INTERNSHIP STORIES

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

Thursday, November 8, 2018

MamerSass


My name is Haven DeAnglis and I am a junior Fibers major with concentrations in Sustainability and Social Practice and Experimental Fashion. During the summer of 2018, I was an intern at MamerSass Reinvented Fashions in Chincoteague, Virginia. The small business focuses on reducing textile waste, and the apparel that is sold in the store is either vintage or upcycled. I learned of the internship experience after the co-owner and designer of the business, Jamey Brittingham, reached out to the Students of Sustainability club to see if we would be interested in hosting them on their college tour. I was able to bring MamerSass to campus in the spring of 2018, and Jamey gave an inspiring artist talk about starting a small, sustainable business. They also brought along the mobile shop, so students could see the upcycled clothing creations. Before Jamey and her partner Derek came to MICA, I did research on the company and learned that they offered internships. I expressed my interested in interning with them, while communicating the plans for the artist talk, and after seeing my portfolio, I was offered the position.

MamerSass could not have been a better internship experience for my career goals. My dream after college would to have my own small business, in which I would design and make upcycled punk clothing and accessories. I was the only intern Jamey and Derek had at the time in May and June, so I was able to frequently ask questions about how to start and successfully run a business. I mainly worked with Jamey in designing and making upcycled clothing. The workroom is part of the store, so while we weren’t dealing with customers, we were busily making clothes. One of the most important takeaways I had was that working hard and being able to multi-task is key if you want your business to grow. Even though Jamey and I may spend hours making a shirt, it may only sell for $35 because customers want inexpensive clothing. The materials for upcycled fashion is free or very cheap but one has to love the labor they put into it for being your own boss means no one is giving you a steady wage. While it was a lot of work, I absolutely loved the internship and making the clothes and jewelry each day. One of the most fulfilling aspect was when a customer would buy an item I made and knew they would wearing something I created.

During most of my internship, Jamey and Derek were preparing for vending at Firefly Music Festival, which meant that a lot of clothes had to be made. Jamey and I created Festival Tops out of scrap pieces of fabric, Split Tees out of old, unwanted t-shirts, and many t-shirt shopping bags. I was also able to teach them how to screen print their logo onto t-shirts and sweatshirts, which sold well at the festival. It was cool to see that something I had learned in school was able to be implemented into another setting. After my internship was completed in June, they asked me if I would like to stay and work with them for another month and be paid! Not only was the internship an excellent learning experience, but I was able to receive a job from it, too.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Studio Rodrigo



My name is Morgan Smith, and I am a senior Graphic Design major. My previous professor, Hieu Tran, was an intern and designer at Studio Rodrigo in 2017. Knowing that I had taken on UI/UX in the past year, he mentioned that they were looking for design interns. Studio Rodrigo is primarily a product design studio, and I figured this would be a great way for me to test the UI/UX skills I’ve gathered. Hieu thankfully passed along my resume, and I even had the chance to interview with their team at the 2018 Career Fair. After going through this process and sending up a follow up email, I got to interview with other members of the team to review my work and goals as a designer. Later, I was accepted as an intern in late May of this year. 

Studio Rodrigo is a design studio located in New York that works in various fields of design including: product design, brand elements, and more. Studio Rodrigo does focus more on product design, but has a numerous amount of clients that work in different fields, and therefore need different things besides product design.

My direct supervisors were Khoi Uong and Ritik Dholakia, the founders of Studio Rodrigo. They provided me the background information on all the projects I would be working on, as well as working with me throughout completing these projects. Ritik works mostly behind the scenes and organizes what projects would be good for the Rodrigo team, and Khoi is mostly a designer at Studio Rodrigo as well.

My main responsibilities as an design intern was to work within the project’s needs. I’ve had the opportunity to work on three projects throughout my time here, all varying in different fields. One was working for Artfare, which allowed me to try UI/UX design for administrators of the app. Next, was working on social media campaigns for Democracy Works/Turbovote for this upcoming election. The last project I helped out on was working for Baby Goo Roo and trying different design directions for their next books on life as a new mom.

I am mostly proud of my work for Democracy Works/Turbovote. I had a lot of fun being the main designer for this project and creating work that was fun and exciting for something as daunting as the election. The clientele enjoyed the work as well which made me proud for creating work that an actual client enjoys.

