My name is Julia Kim and I am a Senior Graphic Design major. During the summer of 2016, I was a UX and Product Design Intern for MTV News, a company that is owned by Viacom in New York. Viacom is the largest portfolio of ad-supported cable networks in the United States. It is also among the most vibrant, diverse and culturally relevant collection of brands in media and entertainment. Viacom Media Networks brands are divided into three groups: BET Networks, MTV, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land, CMT, Logo, VH1, and Nickelodean Group. The team that I interned for sits under the Music & Entertainment Product Development Group. We are the UX & Product Design team and work on all products across the M&E brands.
It’s funny how I got this internship. I actually applied online through Indeed, and was scrolling and saw the title Viacom. I remember thinking, ‘Why not.” I uploaded my resume and gave my portfolio URL and I thought to myself that I probably wasn’t going to get a reply. A month later I had already had interviews with other companies and set my mind on one company. After I had said yes to this one place, I got an email from Viacom and they wanted to set an interview with me. I was going to cancel but decided to give it a try anyways. After I had the interview they told me that they wanted to have a second interview and I didn’t really care about it that much because I still had a feeling I wasn’t going to get it. For some reason out of all the companies I applied to I just didn’t seem to care at all about Viacom because I had such little doubt that I would get in. A few weeks later I got a call from Viacom saying that I had received the internship so I knew right then that I had to accept it. They were only looking for one intern to join their team and I ended up getting that position.
Interning for MTV News has been quite the experience. I have definitely learned a lot. On an everyday basis I would meet up with my mentor, Ashleigh, and she would tell me what my project was and explained what I had to do. As I work my mentor would come check up on me throughout the day to see if I was doing okay and would give me constructive feedback. Ashleigh is an amazing designer that really makes sure that I am doing okay and that I understand everything. She also made sure that we stay connected after my internship is over and if I had any questions during the school year that I should email her. The projects that I got to work on were mostly for the MTV News site. I got to design web banners for featured articles, design an author’s place holder, got to go out in the field with my mentor and ask questions to random people to test out our product, and more. I had a lot of fun. I even got to participate in a shoot for the MTVU television show. I also got to interview someone from Nickelodean, Comedy Central, and Spike.
I definitely feel that I have grown from this internship experience. I got to experience the corporate world and it was such a unique experience. Something I did learn from this internship was that I realized I do not want to continue as a UX and product designer. It was a very different point of view as a graphic designer and I felt like I didn’t get to do what I really wanted to do. My passion is branding and package design and I definitely wanted to explore many things as a designer but didn’t really get to do that at Viacom. I felt like because they already had a specific design already for their brand I wasn’t able to use my creativity and be spontaneous with my designs. I don’t regret this internship at all because it was an amazing opportunity to work at such a well known company and I definitely made a lot of connections. The most important part is, is that I have a clearer path of what I want to do after I graduate.