various projects going on, and I think designing culturally is the most important thing I have learned. I am also more familiar with Adobe Suites.

This internship experience has given me a better understanding of what people at a branding company do, and showed me the right attitude to have at work. I'm also more responsible with my work, because the design is no longer just your own responsibility, it’s about the whole team.


Monday, March 30, 2020

WIX Design Playground


I had my first internship in the US this summer, and it turned out to be one of the best experiences in my design learning. Instead of being like an internship, Wix Design Playground is more like an academy of website design and project management. It is affiliated to Wix.com, who attribute their expertise and powers to help and educate the young designers. 

I learned the information about this program through the MICA Career Fair. Vuong, the head of Wix Design Playground, visited MICA and had a brief interview with me. Afterward, I had one more online interview with another program leader before I was accepted. This 7-hour a day, 5-day a week for 3 months program is actually a little bit
heavy for the summer, however, I enjoy the intensity and am very satisfied with what I

acquired.

During the 3-month program, we are given diverse resources to develop our own interests and careers such as lectures, workshops, and one-on-one instruction. In the meantime, we have gained a lot of professional knowledge and experiences through real-world projects, for example, making a marketing landing page for One World Book, and designing the front-to-end website for non-profit organizations. In the end, we are also re-building our own portfolio in an online space under the mentorship of the Wix team.

I learned by practicing every aspect of a high-end website design project including
UI/UX, production, styling, content writing, code & content management, and
client & project management. More importantly, the people I met in the program are the most valuable takeaway for me. Both my fellow group members and mentors are passionate about what we do, which creates a positive and supportive environment to learn and to improve. It further facilitates us to explore our potential and more possibilities for creative performances.

I feel more confident in my abilities as a designer as well as getting clearer ideas about my future career path. It reminds me of what I stepped into the design industry for and provides me a very good reference for my career development.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

SONY Music


I got this internship through a family friend who used to work at Sony. She put me in contact with Sony Music Canada director of the office I worked at then he linked me to my supervisor. 

I am very proud of the new skills I learned such as improving my Photoshop skills and learning how to make GIFs. I have also learned how to network and create professional relationships. 

I was responsible for designing GIFs for artists, create playlist album covers, helped with some artists websites. I was also asked to help film for GIFs, videos, and for photography artists. 

This internship helped clarify my career goal and helped me realize that I want to work
more in the music and entertainment industry, but still as a graphic designer.



Thursday, March 26, 2020

Google UX Design


I applied to Google’s UX design internship online through their application portal. My New York office offer was finalized in early April. Although the hiring process is quite opaque, I assume that I stood out in the candidate pool because of the diverse design projects I worked on outside of class and my in-depth progress for my design challenge. During my interviews, I also spoke confidently and engagingly about my designs.







I lead the development of two UX projects for Google Docs and proposed new solutions that make it easier for users to work in Docs. Being the first to work on a new problem space at Google, I wasn’t given specific design instructions. Instead, I took it into my own hands to research the problem area and discover useful data to identify previously unthoughtful design directions. I also actively prepared and set up user studies to test my ideas and learn more about user behavior. Throughout the process, I kept my design on track through collaborative meetings with PMs, UX managers, and other designers. I’m proud of striking the balance between working independently and collaboratively and taking active steps to solve an intricate design challenge.


I have grown so much as a designer and person from this internship. My biggest take-aways are:

1. Don’t be afraid to talk with designers and other professionals about life, work, and everything else in between. At Google, I arranged countless coffee chats, lunches, and 1-on-1s with Googlers that I had never met before. Everyone I met had diverse expertise and plenty of inspiration, ideas, guidance to offer.

2. Learn to see and craft stories around your designs. The work you make never lives in a vacuum. I often thought of design as artifacts: type on a page, image, colors in an illustration, webpage on a screen. At Google, I learned to acutely examine UX design not just as interfaces but as products that people use in their daily life. By evaluating user journeys, I recognized how these digital touch points aren’t just static screens but react and depend on settings, actions, and conditions beyond the product itself.

I solidified my interest in designing for tech. I connected with designers of various seniority,
experience, and specialty. I plan to work in Tech for at least a couple of years before moving onto other fields.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Pentagram


Working at Pentagram Design has been a dream internship and a dream summer. Not only was it an amazing experience to be working at Pentagram, but I couldn’t have asked for a better, more fun team to work in!

Team Oberman does a lot of work in the entertainment industry. I was lucky to be a part of the team that was working on the identity of Space Jam staring LeBron James. My logo made it to the top two and it was an intense ride perfecting it for the final presentation. I was lucky that the director and the producer saw the logo. It is a great learning experience I will always remember. I learnt so much in those three weeks, collaborated with the team and kept on pushing myself. My mentors were incredibly helpful too.