My biggest take away from my experience is that designing takes a lot of time, and a lot of user thinking — especially in UI/UX. At MICA, I am very used to working for the screens and not for the person operating those screens. While working at Rodrigo, I’ve realized the way they work is backwards from what I’ve done at MICA. That being said, that’s one of the things I’ve learned the most, is working in that direction is crucial when it comes to product design.

New skills I’ve learned the most is that you have to think about the user and how they’re going to operate your product in the most simplest way possible. Don’t overthink the functions. Also, to speak up as an designer. Don’t be afraid to show your design decisions and stand up for them! 9 times out of 10 your supervisor and team will listen and add on how to make your decisions greater.

This internship was overall a great experience, and is one where I can say I’ve actually learned a lot. That being said, it really made me think about me as a designer and my future. I’d definitely love to try my hand at product design any chance I get (to build my skills), but I found myself wanting to do more branding related things. In the past, I was very focused on doing product design and making a career out of it. But, this experience has made me realize that I am good at product design, but excel better in other fields of design. For my career, I’d love if I was a designer that had the opportunity to work in as many fields as I can, including product design. But, I no longer choose to focus my career on product design and more on brand oriented design that has the possibility of including product design.

Paperwhite Studio

During the Summer of 2018, I was a graphic design intern for Paperwhite Studio, a design and branding company in Brooklyn, New York. As a Graphic Design MFA student at MICA, I have a strong interest in identity design and packaging, especially in the food industry. Thus, while searching for an internship for the summer, I specifically looked for studios that have done projects in this food-GD area.

Paperwhite is prestigious in the industry of restaurant/cafe branding and food packaging, and also famous for helping small restaurants explode in popularity thanks to a strong conceptual and carefully crafted design that connected with their audience. Jack╩╝s Wife Freda, by CHLOE, and The Sosta were three signature cases designed by Paperwhite.


To prepare for this experience, I have spoken personally with Laureen Moyal, the co-founder of Paperwhite Studio, about the job, and I also have contacted to one past intern and one current intern at Paperwhite to ask about their experience. Both of them gave me very positive feedback.

As an intern, I was given the same opportunities as the other designers in the studio. My job includes branding concepts for startups and new projects, designing deliveries for byChloe, and working on illustrations for other projects. For new projects, everyone will work on their own concept and Laureen will pick five to six versions to present to the clients. Two of my designs were chosen by the clients. The thing that I am most proud of is that my branding solution for Marmalade, a furniture brand by Bed Bath and Beyond, including logos, illustrations, and packaging, got chosen and I designed the brand guideline for this brand. Another major thing I worked on is the deliveries of byChloe, a vegan restaurant in NYC. I designed their chips bag, Apron, coloring book, freezer, ice-cream Cart, Water bottle design, etc.

The most important thing I have learned from this internship is the process of new branding projects. I got the chance to watch the kick-off meeting, participate in pitching and even see how the final photo shot was done for two projects. By interviewing Laureen and talking with the other designers, I learned how to she start this design studio. This internship was a great way for me to start figuring out what is like to work in a branding studio and I left with many new additions to my own portfolio.

Gretel

I had an amazing summer at Gretel, a design studio in New York City. As I prepare for a career in graphic design, I am dedicated to gaining practical experience to complement my academics. I had always hoped to immerse myself in a studio culture and collaborate with creative people from different disciplines. After the spring break, I found Gretel on imageofthestudio.com and looked through the works on their website. I loved the use of bold typography in their visual designs and their creative motion works. I emailed them immediately and inquired about summer internship opportunity.

The production coordinator emailed back within one week and asked me for an interview. I decided to visit their studio in NYC and meet them in person. I took the train on a Friday morning and made it to Union Square, where Gretel located. I met the coordinator and one of their designers, introduced some of my works on my portfolio website, and had a small studio tour. I got the offer next Tuesday. I knew that it would be a valuable opportunity for me, so I accepted the offer without hesitation. Gretel has a lot of experiences working for channels and medias like Viceland, Channel 5, and National Geography. Their work for Viceland wins top awards from the Clio Awards, D&AD Awards, ADC Awards, and TDC. My direct supervisor was the production coordination. She takes managerial responsibility in the studio and helped me fit in the working environment.

