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


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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Aperture Foundation

My name is Lynn Hunter and I am a senior Photography major. During the summer of 2016, I was an Exhibitions Work Scholar for the Aperture Foundation based in New York City. The Aperture Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides photo books, exhibitions, and educational programming as well as being one of the leading photography publishers in the world. The MICA Photography department has an internship program connected with Aperture that elects one student each year to complete an eight week, paid internship with the company. In order to obtain the internship, I researched the company further then applied to the MICA Selections committee with a resume and cover letter. I, long with two other students, were selected to have online interviews with two Aperture administrators, who would then choose which of us would fill the internship position.

My supervisor was Annette Booth, the Director of Exhibitions Management. She's in charge of Aperture’s gallery, meaning she schedules, budgets, installs, curates, designs, lights, and anything else needed to put up an exhibition. She also runs the traveling exhibition program which allows for Aperture shows to get rented out to institutions and galleries around the world. While I worked at Aperture, I was given tasks mainly concerning the Summer Open Exhibition, which is one of the biggest annual shows put on by the foundation. I handled art work included in the show, took inventory, and emailed artists about the status of everything. This experience left me feeling accomplished for being able to hold my own in not only a new big city, but one of the biggest art capitals in the world. Managing transportation, housing, and work related projects all on my own really gave me confidence that I could survive in the world after college.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Freer and Sackler Galleries

My name is Margaret Huey. I'm a rising senior illustration major with a Culture and Politics minor. For the summer of 2016, I interned at the Office of Public Programs at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, D.C., a subset of the Smithsonian specializing in Asian art. I've had an interest in museum work and dreamed of working for the Smithsonian for most of my life. I've also been working increasingly more with Asian diaspora in my illustrative work, so applying to Freer-Sackler for an internship was an exciting prospect. 

The application process was rather straightforward through the Smithsonian's SOLAA system which enables users to also browse and apply for a myriad of other internships within the Smithsonian Institution. I was eventually contacted by Grace Murray and Matthew Lasnoski who became my supervisors during my internship when they noticed my application and thought I would be a good fit for the Office of Public Programs. 

I primarily worked in the ImaginAsia classroom, which functions as a family-oriented studio space within the Freer Sackler. My tasks were mostly focused around promotions and prep work for museum events, designing and leading summer camps for children ages 7-12, and the Open Studio events, which are free art-making programs that correspond to the museum's exhibits and events.

My most notable project the museum's first Teen Takeover event – I got to complete a variety of tasks which is some of what appeals to me about museum work. Collaborating with the FS Teen Council, I made promotional illustrations for a DJ Showdown and the actual Teen Takeover event. I later worked with the FS's graphic design department to fine-tune the fliers. These went all over DC, Freer-Sackler social media, and the museum itself! I also helped host and assist artists performing for the event–who, in this case, were local teen DJs–and execute all the nitty gritty things that go into making those events possible such as designing and making pin-back buttons and searching for IP information regarding photos of artifacts we wanted to use. Most notably, however, was a Pokemon Go Walking tour for the event which I researched, designed, and executed myself. It even got featured on the website Museum Hacker! For the tour, I utilized the unique setting of the Freer-Sackler and their gardens to talk to attendees about analyzing art, cultural context, and a little bit about Japanese mythology and illustration all while catching Pokemon. Beforehand, I had preparatory meetings with a fellow and curator of the Japanese collection to fine-tune, fact-check, and further research. I learned some interesting real-world geopolitical context about Shinto influence and imagery that I'd likely never have access to otherwise. It was a very exciting, fruitful, and rewarding project that had nearly 100 attendees and might become semi-permanent programming. 

During my time at Freer-Sackler, I also researched and connected local Buddhist and Asian communities (including a Thai Buddhist temple significant to my childhood) to the FS for a large upcoming set of exhibitions. I studied and worked firsthand from artifacts in the new Chinamania exhibit to design screenprinting stencils for an Open House event, which then connected me to local screenprinters, Soul and Ink. These pieces are now on official Freer Sackler merchandise! I was treated like an employee, attending department-wide meetings and having my input valued and considered during them. I've enjoyed my time at Freer-Sackler and will be returning throughout the next fiscal year to continue my work on the Open Studio programs. I've also been invited to teach a manga and illustration-focused camp for the summer of 2017! This experience has introduced me to an exciting and unusual niche for my illustration while also allowing me to apply many more skills that all relate back to art, art making, and art history. I'm very excited for what this could mean for a museum work career where I can utilize my illustration skills in unique, challenging, and very fun ways and still working with other areas of art. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Opto Design

My name is Linka Lin. I am from Graphic Design MFA program. During this summer, I worked as a Graphic Design Intern for Opto Design, a design company based in New York City. I started looking for an internship opportunity in March of this year, and sent about thirty applications to different organizations. I got the position of Opto Design from our Graphic Design department’s weekly news email. I did a research about Opto Design and found out that this is a design company mostly focusing on branding and editorial design. I’m very interested in branding, and hope to learn more about practical typography so interning at this company would be a nice choice. I visited New York City two years ago was very impressed by the city so I felt really excited about this summer. 

My supervisors, John Klotnia and Ron Louie, began Opto Design together where they work as not only directors but also administrators. Usually, they work on separate projects and, although I worked with John more often, I learned much from both of them. 

I have skill for making motion graphics which was is one of the most important reasons that John accepted me for the internship. I spent half of my internship working on motion graphics, making moving ads and illustrations for clients. I also made a motion piece for Opto Design itself–a gif and postcards to announce their move to a new building. I also worked in branding projects like ROW NY, Becket, and Gateway School. and even did shoot photos or documenting cooperative artists’ portfolios. I learned a lot of detailed and practical tips through these tiny tasks.