Other than this major project, I worked on the identity for Words of Art, a card game for art lovers made by Scholastic for Agnes Gund’s art collection. That was a completely different experience and a lovely one too. I also worked on the extended identity for Fisher Price which involved advertisements, videos, and bumpers. 

Other brands I worked on were Lovevery, a kid’s brand that does different products. I worked on Jopwell strategy, it is an upcoming brand for job hunting and making connections aimed towards people of color. I also worked on Dock 72 Ferry schedule, an icon for League of Legends, storyboarding for Film Independent Spirit Awards, etc. All in all it was an incredible experience.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Media


This summer, I interned for the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Media (PCA&M) an organization dedicated to the promotion of the arts. This non-profit hosts an exhibition space that showcases anywhere from one to three exhibitions at a time, in addition to a school that offers a wide array of classes to both children and adults. The school offers a variety of classes, including ceramics, metalworking, screen printing, photography, and more.


While researching internship opportunities in Pittsburgh, I came upon a posting for an Exhibitions Intern. I was unaware that the posting was from 2016, however, I was able to get in contact with the Gallery Programs Manager who was enthusiastic about my interest. After some correspondence and a phone interview, I was offered a position as an Exhibitions Intern. I was supervised by the Creative Director.


The focus of my internship was on preparing and assisting with the upcoming exhibition, which featured seven solo shows from regional artists. My responsibilities were broad, as my work overlapped three departments: Exhibitions, Marketing, and Education. 

visited each artist’s studio where I assisted the Marketing Manager in shooting promotional materials. We photographed and interviewed each artist, and I helped set up and take down of filming equipment. I coordinated with the artists to schedule an artists’ talk and a workshop. Leading up to the show's opening, I assisted in the de-install of the prior show. I then assisted the artists during the installation of their shows. The opening reception concluded my time at the PCA&M, and it was a fitting end to see the seven weeks of hard work come together into a full exhibition.

The greatest takeaway from this experience were the connections I made with the staff at the PCA&M as well as the exhibiting artists. Through conversations about their work, I was offered an overwhelming amount of advice and some realities about working in the arts.

The best piece of advice I was given from multiple sources was to simply be open to opportunities, even the ones that I never previously envisioned. For many of the people I met with worked a variety of jobs in different fields which proved to be extremely rewarding. In regards to technical and professional skills, I left with a strong foundation in exhibition prep from patching walls to hanging art to lighting. I was also able to experience working in a professional environment, learning how to carry myself not only around my coworkers but also the exhibiting artists.

Overall, this internship has been a rewarding experience that allowed me to explore the various roles that are necessary to organizing and promoting exhibitions. My time at the PCA&M clarified for me that I am more interested in gallery operations, like promotion and exhibition preparation, rather than in curation. 
I much prefer the hands on nature of this work as opposed to more administrative duties.




Friday, March 20, 2020

Hyperakt


During my internship this summer at Hyperakt, a design studio in Brooklyn, I got the amazing opportunity to work with a passionate group of designers, strategists and developers.

The great part about Hyperakt is that they believe in the power of design for good. All the work that is done was for clients who are working towards social justice. The highlight of my internship was working on developing a brand identity for Donors Choose, a crowdfunding platform for public school teachers. My concept went onto become the final option and the entire team worked together to build a whole world around that identity. It was a huge learning experience for me to see the trajectory of the idea grow from a simple sketch through multiple renditions to the final shape it took.

Other than that, I worked on developing options for other brands like MTV Social Impact Squad, WeWork Veterans in Residence. I also worked on creating illustrations and graphics for Zealous, a conference for public defenders as well as iconography for
brand languages that have already been established. Team critiques and feedbacks were so valuable and learnt so much by creating presentations to pitch ideas to the client.

It was a pleasure being part of a team that values empathy as well as hard work.



Monday, January 20, 2020

IS Projects


This summer I was fortunate enough to attend an internship at IS Projects in Ft. Lauderdale FL. I discovered this internship opportunity through a printmaking faculty member. Upon figuring out logistics and transportation, I applied with a resume, cover letter, and 5 samples of my print work. The application was followed up by a phone interview during which Ingrid Schindall, MICA alumna and founder of the press, notified me of my admittance.