I became one of their design interns for three months, and worked on five different projects which were at different stages of production. I worked for a branding project and experimented with the font pairing, monogram design, and illustrations. I worked on the advertising project for The Daily, New York Time’s broadcast program, for over a month, finding and organizing tons of photography and video references. I read through articles about immigration, ISIS, North Korea, Trade War, and became familiar with names of NYT photographers. It was absolutely a great experience for me and was what I’m most proud of during my internship. I also worked on final files for a bakery shop they branded. I created printing files for coffee cups, takeaway bags, Tshirts, and tapes. I experienced what is it like to work in a creative studio in NYC, work on long-term projects, and work for big clients. I learned technical skill of building final files for packaging designs; I studied design and branding strategy from their projects; I also learned how to work with others efficiently. My intern experience has helped me clarified my career goals. I want to work in a medium size creative agency like Gretel, who does influencing and inspiring projects.



I’m so lucky to spent my three months at Gretel and met a bunch of amazing people. Thanks to the help from MICA career development and my internship supervisor, I had a memorable summer and a valuable experience.

Studio Rodrigo

I’m Juliette Wang, a rising senior Graphic Design student. For 2018’s summer, I was a Design Intern for Studio Rodrigo, a product design agency based in New York. They produce various work from products, marketing websites to branding; clients include Adobe, This American Life, Serial Podcast, Comcast, ABC News, xfinity, and more. Studio Rodrigo is most focused in helping companies identity and evaluate product opportunities, developing strategies, and designing and bringing new products and services to market. I became aware of Studio Rodrigo last summer so this summer I decided to apply for the internship. Hieu Tran, my professor and good friend, interned and worked at Studio Rodrigo last summer so he mentioned me to Rodrigo as they were looking for interns. I also met them in person at MICA Career Fair and after, I sent a carefully composed ‘cover letter’ email to Rodrigo with my resume and portfolio website. After a couple of days, I got an email back from the Creative Director for a call to meet more of the designers. I went through my projects, asked question and answered questions and they told me more about Studio Rodrigo. Then two weeks after, I got an email back about my offer and I accepted it a day after.

Depending on the various projects I worked on, my direct supervisor shifts depending on the Design Lead. But I worked closely with Jon Chonko where he lead my main project, Preferred Return and various different smaller projects. He is a senior designer and design director of Studio Rodrigo and gave me various tasks, projects and feedback. We also reported to Ritik, who manages the whole studio and reaches out to client directly and sits in meetings. For one of my main projects, Serial Season 3, I reported directly to Khoi Uong who was the creative director of Studio Rodrigo.

I worked on several projects in the three months that I was at Studio Rodrigo. The responsibilities and projects includes producing socials for TurboVote, designing various brand, web and products for Preferred Return, producing a banner and presentation PRX, redesigning the website and pages for Serial S3, designing and updating posters for 4 for 40 and creating concepts for Spell. The two main projects that I’ve worked and are most proud of is Serial Season 3 and Preferred Return, where a lot of my designs and concepts got approved and produced. Serial Season 3, I got to redesign all the different pages and various elements that is used on the website. For Preferred Return, I got to help produce their report, completely deliver their logo, brand styleguide and collateral, produce various of their web pages and helped out with elements of the product. I was proud of all the work I got to do and work on, especially those that are liked by the other designers, finalized and shown to the clients and sent into development.

The various skills that I’ve picked up includes technical skills such as compiling a deck for presentation, compiling a brand guideline, preparing final files to be sent out, as well as personal skills like thinking critically about the product and designing for functionality, talking to clients, listening for feedback to improve on work. I also learnt a lot about product design itself and how resizing it for screen works, the various screen resolutions, the specific spacing in pixels, and the rules and patterns that UI/UX is needed. I definitely learnt a lot about the process of producing a website and the little details we have to be aware of.

My biggest take-away from this internship is to experience various different companies, explore different jobs and have fun when I’m young. I also realize that I cant imagine myself not working digitally as I’m working so much on web and product and really enjoy it. An important thing I learnt was that I get excited about making products but I’m not sure about working in house but I’m excited to see what that would be like.