IS Projects is an ever-expanding printing press and shop that has much to o
ffer for practicing artists and those who aspire to get involved with print media alike. Currently employed by IS Projects are Jess, Sammie and Melissa. Jess is the manager for Nocturnal Press, IS Projects’ in-house printing press. Nocturnal Press functions as a mainly commercial operation in which anyone can commission prints ranging from business cards, promotional material, to wedding invites and even commissioned pieces. Sammie is responsible for scouting and getting in touch with artist for visits and residencies at the studio, as well as for month-long exhibits in IS Projects’ gallery space. IS Projects also offers workshops that are open to the public such as block printing, etching, letterpress, screen printing, and other processes that are overseen by Sammie. Melissa’s is a hands on printing assistant that has an immense amount of printing experience, from traditional printing to screen printing and bookmaking.


I was involved in projects that span the scope of processes that IS Projects has to offer. My internship was initially kickstarted with a lesson in letterpress printing which I had never done before. The first project Ingrid set us up with was a pangram: a sentence or verse that contains all the letters of the alphabet. In this case, we were composing a poster as an ode to the late Jon Selikoff, who Ingrid had obtained much of the 100-year-old wood and lead type that makes up the bulk of her collection. The text block contained an early version of the chorus from “Take Me Out To the Ball Game” by Albert von Tilzer. The type we were using for the pangram was the font “Columbus” which is the font used for the Cracker Jack logo. Ingrid emphasized that for her, the research that goes into these projects was equally important as the print itself. 

Setting type was a toilsome yet rewarding process. Most of the handset type we were using was over 100 years old. Setting type of that age is quite tedious as different letters receive different wear, which fractionally varies the heights of each. This was particularly present with the lower-case vowels. In order to pull clean, consistent prints in which all of the letters print, much time is devoted to "makeready," the process of preparing the type for printing. This involves analyzing each individual letter and carefully adjusting the heights to flush. 


I also worked on a handful of artist books, assisting with binding, adhering additional elements such as pop ups, and curating the editions. The artist books showcased an array of binding styles including spiral bound, stab bound, glue binding and others. Along with learning letterpress using photopolymer, wood, and lead type, various binding styles I was able to engage with screen printing.


I was very thrilled that along with the exposure and experience gained through the internship, Ingrid encouraged interns to take on personal projects. Along with learning letterpress using photopolymer, wood, and lead type, various binding styles I was able to engage with screen printing once again! I decided to incorporate screen printing with bookmaking and have begun composing a four page panoramic accordion book.

My biggest takeaway from the experience was making the most of your resources, the significance of adequate planning, as well as networking with practices that overlap with your own. Probably the most valuable lesson was seeing how print can function in both a commercial and fine art setting when maximizing your materials and equipment. For example, the excess paper strips from prints are cut down and used to make business cards and monogram pads. Especially for artists beginning their own practice, it is an immensely useful to plan in order to maximize your materials and time management.

Having the opportunity to engage with homegrown press just a hop down the coast from my backyard was such a wonderful experience. Everyone at IS Projects was pleasant to work with and were open to making anything a teachable moment. I felt very welcome here and would definitely consider returning to see what projects and events they have in the works.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

R/GA




I applied to over 20 companies and R/GA was one of the few that responded. I got my first interview acceptance email on the day of the Internship + Career Fair at MICA, which was the first touchpoint of getting into R/GA. After two phone calls with the recruiter and a phone call with the Design Director, I was offered to be a Visual Design Intern at R/GA's Los Angeles office.

I had applied to R/GA's Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago offices. When I arrived at the office, the first week made me realize why they chose me for their LA office. My portfolio included many branding samples, and the LA office focuses on branding more than their other eight offices. 


The on-boarding process consisted of different workshops and information session about R/GA. I found out that R/GA started as a production company making title screens for Alien and Superman. Then they evolved into a global digital marketing and consultant agency with eighteen offices around the world. 


My supervisor was the Creative Director in charge of the Creative Department and managed around seven designers. I worked on over ten client projects and my responsibilities included assisting designers with tasks, creating mood boards, creating visual audits, pinning up the images from the mood board and visual audit file that I created, designing layouts, creating mockups, and making sure slide-decks are visually consistent by tweaking fonts and layouts to a more cohesive form as a whole. I’m certainly most proud working hard and being offered a full-time job when I graduate from MICA.


One of my biggest take-aways from this program was the field knowledge I gained that you cannot learn in school. learned a lot more technical skills at R/GA since a college experience is more based on conceptual thinking and theories. With that said, I’ve learned how to use the Adobe Creative Cloud programs at a deeper level and I’ve learned how to use a program called Sketch which I have never used in the past. 


Working at an agency, especially a big one, made me realize how much I love working on different kinds of projects. I would not enjoy only working on one brand. Being able to work on different client projects would help me become more versatile as a designer and keep the work fresh and exciting. I’m super excited to go back to R/GA when I graduate. Having the company’s name on my resume will certainly open up a lot of opportunities to work at other agencies or big design companies in the future.