TimHaahs

My name is Eun Young (Esther) Ko, an upcoming Senior majoring in Architecture Design in Maryland Institute College of Arts. During the summer of 2018, I worked as intern for TimHaahs located in Pennsylvania, USA. TimHaahs is a multi-disciplined engineering and architectural design firm that provides planning design services to create parking and mixed used facilities. The company specializes in developing unique and effective parking strategies to create attractive, vibrant and sustainable communities.

As a student who is wishing to have as much experience in different fields in architecture, I started looking for architectural firms specializing in something totally different than the companies I had worked for before. Fortunately, I was able to watch a documentary about TimHaahs that mainly designed parking structure that I never thought of. For this reason, I decided to apply for TimHaahs internship during summer 2018. After doing some research and visiting the company’s website, I contacted the Human Resource team. After a couple of days, TimHaahs quickly gave a response asking to submit a resume and a portfolio. After exchanging emails and submitting the required works, I was told to come in the Pennsylvania office for an interview. Exactly after a week, I was accepted to work as an intern for 11 weeks.



While I worked as an intern, I was able to experience working in an architectural firm in the United States when I have only previously worked in South Korea. During the internship program that was a little over two months, I was able to work on more than 5 projects that were presented to the real clients that is also planned to be built in real life. As an undergrad student, it was a great opportunity to learn and experience working on varies projects in a short period of time. The company trained me on ways of thinking
of different design ideas for a parking structure and what realistic facts we should have in mind to make the design come true. Through the experience, I was able to know the traits of doing coordination of a project as a leader and now I feel confident on bringing people together and organizing a project.

I feel fortunate that I had another opportunity to work as an intern before senior year of college. I believe the summer before senior year is a very important period where I should be thinking more deeply about what I want to do in the future. The working experience successfully helped me to think more in depth and I plan to continuously think until the end the year. In MICA, I wish to finish the last year strong and create projects that talk about my architectural passion.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Mad Queen Productions

My name is ReAnn Orr and I am a Senior Film & Video major. During the summer of 2018, I did an internship with Mad Queen Productions. Mad Queen Productions is a production studio based in Baltimore, owned and created by Madeline Becker. I found out about this internship through MICA Career Development internship site. What appealed to me was that the internship position was listed as Video Archivist.

Appropriating archival footage is a tool I have used frequently in my work and know how to execute well. After setting up an interview with Madeline, I got the the job. Madeline hired me as Video Archivist for a documentary she was making about painting professor at MICA, Raoul Middleman. My job consisted of finding archival imagery and video of topics Raoul spoke about in his recorded interview with Madeline. Some examples of these videos and images included family photos of Raoul, photos of historic Baltimore in the 20th century, and media of New York in the 1950-60s. Media was labeled and stored in a folder for Madeline to use in her documentary. I am most proud of my contribution to this documentary and being able to provide my boss with media she was surprised by and eager to use in her film. I played a significant part in researching the history of the environments Raoul interacted with. 


My biggest takeaway from this job was learning what it is like to be in an office setting with other coworkers. This office experience is something I’ve avoided because I enjoy being physically active. While this internship was mentally challenging and enjoyable, it solidified my discomfort with working at a cubicle. I learned that I prefer to be working on my feet, perhaps on a set. From this job, I have learned how to better communicate ideas with coworkers and to be open to their ideas. Working this job clarified my desire to work at a more active job. I would like to work on a film set and be in charge of overall organization.

Matt Bollinger, Artist


My name is Tanvi Sharma and I am a rising Junior Painting and Humanistic Studies Major. During the summer of 2018, I was an intern with the artist Matt Bollinger, based in Holmes, New York. I had been interested in Matt’s process of combining digital and analog media and creating compelling narratives since a couple of years. During the spring semester I had been working on creating similar work of my own and decided to shoot Matt an email. He turned out to be a friend of my professor, Sangram Majumdar and he went on to recommend me to Matt. Matt agreed to have me work with him for the summer, which turned out to be the most enriching experience.

The experience included long conversations with Matt about his practice, the art world and what he wants to do in the future. I think the most valuable thing I have gained from this experience is getting to intimately know a working artist I strongly look up to. During the day I would set up the studio and discuss what Matt has planned for the day. We would conduct experiments with different equipment and processes, in an attempt to explore alternative methods of animating while still retaining the painted nature of the work. This opened me to up to formulating various approaches with my own work. I learnt a lot of technical tool handling and process information and got familiar with the shifting nature of work. The internship was a good way for me to talk about my thoughts with a professional and get feedback, I kept a diary and recorded them. Matt recommended that I think of interesting visuals instead of concepts when starting work and gave me an assignment with some constraints that I could apply what I’ve learnt to. I painted, stretched canvasses and built structures. We discussed our literary interests extensively and every week Matt and Anne gave me a book to read.

I realized that while I want to make work that’s fairly self driven, I don’t want to do things that are just painting anymore. This internship was a good way and time for me to figure out my interests and what I want do in my field. I’m leaning more towards media that more democratic such as graphic design and perhaps illustration that involve elements of motion graphics and animated visuals while grounding myself in the basics of what makes a good painting work. I want to exercise my writing and do something with an academic research element involved.

I’m happy I spent this summer figuring out what I want out of the next two years of my academic career, it helped me clearly define my goals and gave me more matter to think about.

The Working Assembly

My name is Danny Varillas and I am a senior Graphic Design major. This summer had the privilege of being a design intern at The Working Assembly in New York, NY. I first heard about The Working Assembly during my junior year in flexible design studio. This course was structured around workshops with various professional designers and studios around the country, and The Working Assembly was one of those studios. A MICA alumni who is currently working at The Working Assembly encouraged me to apply for the summer internship position. I had been interested in their work and decided to give it a shot. I sent a brief email with my resume and portfolio link. They quickly contacted to schedule an interview. Within a week I had received a email of acceptance.

The Working Assembly is multidisciplinary design studio that primarily focuses on branding. The studio is primarily women employed and led. This is one of the things that sets it apart from other studios. My supervisor was Jolene Delise, she is the founder and partner of the studio, along with Lawrence O'toole. The projects they work on are primarily for small start up businesses.

In my time interning at the studio, I was responsible for working on brand projects alongside other designers. Each branding project began with a project brief that introduced us to the client and the task. Two or three designers would work on one project at a time. Each designer would design several iterations of logos and identity. After several meetings, the client would give us their feedback, and eventually choose a logo direction. My biggest takeaway from this experience was being able to collaborate with designers that have experience in the field. I was able to learn so much by their dedication, organization and communication with each other.


This experience definitely challenged me, and I'm so grateful that I trusted and given a opportunity to be involved in large projects. I’m most proud of seeing my design being used in the real world. Several of my design iterations were chosen by clients for final application. I'm glad I was able to have this experience prior to graduation because it gives me a good idea of what working for a branding studio may be like. Even though I really enjoyed this internship experience, I’m still not sure if I want to continue branding design as a career practice in graphic design.

Tribeca Film Institute


It all started when I was watching several films on a raining day. These films ranged from documentary to scripted narratives. As I would scroll down at the end of the film to see the credits, I would notice one similar logo. The logo was “Tribeca Film Institute”, or “Tribeca Film Festival”. My interest grew as I started to research them. I was fascinated by their goals and philosophy of finding independent filmmakers and producing their work so that larger audiences can see the films. 

A couple of months went by and I was still searching for an internship. Until one day I was talking to my brothers friend who is a filmmaker himself, and I told him my interest in TFI. He smiled and said that he worked with the head director of TFI on a film. Her name is Amy Hobby. He gave me her contact information and I drafted a email to her. She was happy to see my interest so she connected me to Olivia Creamer who is in charge of the internship program. Olivia and I had several phone calls which consisted in questions of my interest, experiences, and why I want to be an intern at TFI. After several weeks went by and me submitting my resume and portfolio to TFI, I got a email from Olivia saying that I got the internship poison. I was off to New York City. Tribeca Film Institute is a branch of Tribeca Film festival. They are the production and producing side of the company. Their goal is to find and to fund films across the world. The films range from documentary to scripted narratives. But TFI’s most important idea is to select films of independent filmmakers who don’t have the means to support their films, and allowing more women to have a platform to create their work in the film industry.

My basic roles at TFI was to respond to emails regarding submissions. I would also drop off any packages or footage to several places around the city. These were the regular task. But the fun and productive ones consisted of me looking at films and scripts TFI was producing and giving my own critical perspective on the work. This felt great! Knowing that I could actually have a voice in some of these films production. I also attended a feature film production. I pretty much watched and observed the set, but also did small odd jobs like moving things or picking up equipment at a rental store.

But as the summer went on the work slowed down. I was pretty much just doing emails and nothing more then that. Then I discovered TFI’s equipment room. There were lights and lots of gear. I had the idea that I would practice my cinematography everyday. And as I did, I went to the equipment room everyday. Which then resulted in a idea I had to create a film about a isolated intern who escapes with virtual reality and a camera to construct his own world. I will be producing this film for my senior thesis.

What I learned from my experience at TFI is that you have to make your own path in anything you do. For me it didn't mean just because I got an internship at TFI I was all set and I was going to learn a lot. No that wasn't the case. Instead I made my own time to be productive by using TFI resources and lighting equipment. I also talked to all the employees and got their contact information for any further opportunities. So the best thing I learned from my internship was you have to fight for whats yours. No matter what possession you are in, you must prove to yourself and everyone els that you are a hard worker and a professional artist.

Snowball Pictures - Beijing, China


My name is Lufei Xiao and I’m a Senior Film & Video major. I found this internship from my friend who own a small production company in my hometown, he worked with Snowball Pictures for a short film project before, so he introduced me to them.

Snowball Pictures is a video production company that produce video works including student shorts, commercials and some website films, they are expert in cinematography particularly. My direct supervisor is Qingqing Liu who is the founder of Snowball Pictures, but when I got here he has to go to Shanghai for another project so I was assisting another director.



I was involved in several project, two commercials and one student short. I worked as director assistant I do whatever the director told me to do, included writing script, project docking, gaffer on set, etc.

I'm most proud of my ability to teamwork with others. I learned the most when things don’t go well. I think they are all important experience, like you have to play to the score with your clients because they change a lot. And communicate well in every section because one small misunderstanding may leads to bigger mistake later.

I’ve acquired some new skills like docking with different department and tell them what we need for this project, I learned how to shoot for post, how to light a scene, how to solve things when things went off the plan, and teamwork. It helped me realized I might not want to work in a commercial production company in the future.

Ziger/Snead


I was recommended for the position at Ziger/Snead by my TA from a class I took on the fall semester of my sophomore year. He was graduating and was asked to find someone to take his place so he recommended me for it. I secured it by working on creating a portfolio and a resume that showed my potential and by interviewing with the partners and the studio manager at Ziger/Snead.

Ziger/ Snead is an architecture firm that is based in Baltimore. They are very much committed to working specifically in the area of Baltimore and it’s surroundings . They work in a variety of residential, institutional and historic projects. The team is composed of 18 people. They create design that is tailored to the client and it is never a repetitive or robotic design process. Every project is different.

In my internship my direct supervisor is Nicole Lamont and she is the studio manager. She manages everything in the office and maintains everything flowing smoothly. I had some set responsibilities like answering the phone, welcoming clients, sending out invoices and checks. And managing other aspects such as the webpage, social media, office records, uploading projects to Architizer. Some other tasks that I got to do was work in some renderings and I got to learn some photoshop skills. I got to work on some specs and attend a couple of meeting and observe the construction process of some projects. Finally in the time that I had free I got to take the the initiative and create a plan to renovate the materials library in the office and present it to the partners.

I am very proud of the proposal I put together for the renovation of the materials library. I worked on finding the materials, designing different things for the renovation such as tags and shelf dividers and creating a budget. I was able to set up a meeting with the partners at the firm and they were really happy with the proposal I put together. The are in the process of revising and approving it.
I have learned and grown a lot this summer. I have become more confident in myself, I feel like I am better at communicating now and I am not intimidated in the way I used to be by people. I have learned to multitask and to be on top of things. Most of all I have learned that taking an initiative pays off.

I have learned how to present myself in a professional setting, have developed a professional vocabulary. I have also learned a lot about how the an architectural office functions.
This has helped me clarify my goals because I realized that there isn’t one path that is right there are many different paths. Also the architectural field is broad and it is possible to find the type of work that I am interested in creating.